Leaving lost baby teeth under the pillow is a common practice but what should be their real fate afterwards? Many parents are faced with this dilemma. Is it better to preserve them or should they simply throw them away?
According to results from DentaVox survey “Milk Teeth: What To Do With Them?”, conducted among 330 respondents globally, a growing number of adults consider it’s best to store baby teeth in some way. However, the majority of respondents don’t have their own milk teeth kept by their parents.
Family traditions are the most common reason cited by those in favor of preserving lost milk teeth. In contrast, the proponents of tossing teeth away are guided mostly by practical or hygienic considerations.
72% of adults don’t have their own baby teeth preserved
For the majority of respondents, milk teeth are lost forever but 55% of them admit they wish they had them stored. These results indicate that keeping baby teeth might not have been a very popular thing to do in the past. However, attitudes seem to be changing in its favor.
59% of participants support the saving of fallen milk teeth
For the majority of respondents, it is worth it to preserve a child’s fallen teeth. However, opinions vary significantly when it comes to the ways to do that and the future uses. The sentimental approach of leaving teeth as “keepsakes” in the house is still more common. Yet, it seems to be losing ground to more practical use cases, e.g. to preserve them in stem cell banks.
23% of participants find throwing away to be a more appropriate way to deal with milk teeth. While some recommend tossing them in the garbage, others think they should be disposed of according to a ritual or buried.
24% of respondents favor storing milk teeth for stem cells
Almost a quarter of participants support the idea to store baby teeth in banks for the use of stem cells in the future. Its growing popularity is not surprising given the promising medical applications. Although still an area of research, potentially stem cells extracted from milk teeth might someday be used to regrow tissues in injured teeth or even to treat life-threatening systemic diseases.
Diverse factors determine the fate of milk teeth
Despite the promise of medical research, the family remains the most popular factor in deciding to keep baby teeth. Traditions and children’s happiness seem to be the most important aspects. In contrast, people who are in favor of throwing lost baby teeth away are mostly guided by practical or hygiene-related concerns. In light of these findings, it seems throwing teeth away is more of a rational choice. And, opinions may change with more evidence and easier access to using tooth stem cells in the future.