Plenty of parents try to hang on to their children’s baby teeth for as long as they can. And now, scientists say they may be on to something.
In the last 20 years or so, parents have been paying thousands of dollars just to bank their newborn children’s cord blood, hoping the stem cells could come in handy should their child or another close relative fall victim to a serious illness in the future.
As The Bump puts it, saving cord blood for its life-saving potential is more of an insurance policy than anything else—an expensive one at that.
In the last decade, however, many scientists and medical experts have discovered that baby teeth actually contain very similar stem cells to cord blood.
These tiny teeth may have the power to help cure life-threatening diseases or replace tissue and bones in the body, according to The Bump.
“We don’t have treatment for certain things today, but that doesn’t mean we won’t have them tomorrow,” pediatric dentist Dr. Jesse Witkoff told CBS 4 Denver.
Many researchers believe the stem cells found in baby teeth may hold the key to finding a cure for Type 1 diabetes.
Thanks to the surge of research on stem cells and baby teeth, a number of storage facilities have opened up to house these small samples.
Parents can also pick up kits to store their children’s baby teeth as they fall out, preserving them for the future.