Are baby teeth important? Well, scientists are calling on parents to hold on to their children’s baby teeth for a very important reason.
When your child starts losing their baby teeth it’s not only a big and exciting change for them, but for parents as well. One of the many markers that your child is growing up, the loss of the little milk teeth is a special time.
For many children, this time is also connected to the arrival of the mystical tooth fairy, and the chance to get coins in exchange for their teeth. For many parents, once the teeth have been exchanged for a coin left under the pillow, the question of what to do with the discarded tooth remains.
While some parents may choose to hold on to the teeth for sentimental reasons, others simply toss the teeth afterwards.
However, doctors are now urging parents to hold on to the teeth and keep them somewhere safe, as one day, they could save a life.
A scientific study from 2003 proved that milk teeth are a rich source of stem cells, which can be harvested and used to grow a multitude of other cells if needed. This means, that if your child need replacement tissue or a tissue transplant at some stage in the future, stem cells from their baby teeth could be used for the procedure!
As explained by BioEden, a specialist tooth stem cell bank, who ensure the safe storage of children’s teeth in case they need stem cells in the future, ‘your child’s stem cells are their only perfect match – no rejection, no search or appeals for a donor.’
‘Recovering stem cells from milk teeth is safe, simple, non-invasive and requires no medical intervention.’
‘Stem cells from milk teeth have the greatest potency and potential for therapeutic application, allowing for more treatment options.’
However, keeping the teeth in a jar at the back of a closet isn’t enough to preserve the special quality of the teeth. The teeth need to be kept fresh so they won’t degrade over time and the stem cells won’t lose their potency.
You can send your child’s teeth to companies like BioEden, who will then recover the stem cells from the teeth and test them, before storing them in special facilities.
Unfortunately, access to this technology doesn’t come cheap. It costs £250 to have the teeth processed through the lab, and then upwards of £12 a month to store them effectively for the future. Which, considering you may never use the teeth, is quite an investment!