As Fairy as Prices Go, Tooth Fairy Payout Reaches New Record
Tooth Fairy Gift Closely Mirrors S&P 500 Growth
LITTLE ROCK, AR—These are the fairy best of times for lost teeth. According to the annual Original Tooth Fairy Poll®, the Tooth Fairy’s average cash gift just reached $4.70, its highest point in the poll’s 23-year history. That’s four cents more than its previous high in 2017.
In Arkansas, as across the South, the Tooth Fairy pays about $4.45, tracking the U.S. average most closely. Baby teeth fetch the least in the Midwest ($3.66), and the most in the North ($5.72) and the West ($5.54).
“The annual Tooth Fairy Poll is a bit of light-hearted fun to draw attention to good oral care, starting with baby teeth,” said Dave Hawsey, vice president of marketing at Delta Dental of Arkansas. “Although baby teeth fall out, they are important for kids to learn how to speak, eat and smile properly.”
There is an additional reason children want to take good care of their pearly whites.
“Even though the Tooth Fairy is a bit coy about disclosing financial details, she has been known to pay a premium for shiny, healthy teeth that will be used to build her castle in Glitterville,” Hawsey said.
The poll was conducted by the Delta Dental Plans Association between Dec. 28, 2020, and Jan. 8, 2021, among a nationally representative sample of 1,000+ parents of children ages 6-12. The margin of error is +/- 3%.
Delta Dental has analyzed 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.
In addition, 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. While the value of a single lost tooth increased 17% over the last year, the S&P 500 experienced similar growth with a 19% increase over the same time, reaching its highest average since the inception of the Original Tooth Fairy survey. The January 2020 S&P 500 average was 3,159 and increased to an average of 3,750 for January 2021.
About Delta Dental Plans Association
Delta Dental Plans Association, deltadental.com, based in Oak Brook, Illinois, is the not-for-profit national association of the 39 independent Delta Dental companies, including Delta Dental of Arkansas. Through these companies, Delta Dental is the nation’s largest dental insurance provider, covering more than 80 million Americans and offering the country's largest dental network with approximately 156,000 participating dentists. In 2019, Delta Dental companies provided $76 million in direct and in-kind community outreach support to improve the oral health of adults, children, and infants in local communities across the country. Visit for additional information on dental plans and more.
About Delta Dental of Arkansas
Delta Dental of Arkansas is the largest dental benefits provider in the state, helping more than 800,000 Arkansans keep their smiles healthy through commercial and Medicaid coverage. As a not-for-profit company, Delta Dental is committed to improving the oral health of Arkansans through the philanthropic efforts of its Foundation, which donated more than $3 million to support oral health education initiatives in the last three years. For more information, visit www.deltadentalar.com.