The Tooth Fairy is more generous than ever, according to Delta Dental, who notes that the average gift of $4.70 per tooth has hit an all-time high in the 23-year history of the company’s Original Tooth Fairy Poll.
“Having the Tooth Fairy visit to celebrate the loss of a tooth is a time-honored tradition, and 2020 was no exception,” said Emily O’Brien, director of strategic communications, Delta Dental Plans Association.
“Many parents welcomed the Tooth Fairy into their homes last year as a way to teach their kids about the importance of oral health and embrace a bit of much needed lighthearted fun along the way,” O’Brien said.
Delta Dental has been analyzing the Tooth Fairy’s annual giving trends in the United States since 1998. The value of a lost tooth has more than tripled since the poll’s inception, when the value of a lost tooth was $1.30. Last year’s total of $4.70 is four cents higher than the previous peak in 2017 at $4.66.
The Original Tooth Fairy Poll typically has mirrored the economy’s overall direction, Delta Dental said, tracking with the trends of Standard & Poor’s 500 Index for 16 of the past 19 years. Last year, a single tooth was valued at $4.03, and this year’s $4.70 figure represents a 17% increase. Over the same time, the S&P 500 has increased by 19%, reaching its highest average since the inception of the Original Tooth Fairy Survey as well.
Averages by region include:
- The Northeast: $5.72, which led US regions in the highest average monetary gift
- The South: $4.45, which tracks most closely to the overall US average
- The West: $5.54, with a nearly two-dollar increase over 2019, moving from third average gift to second highest this year
- The Midwest: $3.66, which remains lower than the national average for the third year in a row
The Original Tooth Fairy Poll was conducted between December 28, 2020, and January 8, 2021, among a nationally representative sample of more than a thousand parents of children between the ages of 6 and 12.