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What Is a Buccal Swab?

What Is a Buccal Swab?

At Dynamic DNA Labs, we offer DNA testing for anything from ancestry DNA research to personalized nutrition. Our in-house lab is always ready to help you find out more about what makes you who you are. One of the most common and simple ways to conduct DNA testing is with a buccal swab. What is a buccal swab? We’ll explain in today’s blog.

What Is a Buccal Swab?

A buccal swab is the technical term for what most people would know as a cheek swab DNA test. You might have seen it referred to as a cheek swab, buccal swab, or a buccal smear test, but they all refer to the same procedure. The way it works is that the swab collects cells from the inside of your cheek, which contain DNA information in the form of buccal epithelial cells. Buccal swabs are generally preferred by those looking for DNA testing because they’re much less invasive than a blood test.

Common Uses for Buccal Swabs

Buccal swabs are used in a wide variety of different DNA testing scenarios. Some of these include:

  • Forensic testing
  • Genealogical testing
  • Predictive testing for certain diseases and conditions
  • Carrier testing for certain diseases and conditions
  • Paternity testing

In some cases, more advanced testing like a blood or saliva test might be needed. For most DNA testing for ancestry or nutritional guidance, a buccal swab can provide all the necessary information.

How Effective Is a Swab vs a Blood Test?

Depending on the purpose of the DNA test, some cases might call for a blood sample rather than a cheek swab or saliva sample. A blood test is obviously more invasive since it involves a needle in order to take it. While you might assume that a blood test is more accurate, a cheek swab can actually be just as accurate as long as it’s carried out properly.

It’s also important to note that a saliva-based DNA test isn’t the same as a buccal swab. Although you’d be forgiven for assuming they do the same thing, the testing involved in a saliva sample is different from a buccal swab. If you’re doing a cheek swab test yourself, make sure you only swab your cheek and try to avoid getting saliva on it as much as possible.

Get Your Testing Kit from Dynamic DNA Today

Ready to find out more about your DNA? Whatever kind of DNA testing you’re looking for, Dynamic DNA Labs is here to help. We offer local, personal DNA research options so that you don’t have to rely on outsourced services. Take a look at what we can offer or contact Dynamic DNA Labs today.

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