Lost Tooth

Wednesday, March 01, 2023
Lost Tooth

The value of those wiggly teeth is on the rise in 2023. In celebration of National Tooth Fairy Day (Feb. 28), the Tooth Fairy has released the findings of the annual Original Tooth Fairy Poll®, sponsored by Delta Dental, which shows a whopping 53% increase for kids in Washington state and the Western U.S. – equating to $6.25 per tooth on average.

The new value of a single lost tooth in Washington state and the Western U.S. is now two cents higher than the national average of $6.23, which reflects a 16% increase nationally. The new value not only has children beaming with gap-toothed smiles, but also represents a record high in the 25-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 19 years. Last year, a single lost tooth in the Western region of the U.S. was valued at $3.66, and this year’s survey shows upward growth to $6.25, an increase of nearly 53%. However, over the same time-period, the S&P 500 has experienced an 11% decline.


Delta Dental has been analyzing the Tooth Fairy’s U.S. annual giving trends since 1998. The newly announced value of a lost tooth has more than quadrupled since its inception when the value of a lost tooth was $1.30 as it reaches its highest payout in the history of the survey. At this rate of increase, the children of 2048 will be excited for their next lost tooth when the Tooth Fairy leaves a staggering $30 under the pillow for a single lost pearly white.


The Tooth Fairy gave their thoughts on payout amounts, “We need to make sure that kids are taking good care of their teeth by brushing for two minutes twice a day, and flossing once, along with regular visits to their dentist. I love clean, healthy teeth and when I see them resting under your pillow, I can see all that hard work is paying off." 


Additional Regional Statistics:

  • South ($6.59): Led U.S. regions with the highest monetary gift for a lost tooth, marking a 14% increase since last year’s results.


  • Northeast ($6.14): Dropped below the national average, after leading last year with $7.36 for a lost tooth.


  • Midwest ($5.63): While still trailing the national average, it went up $1.36 (32%)

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.