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Despite federal trend, the Northeast saw a 12% increase according to a Delta Dental poll

Glastonbury, CT — Feb. 26, 2024 — The easing of U.S. inflation has reached the Tooth Fairy, according to the new Delta Dental 2024 Original Tooth Fairy Poll®. The average value of a single lost tooth during the past year declined by 6% from $6.23 to $5.84. This represents the first year-over-year decline in Tooth Fairy giving in five years. Despite these reductions nationally, the Northeast saw a 12% increase from $6.14 to $6.87.

“It’s no surprise that the price of a tooth in the Northeast continues to increase, despite the national trend,” said Randy Stodard, Chief Marketing Officer of Delta Dental of Connecticut. “Here in Connecticut, we place a premium on oral health and the Tooth Fairy rewards children for their commitment and diligence. As the glittering ambassador of childhood smiles, the Tooth Fairy reminds us that good oral health is no fairy tale. Healthy habits begin with baby teeth, and the sparkle of a shiny coin is but a small reward for a lifetime of radiant smiles.”

While the loss of a first tooth typically commands a premium, the poll also found the Tooth Fairy is minding her pennies in celebration of this milestone with the average value dropping from $7.29 to $7.09 over the past year.

The worth of a lost tooth and the economy 

Historically, 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). However, in 2023, the value of a lost tooth went in a different direction, and it continues in 2024. The average value of a single lost tooth decreased 6% over the past year, while the S&P 500 experienced a 20% increase during the same period.

U.S. regional ranking for the average value of a lost tooth 

  1. West ($8.54): Surged ahead of the pack to lead U.S. regions with the highest monetary gift for a lost tooth, marking a 37% increase since last year’s results.
  2. Northeast ($6.87): Increased 12% and surpassed the national average by more than $1.00.
  3. South ($5.51): Dropped below the national average, after leading last year with $6.59 for a lost tooth.
  4. Midwest ($3.63): Significantly trailed the national average with a 36% drop, returning close to its 2021 average of $3.66.

“Delta Dental has tracked U.S. Tooth Fairy giving trends for 26 years as a timely way to spotlight the importance of children’s oral health,” said Gabriella Ferroni, Senior Director, Strategic Communications, Delta Dental Plans Association. “It is not a surprise to see she tightened her purse strings following last year’s record high.”


About the poll 

The Original Tooth Fairy Poll® was conducted between Jan. 3, 2024 and Jan. 17, 2024, among 1,000 parents of children ages 6 to 12. The margin of error is +/- 3%.

The January 2023 S&P 500 average was 3,942 and increased to an average of 4,746 for January 2024, consistent with the timing of the Original Tooth Fairy Poll®.

For more information about the Delta Dental-sponsored survey and oral health tips for infants to pre-teen, visit the Original Tooth Fairy Poll®.


About Delta Dental of Connecticut 

In Connecticut, Delta Dental of Connecticut, Inc. is a licensed insurer that writes dental coverage on an insured basis, and Delta Dental of New Jersey administers self-funded dental benefit programs. Delta Dental of New Jersey, Inc. is New Jersey’s leading dental benefits company, providing or administering coverage to more than 1.9 million people through contracts with groups and individuals in New Jersey and Connecticut.

Offering dental benefits since 1969, Delta Dental’s mission is to promote oral health to the greatest number of people by providing accessible dental benefit programs of the highest quality, service, and value. We are a not-for-profit service corporation and, as a member of Delta Dental Plans Association, we’re part of a network that provides national dental coverage to more than 85 million people. For more information, visit


About Delta Dental Plans Association

Based in Chicago, Illinois, Delta Dental Plans Association is the not-for-profit national association of the 39 independent Delta Dental companies. Through these companies, Delta Dental is the nation’s largest dental benefits provider, covering more than 89 million Americans and offering the country’s largest dental network with approximately 152,000 participating dentists. Over the last decade, Delta Dental companies and their foundations invested over $1.9 billion to improve the oral and overall health of our communities.

Visit for information on individual dental insurance plans and group dental insurance plans.

Media Contacts:
Jackie Zygadlo, MWW
(201) 231-6035,
Kim Elmore, Delta Dental of Connecticut
(973) 534-9682,