When you take your son or daughter to the dentist for the first time, you might be a bit surprised if an x-ray needs to be taken. After all – aren’t x-rays just for diagnosing cavities? Not necessarily.
Your child’s x-rays show the dentist many important pieces of information that impact your son or daughter’s future smile. For example, the x-rays are used to inspect the eruption patterns of their adult teeth.
Even at a very young age, the adult teeth are beginning to develop. If a tooth is missing, proactive steps can be taken to extend the life of the temporary baby tooth.
Sometimes things such as cysts or tumors may be seen in and around the mouth with diagnostic x-rays. Although these aren’t quite as common, routine radiographs can identify the concern well before other types of symptoms ever develop.
Of course, x-rays are also used to screen for cavities. Although baby teeth fall out and are eventually replaced with permanent teeth, they still need to last for several years. Unfortunately cavities spread very quickly through primary teeth, because they are not as dense as adult teeth. This allows a small cavity in one tooth to quickly become large, create a dental abscess, spread to adjacent teeth, or even infect the underlying adult tooth.
Most children benefit from routine radiographs every 6 to 12 months, depending on the child’s age and their current oral health. The size and number of x-rays will also vary. In most cases, x-rays are usually taken beginning around age 2.
If your child has never had dental x-rays taken, it’s time to schedule a check-up!
Posted on behalf of:
Dr. Farhan Qureshi, DDS
5206 Dawes Ave
Alexandria, VA 22311
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