Tooth fairy spending all-time high on lost teeth on West Coast

February 28, 2024

While the rest of the country is seeing relief in the value of a single lost tooth, the West Coast and Washington state continue to see it surge upward

New Delta Dental findings from its 2024 Original Tooth Fairy Poll® revealed the average value of a single lost tooth during the past year went up 37% in the Western U.S. to $8.54, up from $6.23 last year.

This new value not only has children beaming with gap-toothed smiles, but also represents a record high in the 26-year history of the poll.

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) for 16 of the past 20 years.

Nationwide, the value of a lost tooth declined by 6% from $6.23 to $5.84. This is the first year-over-year decline in Tooth Fairy giving in five years.

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


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.

For parents with children who have recently lost a tooth – or visited their dentist – Delta Dental of Washington offers free letters from the Tooth Fairy mailed directly to your child. Versions of the letter are offered for a first lost tooth, a lost tooth, a good dental checkup, and a version with words of encouragement for a less than positive dental exam. The Tooth Fairy also hosts a free Tooth Fairy Hotline, with pre-recorded messages with the same themes as the letters.

For more information from Delta Dental of Washington, visit its blog at and learn more about Delta Dental of Washington’s Tooth Fairy Experience free dental education program for kids at

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 Washington

Founded 70 years ago by Seattle area dentists who set out to revolutionize oral health care, an innovative program was developed to provide longshoreman’s children access to dental care – and the concept of dental benefits was born. Today Delta Dental of Washington, a not-for-profit, is the state’s leading dental benefits provider covering nearly 4 million people statewide and beyond.

Through corporate philanthropy, oral health advocacy, and funding the Arcora Foundation Delta Dental plays a vital role in making dental care more equitable and accessible, increasing dental health education with an emphasis on youth, and expanding diversity at all levels within the dental profession. These collective efforts aim to improve oral health care in Washington so all people can enjoy good oral and overall health with no one left behind. Delta Dental of Washington is part of the Delta Dental Plans Association, consisting of 39 independent, affiliated member companies. For more information, visit: