Dr. Jim Fulmer urges parents with little ones, who are at that age where they begin losing their baby teeth, to save them after they retrieve them from under their child’s pillow. According to Dr. Fulmer, baby teeth are worth saving.
“Those baby teeth could have great value later in life,” he stated. “They are a rich source of stem cells which can be used to grow replacement tissue if your child needs it for any reason.” These stem cells have been to shown to regenerate neurons, cartilage, bones and even some cardiac cells, which can be valuable in repairing damaged heart tissue. They have also been shown to be effective in treating Type I diabetes. This is effective because the stem cells recovered from baby teeth can be turned into pancreatic cells which can produce insulin.
“There is a time element in preserving the value of the tooth,” Dr. Fulmer said. “You need to get it to a company like Store-A-Tooth, within 48 hours if possible, to properly preserve it.” Store-A-Tooth provides a “Tooth Fairy Certificate” with every tooth, documenting receipt for your child.
Stem cells derived from baby teeth are easily accessible and can provide a minimally invasive, non-controversial way to obtain and store these calls for future use. Having one’s own stem cells available helps patients avoid immune reactions or transplant rejections. It also minimizes the potential for contracting disease from the cells of other donors.
Because the teeth are stored in a cryopreservation vault containing liquid nitrogen, the cells usually remain intact and usable for many years. Properly banked cells can be stored indefinitely. Human cells have been safely stored and used for 50 years.
“There is evidence that the younger the patient or the tooth, the more potent it is for stem cell harvesting,” Dr. Fulmer said. So it is important that you work with your dentist to move quickly to get the tooth into storage.
“Your child losing their baby teeth is just one of those special things that show your child is growing up,” Dr. Fulmer said. “You can take this opportunity to preserve the tooth and make the loss of the tooth a promising tool for the future. We’ll be happy to help.”
Make an appointment today with Fulmer Dentistry to have your child’s teeth checked.