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How Many Dental X-Rays Do Your Kids Need?

BY East Cobb Family Dentistry

Dental X-rays can be a very effective diagnostic tool. Unfortunately, there is a risk of exposure to radiation, so subjecting your child to unnecessary X-rays is never a good idea. As more and more Marietta dentists turn to digital imaging, the risks are lessening while the accuracy of the imaging is improving.How often your child's dentist should X-ray their teeth depends on several factors. The better their teeth are cared for, the less likely it will be that they require S-rays. The American Dental Association as well as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration offer guidelines concerning the frequency that dental x-rays should be performed on children.With children ages one to five years old who show signs of tooth decay or other problems, they suggest X-raying the teeth between once every six months to once every year. If there are no evident signs of a dental problem, they may only have an X-ray of their teeth taken every year or two.In children with some or all permanent teeth between the ages of six and 12 years old, high-risk patients may need an X-ray every six to 28 months, and low-risk dental patients may not have to have an X-ray for up to three years. The same goes for adolescents with all permanent teeth but no wisdom teeth.If you think that your dentist is X-raying your child too often, ask them about their reasoning and if it is necessary. If your child has good dental hygiene habits and no signs of decay, it is best to reduce the frequency, limiting their exposure to harmful radiation. This does not mean that you should neglect to schedule regular cleanings and check-ups.You should make sure that you use a comprehensive approach to your child's dental by supervising their brushing and flossing at home, reducing their intake of starches and sugars and having a professional cleaning done twice a year. Keep in mind that excessive drinking of soda is a common cause of tooth decay in children. The lessons you teach your children now will help them build good dental hygiene habits that can last a lifetime.Dental X-rays may be necessary to catch dental decay in the early stages before it becomes a major problem, but they should not be over-used, particularly in small children. Discuss any dental procedures with your family dentist in Marietta, GA., to make sure that your child receives the best care possible and to give you peace of mind.

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