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February 26, 2024
West Coast Out-Paces The Rest of The Country in Lost Tooth Value

While the rest of the country is seeing relief in the value of a single lost tooth, the West Coast and Washington state continue to see it surge upward.

New Delta Dental findings from its 2024 Original Tooth Fairy Poll® revealed the average value of a single lost tooth during the past year went up 37% in the Western U.S. to $8.54, up from $6.23 last year.

Tooth Fairy Index

This new value not only has children beaming with gap-toothed smiles, but also represents a record high in the 26-year history of the poll.

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 20 years.

Nationwide, the value of a lost tooth declined by 6% from $6.23 to $5.84. This is the first year-over-year decline in Tooth Fairy giving in five years.

While the loss of a first tooth typically commands a premium, the poll also found the Tooth Fairy is minding their pennies in celebration of this milestone with the average value dropping from $7.29 to $7.09 over the past year.

U.S. regional ranking for the average value of a lost tooth

  1. West ($8.54): Surged ahead of the pack to lead U.S. regions with the highest monetary gift for a lost tooth, marking a 37% increase since last year’s results.
  2. Northeast ($6.87): Increased 12% and surpassed the national average by more than $1.00.
  3. South ($5.51): Dropped below the national average, after leading last year with $6.59 for a lost tooth.
  4. Midwest ($3.63): Significantly trailed the national average with a 36% drop, returning close to its 2021 average of $3.66.

For parents with children who have recently lost a tooth – or visited their dentist – Delta Dental of Washington offers free letters from the Tooth Fairy mailed directly to your child. Versions of the letter are offered for a first lost tooth, a lost tooth, a good dental checkup, and a version with words of encouragement for a less than positive dental exam. The Tooth Fairy also hosts a free Tooth Fairy Hotline, with pre-recorded messages with the same themes as the letters.

For more information from Delta Dental of Washington, visit its blog at www.deltadentalwa.com/blog and learn more about Delta Dental of Washington’s Tooth Fairy Experience free dental education program for kids at www.TheToothFairyExperience.com.

About the poll

The Original Tooth Fairy Poll® was conducted between Jan. 3, 2024 and Jan. 17, 2024, among 1,000 parents of children ages 6 to 12. The margin of error is +/- 3%.

The January 2023 S&P 500 average was 3,942 and increased to an average of 4,746 for January 2024, consistent with the timing of the Original Tooth Fairy Poll®.

For more information about the Delta Dental-sponsored survey and oral health tips for infants to pre-teen, visit the Original Tooth Fairy Poll®.