Doctors are urging parents everywhere to keep their kids baby teeth, and no it's not for sentimental reasons. A new study has shown that baby teeth are a rich source of stem cells, which are like protocells and can be grown into multiple kinds of cells if needed.
That means that if later in life, a child needs replacement tissues for whatever reason, the stem cells from their baby teeth can be used to grow the needed tissue.
Pretty cool, right?
Potentially the practice of storing baby teeth, which once seemed pretty creepy when you would happen upon them in your mother's jewelry box, could save lives and treat a variety of ailments.
But there's a catch, you need to keep those baby teeth fresh! So keeping them in a box won't cut it. There are services, such a Store-a-tooth that place the teeth in a liquid nitrogen cryopreservation vault where the stem cells will remain useable for years.
With baby teeth being so valuable, no wonder the tooth fairy is willing to shell out cash for them!
Although research shows that stem cells can be harvested from baby teeth and have potential dental and medical uses in repairing and regenerating tissues, they are not yet sure to what degree or when potential uses will come to pass.