Are X-Rays Safe For Children? Everything You Need To Know!

Downey Park Family Dentistry Logo

If you’re bringing your child into First Smiles Children’s Dentistry for a checkup, their visit may involve a dental x-ray. But are x-rays really safe for kids? The short answer is “yes!” In this blog, we’ll get into the details, and explain why x-rays are both safe, and an essential part of preventive dentistry

X-Rays Are Extremely Safe For Children Of All Ages

First, the answer is “yes!” X-rays at the dentist are extremely safe for kids of all ages. This has always been true, but with the rise of digital x-rays, they're even safer than before. Digital x-rays expose your child to much less radiation, and they're more precise and accurate than film-based x-rays. 

But how much radiation does an x-ray use at the dentist? That depends on the type of x-ray, the machine your dentist uses, and some other factors. But on average, a dental x-ray exposes you to 2-3 microrems (mrems) of radiation.

For comparison, that’s less than the amount of radiation (5 mrems) that you're exposed to on the average cross-country flight. In fact, it’s estimated that the average person is exposed to about 360 mrems per year in “background radiation” from a variety of sources.

So if you’re worried about radiation exposure and its effects on your child, don't be! They will be exposed to a very minimal amount, and we take every possible safety precaution to keep your little ones safe at First Smiles.

Understanding The Importance Of Dental X-Rays

So, x-rays for kids are safe. But why are they necessary? There are many reasons that dental x-rays are such an important part of modern dentistry, and here are just a few:

  • Check on oral development – X-rays are the best way for dentists to check on your child’s overall oral development, including the health of their baby teeth, their primary teeth, their jaws, and more. With routine x-rays, dentists like Dr. Chris Ha can keep a close eye on your child’s developing mouth as they grow older.

  • Look for signs of hidden oral health issues – Cavities and other oral health problems can sometimes be impossible to detect with a visual exam alone. X-rays let your child’s dentist get below the surface, and look for oral health problems that may be invisible with a normal oral exam.

  • Helps with early intervention – The sooner Dr. Ha recognizes an issue with your child’s oral health, the sooner he can act. This helps protect your child’s oral health, and it also saves you stress, time, and money, since you and your child can avoid complex dental treatments for serious oral health issues.

When Do Kids Need To Start Getting Dental X-Rays?

Usually, kids will begin receiving x-rays when they're about 4 years old, prior to their adult teeth coming in. Adult teeth are bigger and spaced closer together than baby teeth, so x-rays are necessary to keep an eye out for tooth decay and other oral health issues, and monitor your child’s oral development.

However, if your child has a history of cavities and other oral health issues, Dr. Ha may start taking dental x-rays earlier. In general, it’s best to listen to your dentist’s recommendation when it comes to timing for pediatric dental x-rays.

Does Your Kid Need A Checkup In Modesto? Come To First Smiles Children’s Dentistry!

Whether you’re new to the area, looking for a new dentist, or need to take your little one to see the dentist for the first time, Dr. Chris Ha and the team at First Smiles Children’s Dentistry are here to help. We’re always accepting new patients, and we’d love to meet you and your family. To get started, just contact us online or give us a call at (209) 343-3500 to schedule an appointment.

Back To All Blog Posts

Let’s Create Healthy Smiles & Lasting Friendships