Tooth Fairy giving more than ever before

February 9th, 2017




Average payouts soar by nearly 20% – marking all-time high

It’s nearly Tooth Fairy Day (Feb. 28), and Delta Dental’s Original Tooth Fairy Poll results are in! An unlikely but accurate economic indicator, Tooth Fairy payouts are soaring, posting record gains in 2016 and early 2017. According to the Original Tooth Fairy Poll, sponsored by Delta Dental, the Tooth Fairy’s cash payouts have jumped to an all-time high over the past year, up to an average of $4.66 compared to $3.91 in 2015.

That could spell even better things to come for the economy. The Original Tooth Fairy Poll has typically served as a good indicator of the economy’s overall direction, tracking with the movement of Standard & Poor’s 500 index (S&P 500) for 12 of the past 13 years.

The Tooth Fairy doesn’t just bring gifts to children – she also delivers lessons in good oral health and finance. Her visits are a great way for parents to spark conversations about crucial health habits from a young age, and to talk about responsible spending and saving.

By region, Tooth Fairy payouts are highest in the West: $5.96 ($6.89 for the first tooth); followed by the Northeast at $5.08 ($6.31); the South at $4.57 ($4.88); and the Midwest at $4.04 ($5.70).

An even split of children save and spend Tooth Fairy cash (48 percent each); however, 3 percent actually donate the money, and a savvy 1 percent even loan the cash out.

In addition to money, the Tooth Fairy often leaves gifts that strengthen children’s oral health habits, leaving toothbrushes (38 percent), dental floss (21 percent) and toothpaste (22 percent).

About the Survey: The Original Tooth Fairy Poll was conducted between January 24 and January 31, 2017, among a nationally representative sample of 1,588 parents of children ages 6-12. The margin of error is +/- 2.5 percent.