Average Tooth Fairy Gift Drops to Under $4 in 2015

Kids received $256 million for lost teeth 

Glendale, Ariz. - February 23, 2016 - The Tooth Fairy tightened her purse strings in 2015, with the going rate for a lost baby tooth declining more than 10 percent from 2014 levels.

The average gift for a lost baby tooth last year was $3.91, down 45 cents from the prior year, according to Delta Dental’s The Original Tooth Fairy Poll®. Despite the decrease, the Tooth Fairy left a staggering $256 million for lost teeth last year, likely due to a slight increase (5 percent) in parents who reported visits from the Tooth Fairy.1

“Tooth Fairy visits are an exciting event in a child’s life,” said Tiffany Di Giacinto, director of marketing and communications for Delta Dental of Arizona. “Just thinking about the Tooth Fairy gets children’s imagination going, sparking debates over whether the Tooth Fairy is female, can fly or is friends with other magical characters. It’s no wonder a majority of parents encourage the tradition in their home, believing it a good way to honor a rite of passage and encourage good oral health habits at a young age.”

Delta Dental’s survey found that the Tooth Fairy visits nearly nine in ten children who have lost a tooth and often leaves more than money. Kids who got a gift in addition to or instead of cash most often received a toy, game, toothbrush, letter, toothpaste, book, doll, stuffed animal or dental floss.

Children who typically receive cash for lost teeth would do well to maintain their oral health. Those whose parents gaive them an A-grade on their oral care earned more from the Tooth Fairy per tooth than those whose parents gave them a Bgrade or below ($5.30 versus $3.48).

Other findings from the poll, which surveyed more than 1,300 parents nationwide, include:

  • The Tooth Fairy is most likely to visit homes between 10 pm and midnight, but has forgotten to visit more than a third of homes at least once.
  • The Tooth Fairy tends to give more for the first tooth lost, with over half of children who typically receive money earning $5 or more for their first tooth.
  • Although the going rate for a tooth has declined, oral health related gifts from the Tooth Fairy are on the rise: toothbrushes (40 percent, up from 33 percent), toothpaste (33 percent, up from 27 percent) and floss (27 percent, up from 14 percent).

“We’re glad to see that, in addition to money, the Tooth Fairy is leaving gifts that help get kids excited to brush and floss their teeth. Delta Dental also encourages parents to reinforce the importance of maintaining good dental hygiene even before a child loses the first tooth,” added Di Giacinto. 

For more information about The Original Tooth Fairy Poll, visit www.theoriginaltoothfairypoll.com.  


About Delta Dental of Arizona
Delta Dental of Arizona is the leading dental benefits provider in Arizona, serving more than 917,000 enrollees and more than 3,200 contracted dentists across the state. Passionate about oral health and its importance to generations of families, Delta Dental of Arizona has worked for more than 40 years to improve oral health by emphasizing preventive care and making dental coverage accessible to a wide variety of employers, groups and individuals. For more information about Delta Dental of Arizona, visit www.deltadentalaz.com.

Kelton, a leading global insights firm, conducted The Original Tooth Fairy Poll® on behalf of Delta Dental between December 16, 2015 and January 14, 2016 among a nationally representative sample of 1,307 parents of children ages 6 to 12 across the United States. The margin of error is+/- 2.7 percent.