Milk teeth contain life saving stem cells. Read on to learn more!
Baby’s first tooth! Seeing it popping out of the darling baby’s gum is such a joy for parents, and equally so when the first one falls off. The first tooth pops at around the six months, and that is the time when a visit to the dentist is due. Babies first set of teeth are called milk teeth, and in between the ages five to seven, the child’s milk teeth start to lose, making way for the permanent teeth to come.
Parents make the experience a joy for the kids by calling in a tooth fairy who ‘mysteriously’ takes away the tooth in exchange for a coin. Sweet isn’t it? But then again, where do those teeth end up in? You baby’s milk teeth might be an investment in his future wealth. Read below to understand why!
Dr. Songtao Shi, who is a pediatric dentist, discovered the stem cell properties of the milk teeth a decade ago. Stem cells have the potential to grow and replace bones and tissues that have incurred damage in the body. He made the discovery whilst working on the dental pulp of his daughter’s milk teeth.
The dental pulp in the milk teeth contains mesenchymal stem cells, which can be used to re-grow both bone and tissue in the body. Over 2000 studies have studied the properties of this particular stem cell and revolve around type 1 diabetes, heart attacks, corneal damage and even spinal cord injuries. Moreover, they also look into Parkinson’s, which is a neurological disease.
Storing the teeth of one’s child is a practice recommended by Dr. Richard Benninger. An assistant professor in bio-engineering and pediatrics at the University of Colorado Hospital, he believes it to be an investment in the future of the child’s health and well being.
Dr. Jesse Witkoff agrees with Dr. Benninger, believing it to be nice to have an option, especially when there is a possibility of having treatments for such diseases in the future.
Could it be compared to cord blood banking? Well, the price is about the same and it’s much easier to collect the milk teeth as they just fall off when the time comes, the cost is inclusive of stem cell extraction, followed by freezing and cryopreservation.
So, is it worth the cost? Well, it’s like insurance. While we don’t hope for the need to ever come, we do know that we are safe and covered when the need comes and the costs then it will be much lower.