OAK BROOK, Ill. (CBS) – There’s never been a better time to cash in on baby teeth.

The annual Tooth Fairy poll put out by Delta Dental says the nationwide average for Tooth Fairy cash payments is up to $4.66. That’s a record high, and up from $3.91 in 2015.

In the northeast, the Tooth Fairy is doling out $5.08, and an average of $6.31 for the first tooth.

It all added up to an estimated $290.6 million for baby teeth in 2016.

These numbers are good news for the economy, experts say. The poll usually tracks with the S&P 500 index, which saw an increase of about 20 percent in the past year.

Overall, 85 percent of households with kids are visited by the Tooth Fairy. About half of children save the money while the other half spends, the survey found.


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