John Lennon helps fight oral cancer, gives fans reasons to smile

Fans who would have done anything to get close John Lennon may finally have the chance. In the name of raising awareness about oral cancer, part of the tooth of the Beatles founder is going on tour of dental practices in the U.K., according to news reports.

The tooth, which is encased in a silver pendant and hung on a chain, will visit 16 dental practices to shine a light on National Mouth Cancer Month. Approximately 8,300 people in the U.K. are diagnosed with oral cancer every year. That number is about 50% higher than it was a decade ago and 135% higher than it was 20 years ago, U.K. officials reported.

When people visit participating dental practices, they will get chances to wear the necklace and have their photos taken. The tour also includes free oral screenings, promotions, and fundraising events at every practice.

After extracting the tooth at his home in the 1960s, Lennon gave it to his housekeeper, Dot Jarlett, who worked at his Kenwood mansion in Weybridge, Surrey. He gave it to her because Jarlett's daughter was a big fan.

Michael Zuk, DDS, purchased the tooth for $31,000 in the 2011. The dentist had a Beverly Hills, CA, jeweler create the pendant necklace using a piece of the singer's tooth. The necklace's estimated worth is about $25,000.

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