Here we have tried to answer the most common and frequently asked questions that we get from our clients. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, feel free to leave us a comment or email us at [email protected]. We’re here to help you answer some of life’s most important questions.
WHY DO WE USE BUCCAL (ORAL) SWABS?
Buccal swab samples are sample collected by swabbing inside the mouth. It is a quick and painless way to collect cells containing DNA from an individual. It is also non-invasive, meaning we do not go through the hassle of drawing blood by pin-prick or needle and syringe.
Red blood cells do not contain any DNA because they do not have a nucleus. The DNA used from blood samples comes from other cells that contain DNA, mostly the white blood cells. This adds additional steps in the laboratory to process the blood samples to extract these cells. With buccal swab samples, the DNA extraction process is much quicker, making work in the laboratory more precise.
When we swab the inside of your mouth, we are collecting epithelial cells from the inner cheeks and lips. The cells in this area of the body are easily dislodged by simply rubbing a cotton tip against the skin inside the mouth.
We are not collecting saliva, although saliva does contain some epithelial cells. To prepare the samples for testing, storage and transport, the buccal swabs must be dry. If not, mold grows quickly and destroys the DNA used in testing. So we do not want to collect too much saliva when swabbing.
If you would like to provide samples other than buccal swabs, kindly click here to view more information on unusual samples.