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Tooth Fairy

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

We're a little cheap out here in the West.

You might not want to tell your kids this, but … the Tooth Fairy is more generous elsewhere in the U.S. than he/she/they are here.

That’s according to the latest installment of the “Original Tooth Fairy Poll” by dental-benefit provider Delta Dental.

The average cash gift for a tooth, according to the national survey of 1,000 parents taken in early 2020, is $4.03. That’s up from last year’s figure — except here in the West, where the $3.97 average is down from the previous year.

Here’s the geographic and monetary breakdown:

$4.35. The Northeast leads U.S. regions in highest average monetary gift for a lost tooth.
$4.01. The South tracks most closely to the overall U.S. average.
$3.97. The West: Down 22 cents in a year, moving from highest regional average last year to third-highest now.
$3.71. The Midwest: Increased 74 cents over last year but remains lower than the national average for the second year in a row.

Delta Dental has been analyzing the Tooth Fairy’s U.S. annual giving trends since 1998, when the average was a humble $1.30, by the way.

The Tooth Fairy, asked to weigh in on the situation, reportedly told Delta Dental: “Kids need to be brushing and taking care of their teeth. I tend to pay more for healthy teeth so let’s keep brushing those teeth for two minutes two times a day, and don’t forget to floss!”

Here’s where to find more on the history or methodology of the Tooth Fairy Poll. They’ve also got lots of fun tooth-fairy-related kid content including sample letters, coloring pages, certificates and more. And more general tooth-care topics from Delta Dental here.