Happy Little Girl Showing Her Tooth Gap


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You might remember finding a shiny quarter under your pillow after losing a tooth as a kid, but it turns out today's tooth fairy is much more generous.

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Delta Dental's Original Tooth Fairy Poll found that children are receiving an average of $5.36 per tooth in 2022, a record high and a 66-cent increase from last year. The poll began tracking the tooth fairy's payouts starting in 1998, when a lost tooth netted kids an average of $1.30.

The tooth fairy's generosity is closely entwined with the health of the economy overall, Delta says, noting that the poll has mirrored the Standard & Poor's 500 Index for 17 of the last 20 years. Of course, there may also be other factors at play this year. "Perhaps the Tooth Fairy is experiencing the effects of inflation along with being very generous," says André Richards, Delta's assistant vice president of brand strategy and management.

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Still, even factoring in inflation, the tooth fairy's purse strings have loosened significantly over the years. Adjusting for inflation, a child who received a quarter in 1965 would still only get about $2.23 today. Back then, a 60-cent payout would have been roughly equal to what kids are getting today.

There are some significant geographical differences at play, too. Kids in the Northeast receive an average of $7.36 per tooth, a full $2 more than the national average. In the South, the average is $5.77. Kids in the Midwest and West have stingier tooth fairies, receiving an average of $4.27 and $4.08 per tooth, respectively.  

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