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Tooth fairy poll shows a 15% jump in payment to kids

March 01, 2013|By Shan Li
  • After plunging in 2011, the amount left for kids who tuck fallen teeth underneath their pillows jumped last year. Tooth fairy matriarch Lily (Julie Andrews), in the 2010 movie "Tooth Fairy," would seem to approve.
After plunging in 2011, the amount left for kids who tuck fallen teeth underneath… (Diyah Pera / 20th Century…)

Even the tooth fairy is feeling more generous as the economy recovers.

The average amount that the tooth fairy (or parents, for those who scoff at Santa and the Easter bunny) gave to kids jumped 15.2% to $2.42 last year, up from $2.10 in 2011, according to an annual poll conducted by Delta Dental.

Quiz: How much do you know about California's economy?

Dubbed the Original Tooth Fairy Poll, it surveyed more than 1,200 primary caregivers for the average gift bestowed upon a child who lost a tooth.

Delta Dental also mapped its annual results, which go back as far as 1998, to show that the tooth poll results correspond roughly with the rise and fall of Standard & Poor's 500 index. So, basically, they're trying to show that tooth fairy money is a good indicator of an economy that is sputtering or on the mend.

Other studies may bear that out. Credit card giant Visa Inc., for example, released the results of a survey last year that showed the average gift value rose 15% rise in 2012 compared with 2011.

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Follow Shan Li on Twitter @ShanLi

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