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The Legend of the Tooth Fairy

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

When the Tooth Fairy pays a nighttime visit to a home, she’s doing more than just picking up a lost tooth. Her visit is part of a family tradition – a rite of passage that marks a child’s transition from childhood to adolescence.

August 22nd is National Tooth Fairy Day

We’re celebrating National Tooth Fairy Day by sharing some fun facts about her legend, provided by our our friends at Delta Dental!

The fact that most family photo albums feature a cherished photo of a child with his or her two front teeth missing suggests that parents agree that each baby tooth represents something special. For both old and young at heart, the Tooth Fairy legend stimulates the imagination and reminds people that it’s okay to believe in magic.

Since 1998, Delta Dental has annually conducted the Original Tooth Fairy Poll® as a fun way to gauge how generous the tiny fairy had been in the previous year. The poll collects Tooth Fairy average giving and compares it to stock market activity to show how the value of a lost tooth relates to the U.S. economy (Tooth Fairy IndexSM).

Over time, the Tooth Fairy IndexSM (TFI) shows that the value of a lost tooth is closely related to the U.S. economy. Much like Punxsutawney Phil’s Groundhog Day weather prognostication, the Original Tooth Fairy Poll has generally been a good barometer of the overall direction of the economy. In fact, for 12 of the past 14 years, the trend in average giving has tracked with the movement of the S&P 500.

Most years, Ms. Fairy leaves a bit more under the pillow when the S&P is up. However, her cold cash payouts couldn’t keep up with the hot stock market this year! The poll currently shows the average gift to be $4.13 per tooth. As parents, these little gems remain forever priceless!

More than 1,000 primary caregivers were surveyed via email interviews. The sample was designed to capture a broad spectrum of the U.S. population, not just those with dental insurance. Poll answers provide Delta Dental with valuable data they in turn give to parents so they can discuss and promote good oral health care with their children. Talking about the Tooth Fairy’s giving habits makes for a fun and wonderful opportunity to help kids develop positive dental habits at an early age.

For more fun facts or to take the poll visit You’ll also find resources to help kids prepare for the Tooth Fairy and mark the milestone of her visits at the American Dental Association’s dedicated Tooth Fairy page.

Just like talking about the Tooth Fairy, all of us at Keystone Dental Arts believe the journey to good oral health begins with healthy habits. To help kids get comfortable with going to the dentist and learning to properly care for their teeth at an early age, we offer the Keystone Kids Club. In the spirit of the fun and friendly characters that kids respond to, our mascot Ribbit helps your child get off to a great start with rewards for positive practices!

Learn more about the Keystone Kids Club and sign your kid up for a Happy Visit today – all the cool parents are doing it!

Original Tooth Fairy Poll® and related content are copyright of Delta Dental.

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