Losing a first tooth is something of a rite of passage for kids everywhere. It’s a sign that you’re growing up and getting bigger. And if you’re like a lot of people, it also meant a little cash under your pillow in the morning from the “tooth fairy.”
And if you grew up to have kids of your own, maybe you remember taking on the time-honored role of tooth fairy and slipping some money under your kids’ pillows to celebrate this new stage in their lives. And the kids get to buy a little something for themselves, or like one little boy, pay it forward with a kind gesture.
But what do you do with the tooth after you swap it out for a dollar? Some people keep them as sentimental keepsakes, but many simply toss them. After all, what can a shed baby tooth really do for you?
Well, as it turns out, quite a bit.
A study in 2003 showed that baby teeth are a rich source of stem cells, which are like protocells that can be grown into multiple kinds of cells if needed.
That means that if later in life, a child needs replacement tissue for whatever reason, the stem cells from their baby teeth can be used to grow the needed tissue. Pretty amazing!
Potentially, the practice of storing baby teeth could save lives and treat a variety of ailments. Read on to learn more about this amazing process.