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The life-saving reason to save baby teeth
Saving the baby teeth of your child could potentially lead to a life saving cure in the future. Find out what parents are doing to secure their future.
For the past 20 years, parents have been paying thousands of dollars to bank the blood stem cells of a newborn’s cord as a way to potentially treat diseases that may occur when a child gets older. It can also be used to treat a close family member with serious illnesses.
They are hardly used, but are kept in case of any emergencies. There will now be another option for families to arrange for such a request.
10 years ago, a doctor had discovered that baby teeth contain stem cells that are similar to that of the ones found in cord blood, and they could also potentially cure diseases or grow replacement tissues and bones in the body. It has taken researchers years to find out how exactly these stem cells can be used.
A cure for Type 1 diabetes (formerly known as juvenile diabetes) may be found, as this disease affects more than 1.25 million Americans, though statistics show that there are an additional 8.1 million that are undiagnosed.
While scientists are continuing their research in hopes of finding the potential use for these stem cells found in baby teeth, storage facilities have opened to store these samples, and laboratories have created kits to help parents to preserve their children’s baby teeth the moment they fall out.
9-year-old Alex Hess from Lakewood, Colorado had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 4. As his parents had missed the opportunity to bank cord blood, their research team introduced them to a company called Store-A-Tooth, which partners with dentists to overnight temperature-controlled kits back to their labs to extract the stem cells, freeze them and cryopreserve them.
The cost for these services do not come cheap, as they start from USD$849 to USD$1,749, and have annual fees of USD$120. Some parents bank in anyway, as they would like to have that option when the time comes.
Alex’s father, John Hess, tells reporters, “When they do get the cure, you certainly want to be able to partake in that”.
News Source: Yahoo! Parenting