Losing your baby teeth is probably one of the most memorable milestones you experience as a child.
It marks the beginning of a new stage of life, but for many of us we were only concerned about our baby teeth because they were valuable commodity that brought us a tiny fortune courtesy of the Tooth Fairy.
Some parents keep the teeth as a keepsake but they eventually gets buried at the bottom of a storage box, never to be seen again. But more recently doctors have been frowning upon this.
If you have children, then you should think twice before you throw away or misplace their baby teeth. In some medical cases, they could be the difference between life and death.
According to a recent study, baby teeth contains stem cells that can be used to potentially grow tissue and cure certain life-threatening diseases.
For parents who missed the chance to save their baby's cord blood, safeguarding their children's baby teeth is an option.
"Cord blood is great, but if you can get them from baby teeth so much the better because you don't have to bank them at the day you are born. You can actually wait until the teeth grow out," Dr. Michael Schmidt told WCIV.
The best way to ensure the stem cells are still viable is to have a dentist extract the tooth. The cells are then "frozen in a mixture of liquid nitrogen and other preserving chemicals" and stores in a lab until it needs to be used.
"It may not seem like a big deal losing a baby tooth but if you need a regenerative tissue procedure way down the road for an organ replacement or some type of surgery it could literally make the difference in a person's life," said Landon Sears, a dental student at the Medical University of South Carolina.
There is still more research to be done but if you're wondering if it is worth the effort, Sears said you should look at it as a form of health insurance.
"I think you look at it like an investment or as insurance on your own health or your children's health knowing one day it will be available," Sears said. "I would say why not?"
Will you be keeping your child's baby teeth? Let us know!
[Header image: Oral Answers]