What does the Tooth Fairy leave for a lost tooth these days? Every year since 1988, Delta Dental has commissioned a poll to find out.
The average gift from the Tooth Fairy (in the U.S.) was $4.13 in 2017, which was down from an all-time high of $4.66 in 2016, according to The Original Tooth Fairy Poll.
Delta’s poll is conducted in December and released at the end of February, coinciding with National Children’s Dental Health Month.
The Tooth Fairy was most generous with first-time tooth losers, paying an average of $5.70 per (first) tooth in 2017.
Other findings from The Original Tooth Fairy Poll, which surveyed more than 1,000 parents nationwide:
- 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 toothbrush (31 percent) in addition to or instead of money.
- The Tooth Fairy is apparently more generous in the West ($4.85; $6.76 for the first tooth) than in the Northeast ($4.35; $6.45), the South ($4.12; $5.68) or the Midwest ($3.44; $4.37).
Children start loosing baby teeth at about age 6, and experts say Tooth Fairy visits are a great way to encourage lessons about healthy dental hygiene.