Delta Dental’s 2024 Tooth Fairy Poll showed that the value of a tooth declined for the first time in 5 years.

New Delta Dental findings from its 2024 Original Tooth Fairy Poll revealed that the average value of a single lost tooth during the past year declined by 6% from $6.23 to $5.84. This represents the first year-over-year decline in Tooth Fairy giving in five years.

While the loss of a first tooth typically commands a premium, the poll also found the Tooth Fairy is minding her pennies with this milestone, with the average value dropping from $7.29 to $7.09 over the past year.

“Delta Dental has tracked U.S. Tooth Fairy giving trends for 26 years as a timely way to spotlight the importance of children’s oral health,” said Gabriella Ferroni, senior director, strategic communications, Delta Dental Plans Association. “It is not a surprise to see she tightened her purse strings following last year’s record high. Despite the more economical reward, Tooth Fairy giving is a fun conversation starter to encourage good oral hygiene habits at an early age.”

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), according to Delta Dental. However, in 2023, the value of a lost tooth went in a different direction and continued to in 2024. The average value of a single lost tooth decreased 6% over the past year, while the S&P 500 experienced a 20% increase during the same period.

U.S. regional ranking for the average value of a lost tooth:

  • West ($8.54): Surged ahead of the pack to lead U.S. regions with the highest monetary gift for a lost tooth, marking a 37% increase since last year’s results.
  • Northeast ($6.87): Increased 12% and surpassed the national average by more than $1.00.
  • South ($5.51): Dropped below the national average, after leading last year with $6.59 for a lost tooth.
  • Midwest ($3.63): Significantly trailed the national average with a 36% drop, returning close to its 2021 average of $3.66.

The Original Tooth Fairy Poll was conducted between Jan 3, 2024 and Jan 17, 2024, among 1,000 parents of children ages 6 to 12. The margin of error is +/- 3%.

Photo 22013892 © Shane White |