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Tooth Fairy Cuts

Insights

Delta Dental, for the last two decades, has gathered information about the generosity of the Tooth Fairy.  The most recent figures show that she’s been stingier over the last two years.  Most recently, she’s been paying an average of $3.70 for each lost tooth as compared to $4.13 last year and $4.50 two years ago.  The price for teeth has dropped 18% over the last two years!

The Delta Dental poll included 1,058 parents across the nation.  The Tooth Fairy pays the most ($4.19) to children in the Western part of the county, and she pays the least ($2.97) in the Midwest.

Does the Tooth Fairy invest in the stock market?I ask this question because the Tooth Fairy payout trends have been a good indicator of stock market returns.  Delta Dental’s Tooth Fairy Index has tracked the S&P 500 index in 14 of the last 17 years.  You can see in the chart below that the two indices have tracked pretty closely over time.

Tooth Fairy traditions vary greatly.  When I was a kid, the Tooth Fairy would give me a quarter or two for each tooth.  I remember leaving my first few teeth under my pillow and later leaving them in a glass of water next to my bed.  (I’m sure this changed after my parents learned how hard it was to find a tooth in the middle of the night.)  I remember going to bed early so she would not skip our home and waking up early to collect my cash.

The Delta Dental Tooth Fairy website (http://www.theoriginaltoothfairypoll.com/) has all kinds of fun information about the traditions of the Tooth Fairy (or Magic Mouse or elves or Tooth Rat) around the globe.It’s no surprise that the site also has several tips to help children with their dental hygiene as well.

I can’t say that I’ll be watching the Tooth Fairy Index as a stock market indicator.  However, it is a reminder of the many things that are impacted by economic ups and downs.