Child Toothprints

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Some dentists are offering a new product hopefully patients never will have to use.

A bite-impression record called Toothprints is taking a place among fingerprinting, DNA records and photographs as a way for parents to protect their children. Jacksonville dentist Doctor Bruce Young is among the first in the area to offer the product. He says it's just an inexpensive way to document your child a little better. Toothprints is a small tray that fits in a child's mouth.

It is filled with a plastic that softens when heated. Patients bite into the plastic, leaving an impression of their teeth that hardens when the plastic cools. It's a way for parents to help authorities identify their children if they ever become lost or are abducted. Young hasn't imprinted any children yet, but he expects the service to catch on quickly once parents get wind of it.

Mike Etheridge, vice president of marketing for California-based Kerr Dental, which offers the product, says sales are brisk. Etheridge says Kerr has offered Toothprints nationally since February and already has sold more than one million units.