Are you one of the lucky few who kept their baby teeth when they fell out? Did you put them in a jar for keepsake? Or perhaps your parents put them somewhere safe after they swapped them with a coin from under your pillow.
Many of us, when we lose our baby teeth, think only about the tooth fairy, the tiny nymph who comes in the night and leaves us richer the next day. What we wouldn’t guess is that science has given us a new reason for keeping the teeth we first had when we were kids – and it has nothing to do with money or fairies. It has to do with our health in adult life.
Why Should We Keep Our Baby Teeth?
Doctors have now explained that there is a major benefit from holding on to your first round of teeth. Baby teeth have been proven to have a large amount of stem cells, and when teeth are stored correctly and restoratively from the time they fall out, the cells can be used to heal damaged tissue from the rest of your body at a later date! Doctors say that we can help with all kinds of ailments through the use of our little teeth, even to the point of aiding and saving our lives.
What does this mean?
The proper term for ‘baby teeth’ is deciduous teeth, and the period of time where these teeth are ‘lost’ from our bodies is a healthy and natural process for any child. Nearly all of us can recall the moments we wiggled and jiggled our front teeth until that last root broke free and we were leaving the tooth in a glass of water or under the pillow and waiting for our coin to appear in the morning.
But if we knew about the advantages of stem cell preservation would we think differently about where we put the teeth when they came free? Traditionally baby teeth are said to be good luck, so perhaps there was evidence of their benefits even from old cultures! Though modern medicine has proven their actual worth – and it’s through the storing of stem cells.
How Does It Work?
The teeth need to be preserved in a liquid nitrogen cryopreservation vault. If this happens the stem cells from the teeth can be kept for many years and can be used later in life to aid in reproducing tissue. The tissue can be grown from the stem cells in the baby teeth, and be used to aid ailments even for the bodies heart tissue or brain tissue. If the stem cells are not kept fresh within the liquid nitrogen they will lose their potency and life as do all things that are not preserved in the necessary way.
So it is important to store them properly and you can do this through certain companies that actually offer the tooth preservation process, such as the company Store-A-Tooth. If and when you choose to store your teeth, if later in life you feel you need the stem cells you can have the teeth (and cells) shipped to your doctor.
So as it were, many of the ancient cultures who considered baby teeth to be good luck actually had some truth to their ideas. Baby teeth, if stored properly and with care, could be the very thing that one day saves your life.
Featured photo credit: Pablo via pablo.buffer.com