Tooth Fairy giving in the Midwest rebounds after several years of decline
According to the latest Original Tooth Fairy Poll results released by Delta Dental of Illinois, the value of a lost tooth has greatly improved in the Midwest and across the nation when compared to the last couple of years.
The average amount Midwestern kids receive for a lost tooth is up 74 cents this year, with the Tooth Fairy now leaving an average of $3.71 per tooth. That’s a 25% increase over last year when payouts dipped to a three-year low of $2.97.
“Illinois kids might be getting excited by how much the Tooth Fairy has loosened her purse strings this year,” said Dr. Sheila Strock, vice president of dental services and science officer at Delta Dental of Illinois. “Each lost tooth provides a great opportunity for parents to educate their children in a fun way about the importance of good oral health habits like brushing twice a day, flossing daily and visiting the dentist regularly.”
But giving by the Tooth Fairy is still less than three years ago, when kids in the Midwest were receiving $4.04 a tooth.
And despite this year’s growth, the Tooth Fairy continues to bring Midwestern kids the smallest cash gifts in the nation. They’re receiving 64 cents less than the Northeast ($4.35), 30 cents less than the South ($4.01), 26 cents less than the West ($3.97) and 32 cents less than the national average ($4.03). Some kids nationwide (45%) are getting even luckier, receiving at least $5 for each lost tooth.
The size of those gaps appears to be shrinking, though. Disparity in Tooth Fairy giving between the Midwest and the rest of the nation was much larger last year, ranging from a difference of 73 cents to $1.22.
Delta Dental has been analyzing the Tooth Fairy’s U.S. annual giving trends for 22 years, since 1998. The newly disclosed national value of a lost tooth has more than tripled since its inception when the value of a lost tooth was $1.30. This year’s national giving rate is the fourth highest payout in the history of the survey.
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 15 of the past 18 years. Last year, a single lost tooth was valued at $3.70 nationwide and this year’s survey shows upward growth to $4.03, an increase of nearly 9%. Over the same time period, the S&P 500 also experienced growth with a 22% increase, reaching its highest average since the inception of the Original Tooth Fairy survey.
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