Dental x-rays are an integral part of assessing your child’s dental health. As radiation exposure accumulates over time, it’s crucial to minimize the use of x-ray, especially for our little ones. At Glow, our team is very mindful of when and where x-rays are used for children. With each x-ray, we ensure that the benefit of diagnostic information that it will provide outweighs the risk of small radiation exposure. Here are answers to some common questions that we get regarding dental x-rays in children.
When Do You Need It? How Often Do You Need It?
At Glow, the timing and frequency of dental x-ray is not simply based on a child’s age or number of teeth, but rather based on findings from visual exam and individualized cavity risk assessment. It can be as often every 6 months and as scarce as every 3 years.
Children or teenagers with heavy plaque, tartar build-up, sugary diet and history of previous cavities have a high chance of getting new cavities. They need more periodic x-rays until the risk is decreased with regular brushing, flossing and a healthier diet. The healthier the teeth, the lesser the need for dental x-rays.
What Are We Doing To Keep The Radiation Level The Lowest Possible?
First and foremost, we follow the ALARA principle (as low as reasonably achievable) and always limit the number of x-rays for our little ones. With every x-ray, we make sure the benefits of information outweigh the risk of radiation exposure.
At Glow, we have state of the art digital x-ray technology that uses the lowest amount of radiation to get the best imaging quality. Compared to the traditional film x-rays, the new digital technology uses 80% less radiation! We also utilize protective lead aprons and thyroid collars to further protect our children. When you book your first appointment for your child, we will ask you to bring with you or ask your child’s previous dentist to forward the previous x-rays. This will help us minimize the number of x-rays we may need to take.