Parenting

Stem Cells in Baby Teeth Can Now Be Banked, Just Like Cord Blood!

When a child’s tooth falls out, many people adhere to the tradition of the Tooth Fairy. Until recently, a baby tooth was worth nothing more than a couple of bucks tucked under a six year old’s pillow. Not so much anymore. Now those very baby teeth can hold the key to a healthy future for your child.

Many parents already opt to bank a baby’s umbilical cord blood, since this blood contains stem cells that can be used to treat dozens of diseases that the child (or a sibling) might develop later in life. While banking cord blood has become popular, it is still relatively expensive. But now, banking baby teeth is a viable option, according to a recent article on TipHero!

Baby teeth contain stem cells inside the dental pulp of the tooth, stem cells that can regenerate into neurons, bone and cartilage, and some cardiac cells that can repair damaged heart tissue. In short, these stem cells can help to cure a myriad of diseases that children are susceptible to.

Where diseases like Hodgkin’s disease, leukemia, and multiple myeloma could once only be treated with painful bone marrow transplants (and similar invasive procedures), recent scientific developments now allow these illnesses to be treated using the child’s own stem cells – like the ones found in their teeth.

Now the Tooth Fairy can give more than just some pocket change. She can give some families a second chance at life:

Luckily, companies like Provia offer an alternate means through tooth storing. Provia bills its service—called “Store-A-Tooth”— for a fairly manageable fee. The catch? The tooth needs to be frozen and stored sooner [sic] 48 hours after it has fallen out, otherwise the cells in the dental pulp will die.

Who would pass up that opportunity?