How Often Are X-rays Needed for Children’s Teeth?

You know that taking care of your children’s teeth is important, and that’s why you teach them about good dental hygiene and make sure that they have regular check-ups with their Brampton dentist. Some procedures though – such as dental x-rays – may make you as a parent a little nervous and you might wonder how often x-rays for your children’s teeth are really necessary.

How often should your child have a dental x-ray?

The answer is that it depends on the child. There should always be a reason for the X-ray as too much exposure to radiation can be harmful. But you also have to consider the benefits – such as catching dental problems when they are small before they become major issues.

The current guidance from professional bodies in the dental industry is that pre-school-age children who are higher risk and who have had cavities in their baby teeth should have dental x-rays every six to twelve months. Low risk children who have never had cavities in their baby teeth, however, should only have dental x-rays every 12 to 24 months.

Once a child starts to produce their permanent adult teeth, dental x-rays may be required more often. There should however always be a reason for the x-ray. Some common reasons for performing dental x-rays include pain, unexplained bleeding, obvious decay, impacted or migrating teeth, or simply because there are areas where the dentist cannot see that need to be monitored.

X-rays are an important tool for catching cavities early. If left too long, cavities may require root canal treatment or even extraction. A dental x-ray can help you avoid this for your child.

Keeping your child safe during dental x-rays

Dental x-rays for children are generally considered very safe. Your dentist in Brampton will use modern equipment that use only a small amount of radiation. Additionally, your child will be given a lead apron to wear which will further restrict the impact of any stray radiation.

Common types of dental x-rays

Depending on the needs of your child, your dentist in Brampton may use different types of dental x-rays to monitor their teeth.

Bitewing x-rays are used for areas of your child’s mouth that are not visible to the dentist by eyesight alone. This type of x-ray may be used when your child’s molars have erupted, and the dentist needs to examine the area where they make contact with the adjacent tooth (known as the interproximal area of the tooth). This is an area where cavities often begin.

Periapical x-rays allow your child’s dentist to examine one or more teeth and the surrounding structures including the root and supporting jawbone. Your dentist in Brampton may require this type of x-ray in order to check gum disease, excessive decay, abscesses or bone loss.

Panoramic x-rays produce pictures of the entire mouth however very young children may not be able to sit still long enough for this type of x-ray to be effective. Your dentist will likely wait until your child’s first molar erupts (typically around age 6) before recommending this type of x-ray.

Contact Dental Square today

Regular dental check-ups – including dental x-rays – are an essential part of monitoring and caring for your child’s dental health. To make an appointment with one of our dentists in Brampton, contact us today.

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