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

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

TeamChildren Pediatric Dentistry

Dental X-Rays are a normal part of general dental care. They are used as diagnostic tools for a variety of oral health conditions. The images created by X-Rays, called radiographs, allow dentists to see areas of the mouth that are not immediately visible. They provide a view of the teeth and bones that are under the gums and can also reveal potential tooth decay. 

At what age should a child get their first dental X-Ray? Here’s what pediatric dentists recommend. 

Average Age For Dental X-Rays

Most children who go to the dentist on a regular schedule will have their first dental X-Ray by or around the age of 5. Some children may need an X-Ray earlier if there is a particular reason or concern that needs to be addressed. 

Benefits of Dental X-Rays 

Dental X-Rays offer many benefits: 

  • Valuable diagnostic information. Dental X-Rays provide a wide variety of valuable diagnostic information. Digital radiographs provide a view of what can’t be seen with the naked eye. 
  • Reduced radiation. Digital X-Rays use a fraction of the radiation that is required for traditional film X-Rays. Dental practices use digital X-Rays almost exclusively these days. 
  • Early detection of abnormalities. Abnormal growths could be a sign of oral cancer. Early detection of abnormalities by digital X-Rays allows for prompt assessment and treatment, resulting in improved outcomes for patients. 
  • Cavity discovery. Cavities can occur in places that are difficult to see, such as between teeth and even under the gums. When cavities are addressed early, a simple filling may be the only treatment that is needed to restore the health of the tooth. 

Are Dental X-Rays Safe For Young Children? 

Film X-Rays have been used for over a century, and digital X-Rays for around 40 years. Over time there has been no evidence to suggest that there are any risks associated with X-Rays. People of all ages from infants to adults receive digital X-Rays with no known negative effects. 

At What Age Should My Child Have Their First Dental Visit? 

If children typically have dental X-Rays by the age of 5, when should they have their first dental visit? The American Association of Pediatric Dentists (AAPD) recommends that children start going to the dentist around their first birthday. Your child may not get dental X-Rays for a few more years, but they should still have a comprehensive oral examination and teeth cleaning every 6 months after the eruption of their first tooth. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental X-Rays

How are the vital organs protected during dental X-Rays?

Patients wear a lead apron and thyroid collar to protect the vital organs during dental X-Rays. This is just a precaution, as the small amount of radiation used should not cause harm to any organs, and is carefully directed to the mouth only. 

Are dental X-Rays covered by insurance?

Most dental insurance plans cover dental X-Rays once a year. This schedule provides enough information for effective diagnostics and early treatment in most cases. More frequent X-Rays may be recommended in certain cases where there is a medical reason. 

Schedule a Visit Today

If it has been more than 6 months since your child’s last dental visit or if they are due for their first appointment, Emerson Dental is happy to accept new and returning patients. Early dental care establishes the foundation for a lifetime of dental health, and keeping up with regularly scheduled dental visits is vital for optimal oral health.  

Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.