Economic Sign? Tooth Fairy Is Paying More
Average Payout per Baby Tooth Is on the Rise
WebMD News Archive
Feb. 2, 2010 -- Even the tooth fairy is feeling a bit more flush these days,
a sign that perhaps the worst of the recession is over.
A new poll shows the average tooth fairy dividend is up 13% from last year,
from $1.88 to $2.13 per tooth nationwide.
"This year's Tooth Fairy Poll average reflects improvements we're seeing in
other areas of the economy," says Ann Johnson, director of community affairs
for Delta Dental of Minnesota, which sponsored the survey, in a news release.
"For example, the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 23 percent during the
same time period. The Tooth Fairy may be another indicator that the
economy is starting to recover."
That's good news for children who may want to start thinking about how
they'll invest the more than $40 they can expect to earn by the time they lose
all 20 baby teeth.
Researchers say that for the past decade the annual Tooth Fairy Index has
closely mirrored trends of the Dow Jones Industrial Index. However, 86% of
parents said the state of the economy has not affected tooth fairy payouts in
their own home.
The 2010 Tooth Fairy Poll surveyed more than 1,500 parents nationwide about
tooth fairy giving and dental habits in their household.
The results showed tooth fairy dividends ranged from a low of 5 cents to a
high of $50 per tooth, with the national average hovering around the $2
Researchers say the survey also showed that parents are taking their
children to the dentist sooner, with nearly half of children's first dental
visits occurring by age 2.
"For the past few years, the poll revealed the child's first dental visit
was closer to age three, so this is a positive shift," says Johnson in the news
release. "The American Dental Association recommends that a child be seen by a
dentist as soon as his or her first tooth erupts, but at least no later than
the child's first birthday."
Other findings of the 2010 Tooth Fairy Poll include:
- 84% of parents surveyed said the tooth fairy visits their home.
- 87% of parents report that their children go to the dentist every six
months, which is the same figure as last year's poll.
- 90% of parents say their children brush their teeth at night, and 80% say
they also brush them in the morning. Experts say nighttime is the most
important time for children to brush their teeth, but brushing after each meal
- 55% of parents did not know that tooth decay is a bacterial infection that
- 60% of parents said they changed their child's toothbrush after the flu or
other illness. Toothbrushes can harbor germs, and if the brushes touch one
another, they can transmit viruses and germs to other family members.