6 Undeniable Reasons To Bank Your Child’s Tooth Cells
I remember one birthday in particular as a kid when I opened yet another present from my eccentric godmother.
The midwife who helped deliver me into the world, Janet was always known for her bizarre and aspirational gifts.
And this time was no exception: a brilliant red ceramic pot about 20cm high with nothing more than a slight rectangular opening in its front.
It didn’t take me long to realise it was some sort of piggy bank, but with no way of getting the money out I was well and utterly perplexed as to how I was going to use it.
“Great, thank you”, I said as I placed it aside, hoping the next wrapped up mystery would be a set of Lego.
“It’s a Terramundi money box. Once you place the first coin inside, you need to feed it more until it’s full to the brim. Only then can it be opened by making a wish and cracking it open”.
Intrigued by the impending destruction of this strange artefact, I saved every gold and silver coin I laid my hands on until the day came when it would take no more.
The sweetness of that day, finding the biggest hammer I could in my Dad’s toolbox and smashing the pot to reveal months and months of savings, has long stuck with me.
Before then, I was never much of a saver. If I was ever given any money, I struggled to see beyond the next five minutes in which I could run to the corner store and buy a pick ‘n’ mix.
I’ve worked hard to develop a longer-term outlook. The future is as much a part of our lives as is the present day and so it pays to be prepared when it comes around.
And when it does, I want the feeling I had when I finally broke open that money pot. I knew right then that with a little bit of planning ahead comes hope and security of knowing that everything is going to be okay.
As far as I’m concerned, there’s no better way to achieve that feeling today than with stem cell banking. It provides something which even the largest piggy bank or ISA account can’t: the potential to treat and cure debilitating disease and illnesses and even reverse damage and injury.
This little cell pot may sit on the shelf for a long time (The 2007 Harris Review predicts the chance of using your own cells is as high as 1 in 3), yet when the day comes, there’ll be no greater delight than smashing it in two and reaping the lifesaving rewards within.
You may have already heard a lot about the promise of stem cell therapy but you might be on the fence as to whether you should bank tooth cells. Here are six of the top reasons why banking cells from your child’s baby teeth may be the best decision you can make, towards protecting their future health.
1. No Need To Wait Or Risk Donor Cells
You’re told you’re a candidate for stem cell therapy; now comes the indefinite wait of finding a match.
There may be the option of extracting your own cells for use in treatment, but this is only if the disease doesn’t affect your cells and would even then require an invasive and costly medical procedure.
Your child’s own cells are their only perfect cell match. Having them on demand means no waiting in vain for donors, no risk of complications such as GVHD, and no unexpected bills racking up to thousands of pounds.
No searching. No rejection. And no astronomical medical fees.
2. Get Them While They’re Young
You may think “If I’m not sure we’ll need the cells for treatment, why not just wait until the time and have them extracted then?” It’s a valid point, yet it misses one crucial piece of information: stem cells are much better when they are younger.
From the moment we leave the womb, our cells are deteriorating. The chemical processes associated with pollution and ageing cause them to wear down and mean they’ll never be as effective as they are today.
Harvesting the cells in a younger and more functional state is a major advantage in ensuring a successful treatment.
3. Every Child Looses Their Baby Teeth
Every child loses their baby teeth, presenting a natural and non-invasive opportunity to store their hidden cells should they need to be used for future injuries or ailments.
You may throw them away or already store them as mementoes; banking just one of them for their stem cells acts as a highly rewarding alternative which could pay off more than the tooth fairy ever could.
4. Cord Blood Stem Cell Banking Comes With Risks
Banking stem cells from cord blood has become incredibly popular over the past 20 years. But emerging research is building concern over its harmful impact on a baby’s early development.
Leading medical experts, mother-and-baby non-profit organisations, and campaign groups alike are all advocating for “delayed cord cutting” — a practice in which the umbilical cord is left to pulsate and deliver precious blood and stem cells back to the baby long after birth. Among being crucial in supplying the baby with oxygenated blood and a healthy level of iron, many believe it could be the solution to avoiding the myriad of developmental issues we are seeing in children today.
5. The Exponential Growth Of Stem Cell Therapy
For decades stem cell therapy has held much promise, yet no one could of expected it to yield the success it has.
Results from clinical trials and studies are showing therapies may not only stop uncurable diseases in their tracks but could reverse them, as in the case of the recent MS breakthrough. People around the world are gaining relief every day from injuries affecting parts of the body including the knees, back, spine, and even organs.
The Obama and the NHS initiatives, along with huge investments from commercial organisations, are driving personalised medicine and stem cell therapy into the mainstream. Hope to cure the biggest health problems of our age — cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease — is being turned into hard evidence. And so, it’s a given that more and more stem cell-based therapies and treatments will become available in our hospitals over the next five-ten years. Those who will benefit most, however, will have their stem cells ready and waiting.
6. Greater Quality Of Life
Aside from the grand promises of stem cells, less talked about is their modest ability to increase our quality of life.
Many of life’s problems arise due to the problem of getting old. Ageing is, of course, inevitable, yet how we deal with it is not. Due to their powerful properties which enable them to develop into any other cell in the body, stem cells can be used to regenerate tissue and restore damaged organs. What that looks like today is unregulated treatments to rid patients of aches and pains and revitalise tired skin, yet in the near future, it will be an industry dedicated to helping us maintain a long and healthy life.