Friday, March 4, 2016

Losing your teeth as a child is quite an experience.

You have to be told that it is alright, and that this is perfectly normal. You even are told that you will get money for your falling out teeth! Just put it under your pillow at night, and the tooth fairy will come and take it, replacing it with some money!
While this is a pretty exciting prospect, there is an even better way to benefit from a tooth falling out. Saving other people’s lives.
It turns out that stem cells such as the ones found in baby teeth, could indeed provide the means for saving future lives, due to their regeneration capabilities. They can help regenerate cells like themselves as well as neurons, bones, and cartilage for patients in need. Pretty amazing!
Individuals going through chemo today are benefiting from stem cells which are found in the blood of the umbilical cord. These cells which can save lives are also potentially found in baby teeth. If so, this is a major development.
While they do not have the technology yet to use stem cells found in baby teeth, some parents are saving them in hopes that indeed it may be developed by scientists at some point. And if you save your own stem cells, the chances of rejection are much less in the future. Donor stem cells run this risk of rejection.
But saving the teeth means storing them properly. And storing them comes with a major price. Unfortunately you can’t just pop these suckers in the freezer. You need to use a company which stores these professionally.
It’s a bit over a $1,000 for the initial storage, and then rent is about $100 a year after that. May seem like a lot, but the potential they could hold for the future can definitely be worth it.
The stem cells which they are using from the umbilical cord blood can treat up to 70 different diseases!
How about alligator teeth? Do they contain life-saving stem cells? Wouldn’t want to take the risk of finding out!
According to DR. Curt Cavin who is a professor at Johns Hopkins University and specializes in cancer research, he says that you might not want to bet all your marbles on this as it simply might never be used.
“The tooth cells may never be used,” he said when he was asked if parents should indeed store their child’s teeth.
He leans more towards the donation of umbilical cord blood as this is already proven and being used.
But with the great potential to save human life, it would seem one would not want to count out the baby teeth. While they can’t be used today, it could be that it is only a matter of time.
It comes down to affordability. If you can afford to have baby teeth stored then you may want to consider it. If not, don’t dwell on it, as it is not a sure thing anyway.
Check with your dentist and see what he or she says. The good news is that stem cells are providing much benefit and strong potential for future applications.