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.