Fun Facts: West Coast Out-Paces rest of Country in Lost Tooth Value

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While the South and Midwest saw a Drop in Average Lost Tooth Value the Western Region and Washington State’s Surged Upward

While the rest of the country is seeing relief in the value of a single lost tooth, the West Coast and Washington state continue to see it surge upward.

New Delta Dental findings from its 2024 Original Tooth Fairy Poll® revealed the average value of a single lost tooth during the past year went up 37% in the Western U.S. to $8.54, up from $6.23 last year. 

This new value not only has children beaming with gap-toothed smiles, but also represents a record high in the 26-year history of the poll.

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) for 16 of the past 20 years.

Nationwide, the value of a lost tooth declined by 6% from $6.23 to $5.84. This is 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 their pennies in celebration of this milestone with the average value dropping from $7.29 to $7.09 over the past year.

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

  1. 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.
  2. Northeast ($6.87): Increased 12% and surpassed the national average by more than $1.00.
  3. South ($5.51): Dropped below the national average, after leading last year with $6.59 for a lost tooth.
  4. Midwest ($3.63): Significantly trailed the national average with a 36% drop, returning close to its 2021 average of $3.66.

For parents with children who have recently lost a tooth – or visited their dentist – Delta Dental of Washington offers free letters from the Tooth Fairy mailed directly to your child. Versions of the letter are offered for a first lost tooth, a lost tooth, a good dental checkup, and a version with words of encouragement for a less than positive dental exam. The Tooth Fairy also hosts a free Tooth Fairy Hotline, with pre-recorded messages with the same themes as the letters.

For more about Delta Dental of Washington’s Tooth Fairy Experience free dental education program for kids at TheToothFairyExperience.com.

About the poll 

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%.

The January 2023 S&P 500 average was 3,942 and increased to an average of 4,746 for January 2024, consistent with the timing of the Original Tooth Fairy Poll®.

For more information about the Delta Dental-sponsored survey and oral health tips for infants to pre-teen, visit the Original Tooth Fairy Poll®.