02/23/2012 09:47 am ET

Tooth Fairy Left Less Money Under Pillows Last Year, Survey Finds

The tooth fairy got a little less generous lastyear year.

The going rate for teeth left under a pillow dropped 42 cents to $2.10 in 2011, according to the Tooth Fairy poll by Delta Dental. Still, even in tough economic times the tooth fairy is stopping by 90 percent of homes in the U.S.

"Like many Americans, the Tooth Fairy needed to tighten her belt in 2011, but she's hopeful for a recovery this year," Chris Pyle, spokesperson for Delta Dental said in a press release.

The 17 percent plunge is one of the largest drops the poll has seen since it started in 1998, which may not bode well for the stock market’s general health. In seven of the past 10 years, the poll has tracked rather well with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, according to Delta Dental.

The Dow hit 13,000 earlier this week for the first time since the financial crisis, but dropped back down shortly after.

Though the drop in tooth value may portend a plunge in the stock market, the poll offered some positive signals for the economy too. A fully 90 percent of the parents surveyed said they take their kids to the dentist every six months. Lacking health insurance can often be a sign of poverty, as patients with health insurance are more likely to visit the dentist.