Tooth Fairy Pays 10.32 Percent Less for Lost Teeth in 2015

Kids with loose teeth latest victims of Wall Street 

Glendale, Ariz. - February 23, 2016 - Amidst tumultuous times on Wall Street, Tooth Fairy giving has taken a nosedive. According to Delta Dental’s The Original Tooth Fairy Poll®, the Tooth Fairy’s cash gifts dipped to $3.91 last year, down 10.32 percent compared to $4.36 in 2014.1

The Original Tooth Fairy Poll has generally been a good indicator of the economy’s overall direction. In fact, the trend in Tooth Fairy giving has tracked with the movement of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (S&P 500) in 12 of the past 13 years.

“As leaders in the dental benefits industry, we keep our eye on all kinds of economic indicators,” said Mark Anderson, chief financial officer for Delta Dental of Arizona. “The Tooth Fairy must have used predictive analytics in 2015, as the market continues to take losses beyond the 8.2 percent drop during the time the survey was conducted compared to 2014.”

In 2015, the Tooth Fairy gave a total of $256 million for lost teeth, a marginal increase from the prior year despite a 5 percent increase in parents who reported the Tooth Fairy left money for their children. Cash gifts for a child’s first lost tooth, which are typically higher than average, are also down by 9.23 percent ($5.21 in 2015 versus $5.74 in 2014).

“The Tooth Fairy can deliver a powerful lesson about finances from an early age and be a great way to make losing teeth less scary for kids,” Anderson said. “Discussing the importance of good oral health habits with children is crucial, even before the loss of the first tooth. Introducing the Tooth Fairy can be a fun and exciting way to start those conversations.”

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.
  • Tooth Fairy giving varies by region, which children in the Northeast earning the most on average ($5.27), followed by the children in the West ($4.25), South ($3.63) and Midwest ($3.11).
  • Although the going rate for a tooth has declined, oral health related gifts from the Tooth Fairy are on the rise: toothbrushes (40%, up from 33%), toothpaste (33%, up from 27%) and floss (27%, up from 14%).

“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 Anderson.

For more information about The Original Tooth Fairy Poll, visit  


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

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.