2022 Tooth Fairy Payout Reflects Double-Digit Inflation

Posted Feb 2022

By Delta Dental of Arkansas

Share this post

2022 Tooth Fairy Payout Reflects Double-Digit Inflation

To Kids’ Delight, the Value of a Lost Tooth Increased 14% Compared to Last Year

tooth fairy index

delta dental of arkansas tooth fairy
LITTLE ROCK, ARK.—Here is one group of American consumers who won’t mind the recent inflation surges: Youngsters who lose a tooth.

The Tooth Fairy in 2022 hides a record-setting average of $5.36 per lost tooth under the pillow, according to the annual Original Tooth Fairy Poll®. That’s an all-time high in the 24-year history of the poll and a price increase of 14% compared to last year’s payout, almost twice the current inflation rate.

In Arkansas, as across the South, baby teeth track the national average most closely at $5.77. The highest cash gift, $7.36, is paid in the Northeast, while the West ranks last with $4.08 per lost tooth. Kids in the Midwest also receive less than the average, $4.27.

“The annual Tooth Fairy Poll adds a bit of fun to the serious business of oral health that starts with baby teeth,” said Dave Hawsey, vice president of marketing at Delta Dental of Arkansas. “Although baby teeth fall out, they are crucial for the proper development of eating, speaking and smiling and should be well taken care of with daily brushing and flossing.”

In addition, as most kids know, baby teeth have a monetary value.

“The Tooth Fairy collects lost baby teeth to build her castle in Glitterville,” Hawsey added. “Economics teaches us that a surge in demand for particular goods results in higher prices, so if the Tooth Fairy is willing to pay a premium, she clearly values healthy, shiny baby teeth.”

The poll was conducted by the Delta Dental Plans Association between January 19 and January 28, 2022, 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 quadrupled since its initial value of $1.30. 

Furthermore, 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 17 of the past 20 years. Last year, a single lost tooth was valued at $4.70, and this year’s survey indicates a 14% upward growth to $5.36. Over the same time, the S&P 500 also experienced growth, with a 17.6% increase.


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 83 million Americans and offering the country’s largest dental network with approximately 154,000 participating dentists. Over the last decade, Delta Dental companies provided over $1.75 billion in direct and in-kind support to improve the oral health of our communities across the country.


About Delta Dental of Arkansas

Delta Dental of Arkansas is the state’s largest dental benefits provider, 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 details, visit www.deltadentalar.com/.


Media Contact:
Claudia Utley
Public Relations & Social Media Strategist
(c) 501-442-6951

News Detail