LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas - Parents and children, take note! Tooth Fairy giving has taken a nosedive. According to the Original Tooth Fairy Poll sponsored by Delta Dental, the Tooth Fairy’s cash gifts have dipped to $3.91, down 10.32% compared to $4.36 in 2014. 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 that the Tooth Fairy visits 86% of homes with children in the nation; in 93% of those homes she gives money. As it turns out, the Tooth Fairy may also factor in the cost of living, varying the rate per region: Northeasterners ($5.27), Westerners ($4.25), Southerners ($3.63), and Midwesterners ($3.11). When the Tooth Fairy isn’t giving money, she tends to leave more practical gifts, such as a toothbrush (40%) or floss (33%), or taps into her creative side by leaving a small toy (41%) or a book (30%).
The Tooth Fairy can be absent-minded too, forgetting to pick up a tooth in more than a third (35%) of homes at least once. And region matters - the Tooth Fairy is more likely to forget a tooth pick up in the Midwest (46%) than in the West (36%), South (34%) or Northeast (23%). Other findings from the survey include that in 76% of cases, moms are the parents enlisted to help the Tooth Fairy, up from 61% a year ago. Additionally, the Tooth Fairy is most likely to visit homes between 10 pm and midnight (68% of the time).
“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 16th, 2015 and January 14th, 2016 among a nationally representative sample of 1,307 parents of children ages 6-12. The margin of error is +/- 2.7 percent.