Poll: Tooth Fairy Ranks Right Up There With Santa

December 21, 2015
Jared Kaltwasser

We may be in the Season of Santa, but a new survey shows the Jolly St. Nick has some steep competition when it comes to childhood characters.

We may be in the Season of Santa, but a new survey shows the Jolly St. Nick has some steep competition when it comes to childhood characters.

Delta Dental asked 1,325 parents with children age 12 and under about which characters their children still believe in. Santa came in first place, with 66% of parents saying they have a child who still believes in Santa Claus.

Close behind, however, was the Tooth Fairy, with 64% of children maintaining faith in the cash-for-teeth scenario.

The Easter Bunny was back a bit, with only 48% of children believing the bunny story. The survey also asked if children believe in Uncle Sam and found 11% of parents have children who think the patriotic symbol is real.

All of this is good fun, of course. But Delta Dental is using the survey for a decidedly more serious purpose — to raise awareness about the dangers of overdoing it on sugary holiday treats.

“No one wants to be the Grinch about enjoying all the special experiences of the holidays, particularly the tasty treats that are usually around,” said Bill Kohn, DDS, the vice president for dental science and policy at the Delta Dental Plans Association. “Try to enjoy in moderation, and if you find yourself or your children overindulging, perhaps spend some extra time flossing and brushing at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.”

The association also recommends limiting candy canes to one per day, sticking to small servings of sugary drinks like eggnog and hot chocolate, and avoiding — if possible – caramels.

Of course, passing those recommendations along to your patients is one thing. Getting them to actually adhere to those recommendations is another thing entirely. But with the right tone and information, hopefully patient compliance will prove a little more realistic than certain holiday characters.

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