Last time, we spoke about the history of the tooth fairy and some variations of her story. There is much to think about when your child loses their first tooth.
However, many parents may get to that point and ask about what to do next. After all, baby teeth are supposed to fall as the child grows. Still, because parenting never came with an instructions manual, you may wonder what to do with the baby teeth now.
Many will just get rid of the teeth, thinking it’s just too creepy to save them. But while some throw away the baby teeth, others like to keep them for sentimental or scientific reasons.
You may be on either side of the fence, but regardless of what you end up doing with your baby’s teeth, there are some recommendations you should follow.
We are going to play devil’s advocate here and recommend you keep your baby’s teeth. There is much you can do with them, and we will touch on the subject of their use in innovative medical treatment.
Let’s check what some people do with these primary teeth and what options are available to people hoping to keep them.
What Some Do With Baby Teeth
It’s very interesting, but this Dentavox Infographic shows some of the preferences on what to do with baby teeth. Once children’s teeth are taken away by the Tooth Fairy (and totally not their parents), the question is about what to do with them.
Even if nearly 3 in every 4 adults don’t have their primary teeth stored anywhere, over half of those surveyed stated they would like to save their children’s teeth.
Maybe it’s due to a feeling of regret; after all, the number of people saying they regretted not saving their teeth was nearly in the same proportion as those who claim they would like to save their kid’s.
That has to say something about our upbringing, right? We’ll leave that to the investigators in the appropriate field.
Some of the most popular reasons why adults decided to save their children’s baby teeth included:
- Following family traditions (even if it seems weird to you, some of those traditions are very nice)
- Trying to make the children happy (even some kids ask to save their primary teeth)
- They saw it as the most practical solution (we are not exactly sure as to what was the original problem, but we’ll take the help we get.)
From the minority stating they would throw away the teeth, some also claimed this meant following family tradition, following some type of ritual. A few individuals also mentioned they chose to bury them as the preferred disposal method.
The Traditions to Dispose of Teeth
In some places, like Turkey, parents would bury their children’s primary teeth to encourage the development of certain attributes.
Parents hoping their kids would become professional soccer players buried the teeth under a soccer field. Others wishing a scholar’s life for their child would bury the teeth in the garden of a library or school.
Medieval Europe was characterized by parents tossing the fallen baby teeth to the fire. They did this in an attempt to free their children from any manipulation by evil witches. We’re sure we can all appreciate the sentiment behind getting rid of those teeth.
Some Asian nations have traditions where people throw their teeth away to encourage the healthy growth of permanent teeth.
Children toss their lower jaw teeth to their house’s rooftops to encourage their new teeth to grow upward. In the case of upper jaw teeth, the kids would throw them to the ground and bury them deep underground by a big tree to make the new teeth grow downward.
Other cultures would also bury teeth so the new ones could grow as healthy as a big tree. Others wrapped them in meat and fed them to dogs so children would get new teeth as strong as those of dogs.
We would not mess with those traditions, but we would ask parents not to feed baby teeth to their dogs, though you might want to consult with a professional veterinarian on that.
As pediatric dentists, we recognize the sentimental value of your kid’s primary teeth, so how about we review what you can do to keep them and even how you can use them to care for your child’s health.
How to Preserve Baby Teeth?
We will touch on several projects you can complete when you decide to keep your baby’s teeth. But before you choose what to do with them, you must know that there are a few basics to storing and preserving teeth.
You must clean them thoroughly for sanitation purposes. Dry them well, as any moisture can lead to mold. Remember:
- Clean the tooth. Preferably, use plenty of water and soap to wash the baby’s teeth. Remove any food debris and rinse the tooth.
- Disinfect. You can use rubbing alcohol to disinfect the surface of the tooth properly.
- Dry. Like we mentioned, we want to avoid any mold or bacteria. You can airdry the tooth, use a towel, or any other absorbing cloth that is clean.
Now we can talk a little more about what you can do with the teeth your baby lost.
What to Do With the Baby Teeth You Kept?
If we are going to be honest, it is much better to have a dedicated place to keep your child’s teeth. Some keepsake boxes come in the shape of a chest to match the treasure you’re safekeeping. You can always repurpose something like a ring box if you keep only one tooth, but we wanted to give you all the options.
You could also find some online marketplaces that sell keepsake boxes specially designed to hold teeth with spots for every tooth your baby loses. You may want to visit some of these sellers, like Etsy, and explore different designs until you find one you like to safely put away your baby’s teeth.
Do you already have a baby book where you mark your baby’s achievements? Try using it to store your baby’s teeth too! A baby’s teething is a beautiful time for any parent, and marking this moment on their baby book may well be worth it.
Maybe you just want to keep the first baby teeth they lost. Try to attach an envelope to one of the pages in their book and use it to hold the baby’s tooth.
Keeping the first tooth your baby lost is a sentimental memory of this milestone moment. It’s an excellent middle ground between not having any mementos of the occasion and saving every tooth.
Yes, this is a thing, and no, it’s not creepy. We like to think of it as a very sensible souvenir of your baby’s growth. Some sellers and artisans offer jewelry molded from the shape of your child’s tooth, and even some provide jewelry designs that incorporate the actual teeth as charms.
You can get pendants or necklaces; the baby teeth can be covered in some material to preserve them better or to dazzle them up. You can even find rings that incorporate teeth in their design. As a slightly bizarre side note, you can also legally sell baby teeth on Etsy, and most sellers charge about $5 per tooth.
Once your child gets into later elementary school and middle school, the science fairs start coming. If you still have their baby teeth, your child can do fun projects with them, like testing the effects of different liquids on teeth!
This project gets bonus points for encouraging them to brush more after drinking sugary, acidic drinks. So encourage your child’s scientific side and let them know about using their well-preserved baby teeth for awesome experiments that can help their schoolmates appreciate dental hygiene even more.
And while we are touching on the topic of science:
How to Save Baby Teeth for Stem Cells at Home
Stem Cell treatment may help solve certain systemic diseases. This treatment is still relatively new to the healthcare ecosystem, making it costly, but it has helped many overcome serious health complications.
Harvesting stem cells from adults is painful because it requires doing so from bone marrow, but recent studies have proven that the scientific community can also harvest stem cells from teeth. Another study highlights the usefulness of teeth-harvested stem cells.
Even though you may try to preserve the teeth at home, you should entrust a qualified team to harvest and preserve the stem cells from the baby teeth you kept. Make sure you talk to your dentist about this so you can plan and be ready to send the teeth as soon as they fall out.
Do you keep your child’s baby teeth? Let our pediatric dentist in Katy know in the comments down below!
What to do with baby teeth?
Some people discard baby teeth, others hold on to them. For those of you who are thinking of keeping your child’s baby teeth after they have fallen off, you can clean them well and put them in keepsake boxes, turn them into jewelry pieces, or save them for your child’s future science projects.
What to do with tooth fairy teeth?
If you decided to keep your child’s baby teeth after they fell off, you can do a lot with them. Try saving them for a future science project to show how different drinks can affect them in the long term.
What to do with baby teeth after they fall out?
Many parents like saving baby teeth as a reminder of those first years with their child. Some parents like preserving them in a keepsake box, and even others like integrating them into pieces of jewelry like collars.
How to preserve baby teeth?
The first step in keeping your child’s baby teeth is cleaning them thoroughly. You can start by cleaning them with soap and water, but also remember to swab them with alcohol to completely disinfect them. Dry them well and keep them away.
How long can you keep baby teeth?
Baby teeth won’t deteriorate much if you keep them away. Of course, there are other means to preserve teeth depending on the use you have for them. Some parents may want to keep them for stem cells in case of the need for some medical treatments, but this requires other specialized resources.