Losing your first baby tooth is both scary and thrilling at the same time. I remember how excited I felt, even though I cried a little when I saw blood dripping out of my mouth.
Later that day, I put the tooth in an envelope and tucked it under my pillow for the tooth fairy.
I tried my best to stay awake to catch a glimpse of this strange, exciting creature, but, of course, she didn't arrive until after I had fallen asleep.
In the morning, a fresh five dollar bill had replaced my tooth. I was over the moon and didn't even stop to think for a second about where my tooth had gone.
But recently I learned something incredible about baby teeth and asked my mom what she ever did to them. She said she saved them for a while, but that they disappeared a few years later when we moved. Now, it turns out, baby teeth are more useful than you ever would've guessed.
A 2003 study concludes that the stem cells found in baby teeth could be a life saver if a child ever became seriously ill later in life. That's because those tiny teeth could be used to grow new tissue that would be the perfect match for the patient.
The initial study was conducted at the National Institute of Health in Maryland, where researchers managed to produce bone, fat, and nerve cells, writes The Express.
Potentially, the stem cells in your child's baby teeth could be the difference between life and death.
But unfortunately, it's not as simple as just putting teeth in a jar and picking them up when they're needed.
The teeth must be kept "fresh." Otherwise, doctors won't be able to harvest the stem cells inside.
These days, some countries have tooth banks where parents deposit their children's baby teeth for possible use in the future.
Of course, nobody wants to see their child get sick. But if they did, their baby teeth could be a kind of life insurance.
The subject is still being researched, but places like the National Dental Laboratory are already preparing for the future. And hopefully, this will become a useful alternative in the future.
It's amazing how much is happening in the world of medicine right now. What was impossible just a few years ago is now taken as a given!
There's still a lot work to be done in the world of medicine, but I'm glad we've come so far.
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