• A recent scientific study has discovered that baby teeth could possess an incredible secret power.
• According to scientists, baby teeth are a rich source of stem cells which, a biomaterial proven to have amazing healing effects.
• Stem cell therapy has proven controversial as it has been associated with the use of human embryos for medical treatment.
Losing a first tooth is something of a rite of passage for kids everywhere. It is a sign that you are growing up and getting bigger. For some people, especially those who spent some time in the US, this means a visit from the Tooth Fairy is due!
If you grew up to have kids of your own, maybe you did this yourself and slipped some money under your kids’ pillows to celebrate their growing up. Then the kids get to buy a little something for themselves, or like one little boy, pay it forward with a kind gesture.
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However, what do you do with the tooth if you give it away? Some people keep them for sentimental reasons, but many simply toss them away, what use are they after all?
Rather a lot, as it turns out.
According to Little Things, a study in 2003 discovered that baby teeth are a rich source of stem cells, which are like protocells that can be grown into multiple kinds of cells if needed.
That means that if a child needs replacement tissue for whatever reason (say due to suffering from a debilitating disease), the stem cells from their baby teeth can be used to grow the tissue required to cure them.
Potentially, the practice of storing baby teeth could save lives and treat a variety of ailments that are difficult or impossible to treat today.
So if you thought getting a visit from the tooth fairy for your tooth was cool, then getting the chance to grow any kind of tissue, from heart cells to brain cells, and repair damaged tissue is totally amazing!
However, there is one catch: the baby teeth have to be kept fresh. Stem cells degrade and lose their potency over time so keeping them in the right conditions is crucial.
Keeping them in something you might find around the house, like a regular everyday box, is just not good enough.
Instead, parents can use services like Store-A-Tooth to properly preserve their children’s teeth.
The teeth are placed in a liquid nitrogen cryopreservation vault, where the stem cells will remain intact and usable for years.
If later in life, the child (or adult at this point) needs their stem cells, the teeth are taken out of storage and shipped to their doctor.
It seems like all the cultures that had superstitions about the power of baby teeth were actually onto something!
Using stem cells to treat a variety of medical conditions including paralysis has been commonplace for over a decade however it has proven controversial.
In some cases, the stem cells have been gathered by destroying the blastocysts’ of human embryos, which religious groups consider a violation of the sanctity of life.
In particular, the Catholic Church has taken a firm stance against the use of human embryos in any sort of medical treatment.