Tooth Fairy for Autism Study

There are a plethora of autism research studies out there but I can honestly say that this is the first time I’ve seen a study requesting baby teeth but that is exactly what the Tooth Fairy for Autism Study is doing. I’m particularly fond of my children’s teeth so I won’t be participating but this may be of interest to others and so I’m sharing the information with you. Please feel free to share it with friends, families and support groups.

Name of Study: Tooth Fairy for Autism
Institution: The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Depart. of Family and Community Medicine
Location: Mail-based study; no geographic limitation within the United States
Eligibility Criteria: Mothers in possession of a “baby” tooth from their child of any age with a current diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
Principal Investigator: Raymond Palmer, PhD
Contact Information: Lynne Heilbrun, Autism Research Coordinator, (210)-562-6550

Our research group is using baby teeth from typically developing children, children with ASD, and their siblings to determine information about environmental exposures both before and right after birth. This research may provide a basis for determining which exposures need to be avoided to decrease the risk for autism, and may lead to preventive and therapeutic interventions.

We would like to have the following:

  • a baby tooth from one or more ASD-affected individuals (required)
  • a baby tooth (teeth) from friends’ or colleagues’ typically developing children–these mothers’ children must not have any developmental, behavioral, or medical problems and the teeth can be from the same or different mothers (optional)
  • a pregnancy questionnaire from the mother about each individual for whom there is a baby tooth (required)
  • a baby tooth from an unaffected full-biological sibling of an ASD-affected individual – if any (optional)

We will send $5 total for the tooth (teeth) donation per child and $5 for each accompanying pregnancy questionnaire—up to $20 per family ($30 if you have twins and a sibling, triplets, or 2 children w/autism and a non-affected sibling). We anticipate each pregnancy questionnaire will take 20-30 minutes to complete.

If you are interested in participating, please email the following to the research coordinator, Lynne Heilbrun, at

  • Your name
  • Your mailing address
  • How many affected individuals have a baby tooth?
  • How many typically developing children (from friends or colleagues) have a baby tooth?
  • Whether there is a full biological unaffected sibling with a baby tooth?

We will send you a packet with instructions, plus a consent, a tooth envelope, and a pregnancy questionnaire for each participating individual. We will also enclose an addressed, pre-stamped envelope to return each packet. Please remember to sign and return the enclosed voucher so that we may send you a check as a thank you for your participation.

Homepage thumbnail photo: Clover_1/Flickr

About Melissa

Melissa is the mother of two children on the autism spectrum and strives to provide information about all aspects of autism through her blog, The Autism Education Site. Follow Melissa on Twitter. Like me on Facebook.

© Melissa Hincha-Ownby and The Autism Education Site, 2008-2014.