Seattle's Child

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Tooth Fairy payouts

How much does the Tooth Fairy pay for a tooth? Here’s the latest

Data for 2022 showed a record-high national average and an unexpected trend here in the West.

Inflation is hitting everything these days, including Tooth Fairy payouts.

Delta Dental has been tracking the Tooth Fairy’s financials since 1998 and they tend to go up and up, hitting a record high average of $5.36 per tooth this year.

[ Last year’s report, for comparison ]

However, and this is a big “however,” we in the West, who already paid less than other parts of the country, saw average payments plummet in the past year. Kids in the Western region of the U.S. saw their average gift go down more than a dollar, to an average of $4.08 per tooth (almost back to 2000 levels).

Delta Dental, a dental benefits provider, uses the occasion of the Tooth Fairy poll to remind people about good dental hygiene. It quotes the Tooth Fairy themself as saying, “I love healthy teeth, and kids have been doing a great job keeping their smiles healthy. Keep brushing twice a day for two minutes, and don’t forget to floss!”

Tooth Fairy payouts: details

Here is regional Tooth Fairy data to chew on (from a poll of more than 1,000 parents, taken Jan. 19-29, 2022):

  • Northeast: Highest average Tooth Fairy payout at $7.36.
  • South: At $5.77, closest to the overall U.S. average.
  • Midwest: $4.27, lower than the national average, but up 61 cents from the previous year and still higher than …
  • West: The only U.S. region with a downward giving trend, with the average monetary gift for a lost tooth plunging by $1.46. to $3.66

More from Delta: Where did the Tooth Fairy come from? A fun history for kids

Separately, the Dental Care Alliance (using different data) did a state-by-state analysis of Tooth Fairy payouts. They report that Delaware has the most generous Tooth Fairy, paying an average of $8.91 per tooth (!), while the state where the Tooth Fairy pays the least per tooth is Iowa at $2.30.

Washington made neither the top five nor the bottom five in this report. Details can be found here.



Published March 10, 2022

About the Author

Julie Hanson

Julie Hanson is the website editor for Seattle's Child. She is a longtime journalist, South King County resident and mom to a 13-year-old girl.