A child normally has twenty baby teeth and starts losing them at around age 5 or 6. Back when witches were believed to use pieces of your body, such as hair and fingernail clippings, to direct magic and curses at you, proper disposal of teeth was a serious business. The process differed by culture, from throwing the tooth up to the sun or over the roof, to feeding them to an animal (usually a mouse). The tooth could be buried, hidden, swallowed, or burned (sometimes after salting). In some cultures only the first exfoliated tooth was ritually disposed of.
So we have long traditions about the importance of proper tooth disposal, and of course equally ancient traditions about fairies. There's a tradition from 18th century France of a "tooth mouse," likely based on a fairy tale, La Bonne Petite Souris, in which a fairy changes into a mouse (or perhaps the other way around) to help the good queen defeat the evil king. The mouse hides under a pillow to taunt the king, and punishes him by knocking out all his teeth. Perhaps this was the origin of the tooth fairy, but no one knows for sure.
所以對於正確丟棄落齒的重要性有很久遠的傳統，當然神仙故事也相對應衍生。十八世紀... Petite Souris，有位神仙幻化成老鼠(或許化成別種東西)幫助好王后打敗邪惡國王，老鼠...
The tooth fairy as we now know her didn't make an appearance until the early 1900s, as a generalized "good fairy" with a professional specialization. The child loses a baby tooth, which is put under the pillow at night, and the tooth fairy exchanges it for a present, usually money but sometimes candy. Exchanges of this sort are common in many rites of passage (like an exchange of rings at a wedding, say).
2009-10-28 13:34:46 補充：
The tooth fairy grew slowly in popularity over the next few decades. The Tooth Fairy, a three-act playlet for children by Esther Watkins Arnold, was published in 1927. Lee Rogow's story "The Tooth Fairy" appeared in 1949 and seems to be the first children's story written about the tooth fairy.
2009-10-28 13:35:36 補充：
She became widely popular from the 1950s onward, with a veritable eruption of children's books, cartoons, jokes, etc., including more focus on children's dental hygiene. Parents cheerfully bought into the idea and the tooth fairy became part of family life.
2009-10-28 13:36:18 補充：
The 1980s saw the commercialization and merchandising of the tooth fairy, with special pillows, dolls, banks, etc.
牙仙在接下來的幾世紀慢慢變得流行，1927年Esther Watkins Arnold發表了「The Tooth Fairy」三位演員的短劇，1949年Lee Rogow寫了「The Tooth Fairy 」故事書，這似乎是第一本關於牙仙的兒童故事，
2009-10-28 13:36:39 補充：
2009-10-29 01:31:24 補充：
1927年Esther Watkins Arnold發表了「The Tooth Fairy」三幕的短劇，而非三位演員。