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Value of a Lost Tooth
February 23, 2021
Value of a Lost Tooth Reaches All-Time High

Kids across the nation have been doing a great job keeping their teeth healthy by brushing and flossing regularly, which means that the Tooth Fairy has increased her average cash gift to an all-time high of $4.70 per tooth. Kids living here in the western region of the U.S., having seen a whopping $1.57 increase in their payout for a total of $5.54 per lost tooth according to the annual Original Tooth Fairy Poll, sponsored by Delta Dental.

The Original Tooth Fairy Poll has typically mirrored the economy's overall direction, tracking with the trends of Standard & Poor's 500 Index (S&P 500) for 16 of the past 19 years. Last year, a single lost tooth was valued at $4.03, and this year's survey shows upward growth to $4.70, a 17-percent increase. Over the same time, the S&P 500 also experienced growth, with a 19-percent increase, reaching its highest average since the inception of the Original Tooth Fairy survey.

Delta Dental has been analyzing the Tooth Fairy's U.S. annual giving trends since 1998. The newly disclosed value of a lost tooth has more than tripled since its inception when the value of a lost tooth was $1.30. 2020's historical giving is marked by the highest all-time average gift of $4.70 per tooth, four-cents higher than the previous peak in 2017 at $4.66.

Regional Statistics

  • $5.72 – The Northeast: Leads U.S. regions in the highest average monetary gift for a lost tooth.
  • $5.54 – The West: With a nearly two-dollar increase over 2019, the West moves from third average gift to second highest this year.
  • $4.45 – The South: Tracks most closely to the overall U.S. average.
  • $3.66 – The Midwest: Remains lower than the national average for the third year in a row.

About the Survey

The Original Tooth Fairy Poll was conducted between December 28, 2020, and January 8, 2021, among a nationally representative sample of 1,000+ parents of children ages six to 12. The margin of error is +/- 3 percent. The January 2020 S&P 500 average was 3,159 and increased to an average of 3,750 for January 2021. For more information about the Delta Dental-sponsored survey and oral health tips for infants to pre-teen, visit Original Tooth Fairy Poll.