2011 Tooth Fairy Poll® Results Are In!

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Delta Dental of Minnesota reports Tooth Fairy still on track as reliable economic indicator

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This year’s Tooth Fairy Poll average reflects the stable increase we’re seeing in other areas of the economy.

Tooth Fairy giving is steadily increasing, according to Delta Dental of Minnesota’s annual Tooth Fairy Poll*. Nationally the average is $2.52, which is an 18 percent increase over last year’s average of $2.13. In Minnesota, children receive an average of $2.01 per tooth – it increased slightly (2.6 percent) from last year’s average of $1.96.

“This year’s Tooth Fairy Poll average reflects the stable increase we’re seeing in other areas of the economy,” said Ann Johnson, director of community affairs for Delta Dental of Minnesota. “For example, the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 17.2 percent during the same time period. The Tooth Fairy may be another indicator that the economy is on pace for a steady recovery.”

We asked a new question on this year’s Tooth Fairy Poll: “After you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, should you rinse your mouth?” Approximately 64 percent answered yes. “This response is interesting because it’s not correct,” said Johnson. “It’s a common misconception. We should spit out any remaining toothpaste, but we should NOT rinse our mouths with water after brushing our teeth, because the remaining fluoride toothpaste helps protect the teeth against tooth decay.”


  •     Tooth Fairy Gift Amounts – The Tooth Fairy’s monetary “gifts” ranged from one penny to one hundred dollars.
  •     First dental visit - Survey-takers report that 70 percent of 2 to 3-year-olds are visiting the dentist for the first time. “When we collect the data from Tooth Fairy Poll each year, we see a shift toward earlier dental visits,” said Johnson. “That is great news because all professional dental organizations recommend that a child be seen by a dentist as soon as his or her first tooth erupts, but at least no later than the child’s first birthday.”
  •     Regular dental exams- About 90 percent of parents surveyed state their children receive a dental exam every six months. “The frequency of dental visits should be determined by the child’s dentist, based on an assessment of the child’s unique oral health needs,” said Johnson. “This process ensures that each child receives the most appropriate dental care.”
  •     Sweets and snacks - The poll continues to show children are consuming fewer sugary drinks and/or treats. More than 65 percent of parents surveyed indicated their children consume an average of one to two sugar drinks and/or treats per day.
  •     Brushing habits - Kids seem to be working hard at brushing those choppers. According to the poll, 55 percent of parents report that their children brush their teeth in the morning, and 60 percent of children brush at night, while only 2.2 percent brush at noon.
  •     Economics and the Tooth Fairy – When asked if the state of the economy was impacting Tooth Fairy giving, 90 percent of respondents said “no”.

Looking for Tooth Fairy rates, statistics, oral health information and Tooth Fairy customs from around the world? Visit http://www.theofficialtoothfairypoll.com. And you can follow the Official Tooth Fairy at http://www.twitter.com/toothfairypoll.

About Delta Dental of Minnesota –
Delta Dental of Minnesota’s oral health initiatives are part of its non-profit mission to provide educational information and support community programs that help enhance the oral health of all Minnesotans. An independent, non-profit health services company, we take seriously our mission to serve Minnesotans’ oral health needs. Since 1969, we’ve accomplished this mission by providing the best access across the state to oral health care through affordable dental plans.

Delta Dental of Minnesota serves 8,000 employer groups with more than 3.8 million members in Minnesota and across the nation. For more information, visit http://www.deltadentalmn.org. Delta Dental is a registered mark of Delta Dental Plans Association. Delta Dental of Minnesota is an independent non-profit dental services company and is an authorized licensee of the Delta Dental Plans Association of Oak Brook, Illinois.

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