Tooth Fairy Payouts Hit Hard Times

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (Feb. 26, 2018) – Looks like the Tooth Fairy tightened her money bag after an all-time high payout in 2016. According to the Original Tooth Fairy Poll, sponsored by Delta Dental of Tennessee, the Tooth Fairy's cash gifts dropped to an average of $4.13.
The Original Tooth Fairy Poll has typically served as a good indicator of the economy's overall direction, tracking with the movement of Standard & Poor's 500 index (S&P 500) for 12 of the past 14 years. The December 2017 poll shows the Tooth Fairy hasn’t quite been able to keep up with the market’s hot pace—with an 11 percent cash payout decrease from 2016, while the S&P 500 saw a total return in 2017 of almost 18 percent.
Even though the average price of a tooth dropped, the Tooth Fairy still paid out a healthy $271 million for lost teeth across the nation. Those looking under their pillow for their first lost-tooth payout took far less of a hit, receiving an average $5.70 per tooth, only a minor drop from 2016 which saw a $5.72 payout.
"A visit from the Tooth Fairy is a great way to teach children good oral health habits at an early age,” said Philip Wenk, DDS, President and CEO, Delta Dental of Tennessee. “Delta Dental of Tennessee is committed to changing smiles across the state by providing free toothbrushes to those most in need. In recognition of National Children’s Dental Health Month, Delta Dental of Tennessee is donating more than 33,000 toothbrushes this month to be distributed to elementary, middle and high school students through food backpack programs sponsored by local food banks, churches, civic organizations, and other child advocacy groups.”
Other Tooth Fairy stats:

  • The Tooth Fairy visits 84 percent of the nation's households with children
  • Fifty-five percent of parents confess that the Tooth Fairy may have missed a visit at some time
  • While the Tooth Fairy leaves money at 95 percent of the homes she visits, some parents say that the Tooth Fairy also leaves a small toy or game (47 percent), a letter from the Tooth Fairy (35 percent) or a tooth brush (31 percent) in addition to or instead of money
  • Tooth Fairy payouts in the South gave $4.12 ($5.68)

Delta Dental of Tennessee
Good oral health is essential to a healthy life and Delta Dental of Tennessee makes taking care of your smile easy with access to care, comprehensive benefits, exceptional service, and superior value. To best serve our mission and create more smiles, we created the Smile180 Foundation which supports Tennessee’s dental colleges, children’s hospitals, free and reduced cost community dental clinics, and other like-minded charities. Delta Dental is the largest independent dental benefits provider in the state with more than 2,200 employer groups representing more than 1.3 million Tennesseans. To unleash your smile power, choose Delta Dental. Visit