Doctors Tell Parents To Save Their Children's Baby Teeth - Here's Why

New research has become available that allows doctors to harvest stem cells from baby teeth. Some argue that the stem cells have a lot of potential for medical uses in the child's future. Others argue that it's more likely a waste of money.

You may have noticed a Facebook claim that "Doctors are urging parents to keep their kids' baby teeth." The fact is, the technology is available, but not a lot of doctors are actually urging parents to use it.

The claim is that stem cells can be used for amazing medical technologies, such as regenerating tissue or treating blood-based diseases. By having your child's stem cells extracted from baby teeth and stored, it could potentially save your child's life if a medical emergency comes up in his or her future.

Not so fast, however, says some scientists. Stem cells in baby teeth are actually different from other stem cells. According to Snopes.com, the only thing researchers know right now is that tooth stem cells can be used for making dentin or possibly, sometime in the future, bone. There's no research at this point that baby teeth stem cells will ever be useful in treating diseases, organs or tissue damage.

If teeth actually had major potential for curing diseases like cancer, sclerosis or blood disorders, then oral surgeons would be asking people to donate their extracted wisdom teeth.

One thing parents might want to consider is the cost of extraction. To have your child's baby teeth stem cells extracted and stored for later use can amount to thousands of dollars over the years. Weigh the potential costs with the potential benefits, and you might find it’s just not worth it.

Source: Life Aspire
Photo: Flickr/Amber Strocel

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