Survey: There’s lousy money in lost teeth

Maybe it really is indicative of the economy, or maybe today’s parents are just cheap.

In any case, Delta Dental has issued a poll today it says it took between December and January that shows parents giving less money to their kids who lose a tooth.

The company has been doing this since 1998 and insists that the amount of money the “tooth fairy” leaves kids tracks the stock market.

According to the company’s press release today:

Much like Punxsutawney Phil’s Groundhog Day weather prognostication, the Original Tooth Fairy Poll has generally been a good barometer of the overall direction of the economy. In fact, in 11 of the past 12 years, the trend in average giving has tracked with the movement of the S&P 500.

The mythical tooth fairy gave $256 million for lost teeth in 2014, up only slightly from 2014, with the average cash gift being a little more than $3.

The insurance firm deduced that times are tougher because while the total amount given is up, it’s not up as much as the number of parents who said they give money for lost teeth, which may easily be a reflection of a poor scientific methodology in the survey. The firm insists, however, that the margin of error in its poll is generally less than your typical political poll.

By the way, the Midwest (46%) has the largest percentage of parental deadbeats when it comes to rewarding kids for losing teeth.