How much are kids getting for lost baby teeth these days? The average gift from the Tooth Fairy was $2.42 last year, up 32 cents from $2.10 in 2011, according to The Original Tooth Fairy Poll® sponsored by Delta Dental.1 The most common amount left under the pillow was $1.
According to the poll, the Tooth Fairy was even more generous with kids who lost their first tooth, leaving more money for the first tooth in 46 percent of homes. On average, the amount given for the first tooth was $3.49.
“Leaving gifts from the Tooth Fairy is a great way to help make losing teeth less scary and enjoyable for kids,” said Bill Hupp, Delta Dental Plans Association’s smiling spokesperson. “Delta Dental encourages parents to use the Tooth Fairy as an opportunity to talk about good oral health even before a child loses the first tooth. Caring for baby teeth is important, as they help children chew and speak properly and hold space for permanent teeth.”
In 2012, the Tooth Fairy visited nearly 90 percent of U.S. homes with children who lost a tooth. Delta Dental suggests the following ways parents can use the Tooth Fairy as a teachable moment:
Introduce the Tooth Fairy early on.
Kids will start losing baby teeth around age 6. Before this age, parents can teach kids about the Tooth Fairy and let them know that good oral health habits and healthy teeth make her happy. Use this as an opportunity to brush up on a child’s everyday dental routine.
Leave a note reinforcing good habits.
A personalized note from the Tooth Fairy could be nearly as exciting for kids as the gift itself. Parents should include tips for important oral health habits that the Tooth Fairy wants kids to practice, such as brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and visiting the dentist twice a year.
Give oral health gifts.
Although the Tooth Fairy left cash for kids in 98 percent of homes she visited, two percent of children received toys, candy, gum or other gifts. Consider forgoing cash and providing oral health gifts instead, like a new toothbrush or fun-flavored toothpaste.
“It’s hard for young kids to fully comprehend the importance of oral health, but tapping into a child’s imagination can make taking care of teeth more exciting,” Hupp said.
For more information, visit www.theoriginaltoothfairypoll.com. The Tooth Fairy has come a long way in the past years. To get a sense of the taste and style choices of the Tooth Fairy and for some fun ideas, visit our All Things Tooth Fairy Pinterest page.
1Morpace, Inc. conducted The Original Tooth Fairy Poll® on behalf of Delta Dental with 1,224 consumers across the United States.