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How often should children have dental x-rays taken? i'm a little concerned with exposing my three year old to dental x-rays too often, but my dentist recommended x-rays at every visit, since a child's mouth changes and grows so fast.

4 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Shawn Colbert
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
As : As a pediatric dentist we usually try to obtain x-rays by age three and that depends on how the teeth look clinically. Generally at three the back baby molars are touching and if so we will take bite wing xrays to rule out decay between the teeth. If there is space between them and i can see them visibly i will then elect not to take x-rays. Same in the front, if the teeth are touching then i will try an upper and lower x-ray of the front teeth. Now once we do obtain x-rays and if the child is cavity free then you only need xrays every 12-18 months. Once the child hits 6-7 years old we recommend a panoramic x-ray to see all the teeth growing under the baby teeth and to rule out any abnormal pathology. Those are then taken every five years. Hope this helps. You can find great info at the american academy of pediatric dentistry website.
Dr. Shurong Cao
Pediatric Dentistry 29 years experience
The : The timing of the initial radiographic examination should not be based upon the patient's age, but upon each child's individual circumstances. Radiographs should be taken only when there is an expectation that the diagnostic yield will affect patient care.Because the effects of radiation exposure accumulate over time, every effort must be made to minimize the patient's exposure. According to aapd guideline , patient with clinical caries or at increased risk for caries should have x-rays take at 6-12 month intervals if proximal surfaces cannot be examined visually or with a probe . Patient with no clinical caries and not at increased risk for caries should have x-rays taken at 12-24 month intervals if proximal surfaces cannot be examined visually or with a probe. Patient without evidenced of disease an with open proximal contacts may not require a x-ray at this time. Hope these information will help you to communicate better with your child's dentist.
Dr. Neil McLeod
Prosthodontics 49 years experience
Regularly : Regularly is the answer, children should receive x-rays regularly, and if there is any chance of the child being at risk, frequently. Children can develop decay quickly, and we should never allow them to be neglected long enough for serious complications to have occurred. I recommend a survey every 2 years, and bite wings every year to six months depending upon perceived need.
Dr. Jean Edderai
Dentistry 35 years experience
Caries : Caries develops very fast in children however routine examinations 2 to 3 times a year are well recommended in children, nevertheless parents should always have certain control over their children for they daily oral hygiene. X-rays taken once a year for suspicious areas should always be taken, the amount of radiation today's days with digital imaging is close to nothing, and should not be of concern. Good luck!

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Last updated Oct 4, 2016

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