The Tooth Fairy was a lot more generous in 2013 than the year before, with the going rate for a lost baby tooth rising more than 44 percent from 2012 levels.
The average gift for a lost baby tooth last year was $3.50, up $1.08 from the prior year according to The Original Tooth Fairy Poll® sponsored by Delta Dental.1 gift was $1.
But when it comes to gifts for losing the first tooth, the Tooth Fairy loosened up her purse strings even more. According to the poll, 59 percent of parents reported leaving more money for the first tooth. On average, the amount given for the first tooth was $4.51. This is a 29 percent increase from last year.
And who is the Tooth Fairy’s first assistant? It’s mom. Six in 10 caregivers say the child’s mother assists the Tooth Fairy, compared to 35 percent that say the father assists the Tooth Fairy.
“Leaving gifts from the Tooth Fairy is a great way to help make losing teeth less scary and more enjoyable for kids,” said Jennifer Elliott, Delta Dental Plans Association’s vice president of marketing. “Delta Dental encourages parents to talk about the Tooth Fairy’s visits as a way to discuss good oral health even before a child loses their first tooth.”
Waiting vs Pulling First Tooth
About half of parents surveyed, 54 percent, say their child waited for the first tooth to fall out on its own. Other children were less patient. Twenty-two percent couldn’t contain their excitement and pulled their own tooth out, while 16 percent had a parent pull the tooth.
No matter how the tooth comes out, 15 percent of parents report their child lost a tooth while at school. Another 13 percent report the tooth was lost while eating.
Tooth Fairy as Teaching Tool
In 2013, the Tooth Fairy visited 86 percent of U.S. homes with children who lost a tooth. Delta Dental suggests the following ways parents can use the Tooth Fairy as a way to teach kids about good oral health habits:
“The Tooth Fairy is a great way to tap into your child’s imagination to help him or her understand the importance of oral health and to help make taking care of teeth more exciting,” Elliott said.
For more information and ways to make your child’s Tooth Fairy experience extra special, visit www.theoriginaltoothfairypoll.com.