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    Average Tooth Fairy gift surpasses $4 in 2014

    Kids received $255 million for lost teeth

    The days of getting a quarter for a lost baby tooth are long gone. The average gift from the Tooth Fairy reached a new high of $4.36 last year, up 86 cents from $3.50 in 2013, according to The Original Tooth Fairy Poll® sponsored by Delta Dental.(1) In 2014, the Tooth Fairy left a staggering $255 million for lost teeth based on Delta Dental estimates.

    According to the poll, the Tooth Fairy was even more generous with first-time tooth losers, leaving more money for the first tooth in 40 percent of homes. On average, the amount given for the first tooth was $5.74, a 27 percent increase from 2013.
    “Tooth Fairy visits are a great way to make losing teeth less scary and more enjoyable for kids,” said Dr. John Luther, Chief Dental Officer for Delta Dental of Massachusetts. “Children start losing baby teeth around age 6. Before this age, parents should teach kids about good oral health habits and healthy teeth, and let kids know that healthy teeth make the Tooth Fairy happy.”

    The Tooth Fairy Leaves More than Money

    Delta Dental’s survey found that in 88 percent of the homes she visited, the Tooth Fairy left cash for kids, either by itself or in combination with other gifts. Kids who got a gift in addition to or instead of cash most often received a toy, game, toothbrush, toothpaste, book, doll, stuffed animal or dental floss.
    Other findings from The Original Tooth Fairy Poll, which surveyed more than 1,000 parents nationwide, include:
    • Nearly two in three parents (64 percent) of 6- to 12-year-olds report their children believe in the Tooth Fairy. That is about the same amount (66 percent) as those who say their kids believe in Santa Claus.
    • The Tooth Fairy visited 81 percent of U.S. homes with children who lost a tooth.
    • In 32 percent of homes, dad “assists” the Tooth Fairy.
    • The amount of spare cash on hand (44 percent) or the child’s age (39 percent) are the most mentioned reasons for how much is left by the Tooth Fairy.
    • The Tooth Fairy was stingiest with kids in the Midwest, leaving just $2.83 per tooth. Kids in the South raked in the dough, receiving $5.16 per tooth. And kids in the West and Northeast didn’t fare so bad either, receiving $4.68 and $4.16 respectively.  
    • Kids with younger parents also received more money from the Tooth Fairy. Kids with parents under age 35 received the most ($5.40 per tooth), followed by kids with parents ages 35 to 44 ($4.24 per tooth) and parents ages 45 and older ($2.45 per tooth).
    • Most kids seem satisfied with their gift. Only 17 percent of parents can recall their child asking the Tooth Fairy for more money. And fewer (11 percent) say their kids have asked the Tooth Fairy for a gift instead of or in addition to cash.
    • The Tooth Fairy has forgotten to visit nearly one in three homes (32 percent) at some point in the past.
    “It can be hard for young kids to understand the importance of oral health, but the Tooth Fairy is doing a great job of helping them get more excited about taking care of their teeth by leaving gifts that promote brushing and flossing,” Dr. Luther said.
    For more information about The Original Tooth Fairy Poll and ways to make your child’s Tooth Fairy experience extra special, visit

    About Delta Dental of Massachusetts

    Delta Dental of Massachusetts (, the largest provider of dental benefits in the state, is a national leader in innovative programs to improve the overall health of our members, prevent oral disease, and reduce health care costs for employers, groups and individuals. Headquartered in Charlestown, Massachusetts, Delta Dental of Massachusetts covers more than 2 million members. Delta Dental of Massachusetts is a member of the Delta Dental Plans Association ( whose member companies provide dental benefits to more than 62 million people enrolled in more than 114,000 groups across the nation.

    1Kelton, a leading global insights firm, conducted The Original Tooth Fairy Poll® on behalf of Delta Dental with 1,003 parents of children ages 6 to 12 across the United States.