(CBS Local) — Sorry kids, the next time you lose a tooth there’s a chance you won’t find as much money under your pillow as you had hoped for. According to a new poll the price of a tooth in 2017 went down by over 50 cents compared to the year prior.
The “Original Tooth Fairy Poll” has been tracking what children are given for their lost teeth since 1998. The poll, published by Delta Dental, interviewed over 1,000 parents of children between the ages of six and 12. While the “tooth fairy’s generosity” grew to $4.66 per tooth in 2016, kids only got $4.13 last year.
The dental insurance company claims that its Tooth Fairy Poll is usually a good measure of how well the nation’s economy is doing, citing that it often lines up with the stock market. “For 12 of the past 14 years, the trend in average giving has tracked with the movement of the S&P 500,” Delta explains on the poll’s website.
In a press release, the survey’s authors added that the Tooth Fairy wasn’t able to match a record-breaking year for the stock market. “The December 2017 poll shows the Tooth Fairy hasn’t quite been able to keep up with the market’s hot pace—with an 11 percent cash payout decrease from 2016, while the S&P 500 saw a total return in 2017 of almost 18 percent.”
Luckily, the Tooth Fairy wasn’t trying to keep up with the Dow Jones Industrial which rose by nearly 25 percent and gained nearly 6,000 points in 2017.
The good news for children is that the price of their first tooth held steady. The poll found that a child’s first tooth under the pillow brought back $5.70 in 2017; just two cents less than it did in 2016.
“No matter how generous the Tooth Fairy decides to be, a visit from the Tooth Fairy is a great way to teach children good oral health habits at an early age,” Delta Dental’s Jennifer Elliott said. The insurance company adds that 84 percent of children in the U.S. are visited by the Tooth Fairy.