The going rate for lost baby teeth had major gains in 2013.
The average gift from the tooth fairy climbed to $3.50 last year, up from $2.42 in 2012, according to Delta Dental's annual Original Tooth Fairy Poll. This 45% rise surpassed the outstanding performances of the major U.S. stock indexes.
The company touted the poll as "a good barometer of the market's overall direction."
In fact, the trend in tooth fairy giving has tracked with the movement of Standard & Poor's 500 Index (S&P 500) in 10 of the past 11 years. In 2013, the S&P 500 gained 30%, its best annual performance since 1997.
Delta Dental's survey found that the tooth fairy was even more generous for first-time giving, leaving more money for the first tooth than for other teeth in 59% of homes. On average, the amount given for the first tooth was $4.51, a 29% increase from 2012.
Other findings from the poll, which surveyed more than 1,000 parents nationwide:
- The tooth fairy visited 86% of U.S. homes with children who lost a tooth.
- The tooth fairy left cash for kids in 98% of the homes she visited, while 2% of children received toys, gum, or other gifts.
- The most common amount left under the pillow by the tooth fairy was $1 (42%).
- 28% of kids received $5 or more for each lost tooth.