Is there such a thing as the tooth fairy index? The experts at Delta Dental Plans Association certainly think so.
Since 1998, Delta Dental has conducted the Original Tooth Fairy Poll which averages the monetary value of tooth fairy gifts and compares it to stock market activity.
The tooth fairy left $255 million under pillows in 2014 and averaged $4.36 per lost tooth, up 25 percent from $3.50 in 2013, according to Delta Dental's survey. First-time tooth losers, however, received an average of $5.75.
In 11 out of the last 12 years, the trend in tooth fairy giving has been an accurate indicator of the S&P 500's movement. Last year, double-digit gains were recorded by both the S&P 500 and the average tooth fairy gift, with 11.4 percent and 24.6 percent growth, respectively.
"As leaders in the dental benefits industry, we keep our eye on all kinds of economic indicators, and the tooth fairy's record giving tracks with big gains in the major stock indexes in 2014." said Jennifer Elliott, vice president of marketing at Delta Dental Plans Association.