Should You Allow Your Young Child's Dentist To Take X-Rays?

When you take your young child to the dentist for their first evaluation and cleaning, the dentist may suggest that you have a set of x-rays done of your child's mouth. As a parent, the idea of doing x-rays this early in your child's life may concern you. It's in your best interest to understand why the dentist may want this so that you know why it's so important.

X-Rays Identify Things That Can't Be Seen Through Standard Evaluation

A visual examination of your child's teeth and gums will show things like visible cavities, the teeth that have already erupted, and other surface issues. They will also show the dentist the condition of your child's gums. Unfortunately, a visual examination doesn't tell the dentist anything about the condition of the teeth that haven't yet erupted.

For example, in older children, the dentist may want to see the condition and position of your child's wisdom teeth to determine if they need to be extracted. These x-rays will also show the dentist what your child's permanent teeth look like beneath the surface of the gums. It's important to identify problems with these teeth early so that intervention can happen when necessary.

X-Rays Can Uncover A Series Of Hidden Issues

Sometimes, a defect in jaw development can lead to missing or extra teeth below the gum line. X-rays done early in age can help your child's dentist identify these problems before those teeth erupt, potentially allowing the dentist to intervene and extract problem teeth or place implants where your child may be missing a permanent tooth.

In addition, it can show the early stages of bone disease and hidden mouth injuries, which will be important to treat as soon as possible. Infections that are below the surface of the gums will also only be visible during dental x-rays, and infections should be treated quickly to avoid abscessed teeth and other painful problems.

X-Rays Can Identify Cosmetic Problems

Since dental x-rays show the dentist the size and shape of each of your child's teeth, it can help the dentist determine at an early stage whether or not your child might need orthodontic intervention to help preserve their smile. The sooner you know about the need for this, the sooner you can start planning for it and help your child to look their best.

As you can see, there are many reasons to allow your child's dentist to take those early x-rays. Talk with a cosmetic dentist today for more information.