Tooth Fairy giving down 10.32% from 2014

Decline rattles children across the country as piggy banks are emptied in record numbers

March 1, 2016

San Francisco — There is never a dull day on Wall Street. A recent Delta Dental Original Tooth Fairy Poll shows the Tooth Fairy’s cash gifts dipped to $3.91 in 2015, down 10.32% compared to $4.36 the previous year.

The Original Tooth Fairy Poll typically has served as a good indicator of the economy’s overall direction, tracking with the movement of Standard & Poor’s 500 index for 12 of the past 13 years. This year, however, the “tooth market” continues to take losses beyond the 8.2% drop during the time the survey was conducted compared to 2014. The news comes as children and parents celebrate Children’s Dental Health Month in February.

In 2015, the Tooth Fairy gave a total of $256 million for lost teeth, up just .6% from the prior year in spite of 5% more parents saying she left money for their children this year. Cash gifts for a child’s first lost tooth, typically higher than average, are also down by 9.23%.

“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,” said Jennifer Elliott, vice president of marketing for Delta Dental Plans Association. “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 great way to start those conversations.”

Delta Dental found the Tooth Fairy visits 86% of homes with children across the country and gives money 93% of the time. As it turns out, the Tooth Fairy may also factor in the cost of living, varying the rate per region as Northeasterners ($5.27) and Westerners ($4.25) have at least a $0.62 advantage over Southerners ($3.63) and Midwesterners ($3.11).

The Tooth Fairy’s other form of payment for teeth — in the form of oral health-related gifts – also are on the rise. Toothbrushes (40%, up from 33%), toothpaste (33%, up from 27%) and floss (27%, up from 14%) are among the top items.

“We’re glad to see that, in addition to money, the Tooth Fairy is leaving gifts that help drive home the critical importance of good oral health from the youngest of ages,” added Elliott.

About the Survey
The Children’s Tooth Fairy Survey was conducted between December 16, 2015, and January 14, 2016, among a nationally representative sample of 1,307 parents of children ages 6-12. The margin of error is +/- 2.7%.

About our group of companies
Delta Dental of California, Delta Dental of New York, Inc., Delta Dental of Pennsylvania and Delta Dental Insurance Company, along with their affiliated companies, together provide dental benefits to more than 33 million people in 15 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. All are part of the Delta Dental Plans Association, whose member companies collectively cover more than 68 million people nationwide.

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