Initial Exam and Digital X-Rays
Just like regular visits to the pediatrician are important for your child, so too are regular trips to the pediatric dentist. Tigard Family Dental provides routine dental exams for children to help ensure that their smile is healthy and happy. During these exams, we can check for different types of oral health issues, such as cavities, to ensure that there are no complications and that their mouth is growing and developing properly. An important part of your child’s dental exam is digital X-rays. Here is what you can expect when it comes to their exams and x-rays.
What Happens During an Initial Exam?
Regular dental exams are a crucial part of ensuring that your child’s mouth is growing and developing properly and that there are no issues that can hinder that growth or negatively impact their oral health. Ideally, your child should have their very first dental appointment around their first birthday. During this very first exam, we take a quick look at their teeth and gums, checking for any potential issues, such as tooth decay. Most of this first visit is spent talking with you about how to care for your child’s teeth and gums, how to avoid decay and other problems, and addressing your questions and concerns.
Children should have regular dental exams every six months. As your child gets older and becomes more comfortable, we begin to discuss their oral care with them as we closely examine their teeth and gums. In addition to looking for signs of decay, we will also assess their tooth and jaw alignment to determine bite issues and determine the need for orthodontic treatment.
When Will My Child Need Digital X-Rays?
Typically, digital X-rays are first taken around the age of five or six, when the baby teeth start to fall out. In some cases, younger children may require digital X-rays. We will generally only recommend digital X-rays for younger children if there is a special circumstance, such as active tooth decay or a defect such as a cleft palate.
Why Are Digital X-Rays Important for Children?
Digital X-rays allow us to examine your child’s mouth in ways we cannot do simply by looking at their teeth and gums. We can check on the development of the adult teeth that are waiting to come in. We can spot potential complications, such as overcrowding, tooth impaction, and issues with jaw development. This way, we can formulate a treatment plan to help ensure that your child’s mouth grows and develops properly as they get older.
How Often Will My Child Need Exams and X-Rays?
Exams for children are recommended every six months, just like exams for adults. The frequency of X-rays will depend upon your child. Children who are more prone to issues, such as decay, may require X-rays every six months. Other children may only require X-rays once a year. Based on your child’s needs, we can help to determine how often we need to take X-rays.
Are Digital X-Rays Safe for Children?
We understand that many parents are concerned about radiation exposure when it comes to X-rays for their children. Digital X-rays are very safe for children. Radiation exposure is significantly reduced with digital X-rays. Even so, we still take safety precautions, such as wearing a lead vest. We also only take X-rays when they are necessary.
If you have any questions about your child’s initial exam or other dental services, call Tigard Family Dental at (971) 762-1262 today to learn more.