Just how much were your kids' teeth worth in 2013? A lot more than they were in 2012, according to one recent survey.
In Delta Dental's recent The Original Tooth Fairy Poll, the average gift from the Tooth Fairy climbed to $3.50 last year, up from $2.42 in 2012, according to a press release by West Des Moines-based Meyocks Group. That's a 45 percent increase, which even surpassed the performances of major U.S. stock indexes.
The Original Tooth Fairy Poll has generally been a good barometer of the stock market's overall direction, the release said. In fact, the trend in Tooth Fairy giving has tracked with the movement of Standard & Poor's 500 index in 10 of the past 11 years. In 2013, the S&P 500 gained 29.6 percent, its best annual performance since 1997.
The Tooth Fairy Poll came to some additional conclusions in its research. The survey found that a child's first lost tooth had a higher valuation than other teeth in 59 percent of homes. On average, the amount given for the first tooth was $4.51.
Other findings were:
The Tooth Fairy visited 86 percent of U.S. homes with children who lost a tooth.
The Tooth Fairy left cash for kids in 98 percent of the homes she visited. Two percent of children received toys, gum or other gifts.
The most common amount left under the pillow by the Tooth Fairy was $1 (42 percent received this amount).
Twenty-eight percent of kids hit it rich and received $5 or more for each lost tooth.