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Are Dental X-Rays Safe for Kids?

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When we recommend that your child needs digital dental X-rays, you may be concerned about potential harmful effects to your child’s well-being. But not to worry! X-rays are completely safe for children. Here, we’ll explain how we use X-rays as a diagnostic tool and why they are safe.

What Are X-Rays?

In conjunction with our visual examination, we use dental X-rays to identify damage and disease in your child’s mouth. A dental X-ray even shows things we might not be able to detect with our eyes alone. There are a number of different types of X-rays. Depending on the circumstance, we could use:

  • Bitewing to closely examine the back teeth
  • Periapical to display an entire tooth from its crown to the root
  • Panoramic to get a overall picture of the entire mouth
  • Occlusal to view the entire arch of teeth and examine bite
  • Orthodontic to show the side of the mouth
  • Cone beam computerized tomography that provides a 3-D image

Why Would My Child Need an X-Ray?

Children often require more dental X-rays than adults because their teeth and jaw are still developing. Moreover, they are more susceptible to tooth decay. Some examples why we would recommend dental X-rays for your child include:

  • To confirm diagnosis of cavities
  • To see if familial dental anomalies are present
  • To examine previous endodontic treatments
  • To evaluate injuries to teeth post-trauma
  • To understand the cause of swelling in the mouth and jaw
  • To determine how many teeth your child has in their mouth and which teeth have not yet erupted
  • To diagnose periodontal disease or bone loss
  • To see if teeth are impacted (trapped in the gums) or malposed (growing in a faulty position)

Are X-Rays Safe for Children?

Radiation exposure from digital dental X-rays is at a very low level that makes the risk of harmful effects extremely minimal. The digital X-rays used today are also designed to focus solely on the area of interest to further limit your child’s entire body from radiation exposure. Moreover, lead aprons and thyroid collars are used for additional protection from the low levels of radiation.

Your Child’s Safety Is Our Priority!

If you have any further concerns about the safety of X-rays and how they can help us keep your child’s mouth healthy, be sure to speak with our expert team. To reduce your child’s risk for tooth decay and gum disease, teach them to practice superb oral hygiene and bring them in for biannual checkups and cleanings. Contact us today to schedule their next appointment at our Kerrville dental office!


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