If you have children, you probably remember when they lost their first tooth. They are waiting for the little mouse to come and pull their baby tooth, leaving some coins or bills behind. Although many parents keep their child’s first lost tooth, we tend to get rid of the next ones. However, if your children are still young, you can keep all of your children’s lost baby teeth.
Scientists and doctors encourage parents to keep their children’s baby teeth, and the reasons why they do so have nothing to do with being sentimental. It turns out that there is an abundance of stem cells in their teeth that could potentially save their lives in the future.
Stem cells are often used to treat diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain types of cancer. Many people diagnosed with these cells have to wait a long time to find a compatible bone marrow. However, if your child has one of these diseases and you are holding on to their baby teeth, the stem cells they contain can be used for treatment and your child will not have to wait for a donor.
The next time your child loses a tooth, don’t throw it in a box on your bedside table. Organizations like the Tooth Bank specialize in storing baby teeth properly and safely. If the teeth are not stored properly, the stem cells they contain may not be able to be harvested if the need ever arises. And it’s not just your child’s baby teeth that can be stored for future use. Any teeth that are extracted (including wisdom teeth) may be useful later. So talk to your child’s dentist about storing teeth if you plan to have them removed.
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