The tradition of letting baby teeth fall out naturally—and keeping them for the tooth fairy—may become a thing of the past, as the teeth are increasingly used as a source of something far more valuable than pocket change: stem cells. Though stem cell therapies are still in the early stages of development, some families are having their children's baby teeth extracted and saved in anticipation of treatments that could be around by the time the child reaches adulthood, the Miami Herald reports.
"I believe in this,'' says one mother. "I did it as a precaution against things that could happen in the future.'' Companies like Florida's StemSave are popping up to process and store the stem cells from four otherwise healthy teeth—for $590 upfront and $100 a year after that for storage.