What’s Tooth Fairy’s Going Rate?

Got kids losing baby teeth and anxiously awaiting Tooth Fairy loot with every one? Time to pay up…but wondering just how much you should stick under that pillow? 

Parents…It appears the Tooth Fairy is getting more stingy for the second straight year. Since August 22 is National Tooth Fairy Day, it’s a perfect time to compare what you pay your kid for losing a tooth. (Hint: it’s way more than a couple of quarters!)

Tooth Fairy Rates & U.S. Economy

According to Delta Dental’s annual “Tooth Fairy Poll,” the going rate for a single lost tooth in 2019 stands at $3.70, but that’s down 43 cents from a year ago. Delta Dental began its Original Tooth Fairy Poll in 1998 as a fun way to monitor Tooth Fairy generosity. Since then, interestingly enough, the poll has also been a decent indicator of the economy’s overall direction. It has tracked with the movement of Standard & Poor’s 500 index (S&P 500) for 14 of the past 17 years.

“While our Original Tooth Fairy Poll is rooted in fun…parents share that the Tooth Fairy is delivering so much more than a tangible gift for a lost tooth, such as teaching our next generation about proper oral health habits and personal financial responsibility in a memorable way,” said Jennifer Elliott, chief marketing officer for Delta Dental Plans Association.

Kids Learn to Save Tooth Fairy Cash

No matter how generous the Tooth Fairy decides to be, almost half (48%) of parents said their kids were saving the Tooth Fairy money. Nice. Considering a set of baby teeth totals 20 (10 on top, 10 on bottom), that makes an average payout of $74.00 a kid might stash away. It’s hardly a windfall, but plenty to start a good savings habit.

The Tooth Fairy’s generosity varies by region, however, with statistics for 2019’s average monetary gift for a lost tooth coming in at:

  • $4.19 in the West, highest U.S. region but down from $4.85 a year ago.
  • $3.91 in the South, down from $4.12.
  • $3.75 in the Northeast, a drop from $4.35.
  • $2.97 in the Midwest down from $3.44 a year ago.

About the Survey: The Tooth Fairy Poll sponsored by Delta Dental was conducted between December 31, 2018, and January 13, 2019, among a nationally representative sample of 1,058 parents of children ages 6-12. The margin of error is +/- 3 percent.

 

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