Your pediatric dentist will use X-rays to help diagnose damage and disease and accurately assess your child’s dental health. A dental x-ray can diagnose the early stages of decay between teeth and monitor your child’s growth and development. Having dental x-rays done for your child will help your pediatric dentist treat your child’s dental needs earlier.
How Often Should My Child Get a Dental X-Ray?
Every child’s dental needs are unique to their health history. Your pediatric dentist will help you determine the frequency of dental x-rays based on a review of their unique health history. In general, children will need X-rays more often than adults due to their growth and rapid change.
The enamel on your baby’s teeth is also thinner than adult teeth, and if decay is present, it will spread more rapidly than in permanent teeth. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends X-rays for children with a high risk of tooth decay routinely or every six months.
What Are the Different Types of X-Rays?
Bitewing x-rays are the most typical X-rays used to monitor growth and development and are typically taken more routinely. Bitewings will show the upper and lower teeth in one image, on each side of the mouth. These X-rays help detect early decay and allow your dentist to see between the teeth.
A periapical X-ray shows the entire tooth, in a specific area, from the crown to the end of the root. These X-rays will show the permanent teeth before erupting through the gums and check the bone structure for gum disease or an abscess.
Panoramic X-rays will show the entire set of teeth, both top, and bottom, from front to back, all in one photo. Panoramic X-rays can also display the jaw joints and the top of the sinuses. These images can help detect positions of un-erupted teeth and can help plan orthodontic treatment and evaluate growth and development.
Are Dental X-Rays Safe?
At Jenkins Dentistry for Kids, your child’s safety is our top priority. Advancements in digital radiography allow us to decrease radiation exposure by 80-90% compared to traditional film X-rays. Along with reduced radiation exposure, our team safeguards your child with additional safety protocols, including lead body aprons, to further reduce your child’s exposure.
We recommend your child is seen by a pediatric dentist every six months or bi-annually, starting by their first birthday. At your visit, your dentist will take a look at your child’s health history and assess the need for dental x-rays, as well as answer any questions you have.
Ready to schedule your child’s regular cleaning and checkup? Request an appointment today!