Posted on: 6 June 2016
Chances are, when you got to the age that your baby teeth started falling out, you eagerly looked forward to each one leaving your mouth, as it heralded a visit from the Tooth Fairy with a shiny coin or two to add to your piggy bank. But it turns out that your teeth are worth a bit more than the Tooth Fairy is willing to pay – those teeth contain stem cells within their pulp, and saving them could end up restoring your health later in life. So if you're wondering if you should start saving your kids' baby teeth for a rainy day, then here's what you need to know.
Location, Location, Location
Stem cells are basically the starting form of any cell, which means that they can be turned into any kind of cell they need to be, from muscle tissue, to blood, to bone, and everything in between.
It used to be that the best place (and for a while, the only place) to harvest stem cells was from a human embryo; naturally, this approach caused a lot of controversy, which was finally put to rest when scientists discovered they could stimulate certain other cells in the body to make them revert back into stem cells. Some of these cells are found in your teeth, and the fact that your baby teeth are going to fall out anyway makes them the perfect source for stem cells you can save until you need them.
But why on earth would you need them? It turns out that's an easier question than you might think; if you're involved in an accident, develop a medical condition, or damage your body in another way somehow, doctors can take the cells that were in the pulp of your baby teeth, turn them into the kind of cell you need to repair that damage, and restore you to full health without risking your body rejecting the treatment – since the treatment is made out of the same cells that make up the rest of you. Treatments using these cells are already being performed, and have helped to heal everything from a foot damaged by diabetes to re-growing cartilage around at-risk joints such as the ones in your knees.
In order to ensure these stem cells are ready to go if and when you need them, you'll need to have them extracted and stored – and that process takes a bit of money. But if storing your child's baby teeth allows you the peace of mind in knowing they're protected against future damage to their health and body, it might just be worth it. Remember to talk to your child's dentist, such as Round Lake Dental Clinic, about this exciting new advancement, and ask their recommendation when it comes to extraction.Share