Baby Teeth

Why Doctors Are Urging Parents to Keep Their Kid’s Baby Teeth

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Losing baby teeth is one of the most memorable experiences you probably had as a child. For some, it symbolizes a rite of passage toward your pre-teen years. Others even strike up the belief that losing baby teeth only meant that the tooth fairy was coming to visit.

As grown-ups, you probably know by now that your parents took the coveted role of the tooth fairy every time you sneaked your baby teeth under the pillow. Now that you have kids of your own, you are most likely carrying out the tradition to your own family. While slipping money under pillows may sound like an innocent and fun thing to do, how about keeping the baby tooth for an even greater cause? Keep reading to learn more about this amazing procedure.

Parents Are Collecting Baby Teeth for This Amazing Cause

Before you throw away your child’s baby teeth, you might want to consider this fact: in a 2003 study, experts found out that baby teeth are a rich source of stem cells. So what makes this biological component so special? For one thing, stem cells are sent to laboratories and used to produce multiple kinds of cells that can potentially treat cancer, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses.

So by simply storing fallen baby teeth, you could be a part of a lifesaving research project, and you may end up saving your own child’s life.

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Lost Tooth
Wikimedia Commons

Human stem cells and drug testing

The therapeutic use of stem cells has generated quite the amount of interest in the medical field. It has been a slow but steady journey from laboratories to clinics, but it certainly is one of the most important. A specific area of the research is the integration of stems cells into the development of lifesaving drugs.

For example, cancer cell lines are used to screen potential anti-tumor drugs. With the use of stem cells, scientists can now test these new drugs on a wider variety of cell types.

A Tooth for a Peny
Ray Bouknight

Human stem cells for cell and tissue generation

The most important study on human stem cells involves tissue and cell regeneration. Doctors currently have to rely on organ and tissue donations for transplants and other surgical repair procedures. But oftentimes, the demand ends up being greater than the supply. With stem cell therapy, those working in the medical field now have a new source of replacement cells and tissues to treat diseases such as spinal cord injury, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.

Dollar for the Tooth
Flickr/ Michael Bentley

Donating baby teeth for stem cell research

Before you start storing your kid’s baby teeth, it is important to remember that they need to be kept fresh. So storing it in a box is going to make the stem cells lose its potency over time. You can opt for services such as Store-A-Tooth to help preserve the child’s teeth instead.

Store-A-Tooth uses a liquid nitrogen cryopreservation vault to keep the stems cells intact for a long time. Should a potentially dangerous situation arise in the future, you can always contact the organization to make use of the stored stem cells.

Now isn’t ten times more amazing than simply trading a tooth for a dollar?

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