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Delta Dental of Arizona Reports Record Giving in 25th Annual Original Tooth Fairy Poll, Average Value of a Single Lost Tooth Soars 16% in Past Year
By Alison Bailin - Thursday Feb 23, 2023
Even the Tooth Fairy can’t escape inflation.

Just in time for Tooth Fairy Day on February 28, Delta Dental of Arizona released its 2023 Original Tooth Fairy Poll, and in it reports that the average value of a single lost tooth during the past year increased 16% from $5.36 to $6.23. The new value not only has children beaming with gap-toothed smiles but also represents a record high in the 25-year history of the poll. Since the poll’s inception, the average cash gift left by the Tooth Fairy has surged 379% from $1.30 to $6.23 per tooth. At this rate, in 2048, the Tooth Fairy would be leaving a whopping $30 under the pillow for a single tooth.

Historically, 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). However, while the average value of a single lost tooth increased 16% over the past year, the S&P 500 experienced an 11% decline during the same period.

Additional Original Tooth Fairy Poll findings:
• The Tooth Fairy is welcomed into 81% of homes around the country.
• More than half of parents (54%) feel the Tooth Fairy visiting their home gives children something to be excited about and a chance to celebrate something fun (48%).
• Nearly two-thirds of children (61%) wait for their tooth to fall out, with a few (17%) even pulling it out themselves.
• In anticipation of the Tooth Fairy’s arrival 27% of children head to bed early on the night they lose a tooth
• Just over one-third (36%) of parents indicate the Tooth Fairy fosters their child’s imagination while also instilling good oral health habits.

“We all know that the Tooth Fairy is one of the most powerful tools parents and caregivers can use to teach children about oral health. Smart families may want to use Tooth Fairy Day to reinforce these lessons as well as open lines of communication about even bigger topics, like responsible saving or how different cultures have their own special traditions,” said Dr. Heather Schneider, dental director at Delta Dental of Arizona. “Perhaps the money from each lost tooth could be saved and tallied up once all baby teeth have fallen out and used for something special!”

Here is a look at some of the ways lost teeth are celebrated in other countries, which makes for a great conversation about different cultures with kids:
• In Argentina and Sweden, boys and girls leave the baby teeth they lose in a glass of water by their bedside. While they sleep at night, Magical Mouse visits to get a sip of water and trade the tooth for a few coins.
• Many children in Europe celebrate much like American kids by leaving a tooth under their pillow for overnight collection. However, you won’t find the Tooth Fairy there – her brownie and elf friends have taken up the task.
• Filipino children may be some of the only children in the world who look forward to a visit from a rat! In the Philippines, Tooth Rat asks that kids leave baby teeth on windowsills so he can pick them up and move on quickly to the next house.
• In Colombia and South Africa, another little mouse performs duties similar to the Tooth Fairy. Children may leave their baby teeth under their pillows or deposit them in warm slippers.
• Baby teeth make lovely gifts in Chile and Costa Rica, where mothers craft charms out of the pearly white beauties and give them back to the children. It may sound a little odd, but people have been making and wearing enamel jewelry for centuries!

For tips and articles to help parents and caregivers take care of their family’s oral health, visit the Delta Dental of Arizona Blog at