From Our 2010 Archives
Economic Sign? Tooth Fairy Is Paying More
Average Payout per Baby Tooth Is on the Rise
Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD
Feb. 2, 2010 -- Even the tooth fairy is feeling a bit more flush these days, a sign that perhaps the worst of the recession is over.
A new poll shows the average tooth fairy dividend is up 13% from last year, from $1.88 to $2.13 per tooth nationwide.
"This year's Tooth Fairy Poll average reflects improvements we're seeing in other areas of the economy," says Ann Johnson, director of community affairs for Delta Dental of Minnesota, which sponsored the survey, in a news release. "For example, the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 23 percent during the same time period. The Tooth Fairy may be another indicator that the economy is starting to recover."
That's good news for children who may want to start thinking about how they'll invest the more than $40 they can expect to earn by the time they lose all 20 baby teeth.
Researchers say that for the past decade the annual Tooth Fairy Index has closely mirrored trends of the Dow Jones Industrial Index. However, 86% of parents said the state of the economy has not affected tooth fairy payouts in their own home.
The 2010 Tooth Fairy Poll surveyed more than 1,500 parents nationwide about tooth fairy giving and dental habits in their household.
The results showed tooth fairy dividends ranged from a low of 5 cents to a high of $50 per tooth, with the national average hovering around the $2 mark.
Researchers say the survey also showed that parents are taking their children to the dentist sooner, with nearly half of children's first dental visits occurring by age 2.
"For the past few years, the poll revealed the child's first dental visit was closer to age three, so this is a positive shift," says Johnson in the news release. "The American Dental Association recommends that a child be seen by a dentist as soon as his or her first tooth erupts, but at least no later than the child's first birthday."
Other findings of the 2010 Tooth Fairy Poll include:
SOURCES: Delta Dental of Minnesota: "Tooth Fairy Poll 2010."