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At What Age Should a Child Get Their First Dental X-Ray?

May 23, 2024

Early dental care is important to start children off on a path towards good dental health for life. Education and tooth decay prevention are the main focuses of dental care during the infancy and toddler years. The habits children build during this time will be the foundation for their dental health through their childhood and into adulthood, so it’s vital for them to learn the right way to care for their emerging teeth and the soft tissues in their mouth. One great way to see exactly what dental needs a child has is via dental x-rays (i.e. radiographs).

What are Dental X-Rays?

Dental x-rays, also known as radiographs, are images of the teeth and bone structure of the mouth that are made using high-energy electromagnetic radiation. Just like a photograph, x-rays can be developed on physical film or displayed digitally. Digital x-rays are the safest method for children, as they use a fraction of the radiation of traditional x-rays.

Why Would a Child Need a Dental X-Ray?

Dental x-rays give pediatric dentists a behind the scenes look at what is going on inside a child’s mouth. This is especially important for children since they often do not have the verbal expression skills to tell their parents or dentist exactly how they are feeling. Dental x-rays allow dentists to identify issues with a child’s mouth long before they cause painful problems.

Recommended Age for Child’s First Dental X-Ray?

While children should first visit the dentist at the emergence of their first tooth or by their first birthday, whichever comes first, they probably won’t get their first dental x-rays until a few years later. If visible cavities are present, your dentist may choose to take x-rays sooner to determine the depth of the decay into the tooth. X-rays are introduced around 3-4 years old. Most children begin losing their baby teeth around age 6-7 and their permanent teeth begin to emerge, at which point dental x-rays during their examinations are recommended.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pediatric Dental X-Rays

Are dental x-rays for children safe?

Yes, dental x-rays are safe and effective for imaging a child’s mouth to identify dental structure and issues. Modern dental x-rays use a fraction of the radiation that older x-ray technology used, and digital x-rays use even less radiation.

What if my child won’t sit still for a dental x-ray?

We always try to explain the dental x-ray procedure to a child before it happens, letting them see and touch the equipment that will be used and ask questions to ease their anxiety about the procedure. If the child is still uncomfortable and unable to sit still, we have several other techniques we can use to help the child relax. Consult with your pediatric dentist to find out which of these techniques would be best for your child.

Pediatric Dental Care in Southwest Ranches, FL

Dental x-rays are just one tool in a pediatric dentist’s arsenal to identify and correct dental issues. Most children will have their first set of dental x-rays taken around age 6, although children with complex dental issues may need dental x-rays earlier in life. Always consult with a qualified pediatric dentist if you have questions or concerns about your child’s dental health, including when to get dental x-rays. Keeping children’s smiles healthy and bright are what we do best here at Akoya Pediatric Dentistry in Southwest Ranches, a suburb of the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area. To start your child’s journey toward great dental health, contact us at 954-799-6212 or request an appointment online.

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Akoya Pediatric Dentistry
15761 Sheridan Street Suite A
Southwest Ranches, FL 33314
Tel: 954-799-6212 | Fax:
Monday | 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday | 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday | 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday | 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday | 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday | By appointment only
Sunday | Closed

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Akoya Pediatric Dentistry
15761 Sheridan Street Suite A
Southwest Ranches, FL 33314
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