Tooth fairy payouts plummet 1st time in 5 years, dental poll finds

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Tooth fairy payouts for lost teeth have declined for the first time since 2019, According to a new poll from Delta Dental, a U.S. network of dental insurance companies.

According to the poll, the average value of a single lost tooth during the past year declined by 6% from $6.23 to $5.84.

Does inflation hit the tooth fairy?

By tooth fairy, the poll means parents who Delta Dental says are hurting from ongoing high inflation. 

Last year, according to the poll, a lost tooth would fetch a kid an average gift of $7.09 – down from $7.29 in 2022. 

More worrisome for younglings, Delta Dental found that the first lost tooth, which typically warrants a bigger payout, wasn't as profitable this year as it once was. 

Tooth fairy payouts by region

After Delta Dental surveyed 1,000 parents of children between 6 and 12, they found that kids living in the western part of the U.S. scored the highest payout for their teeth. 

While the average payout price in the country declined, in the West, the average value was $8.54 – a 37% increase from 2022, when the average value of a tooth in that region was valued at $6.23. 

In the South and Midwest, payouts were not so big. 

In the Midwest, the average value of a tooth plummeted by 36% while in the South, the value dropped to $5.51 per tooth.