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luvnyoustwos
Dental X-Rays on your children?
January 22, 2013 at 2:06 PM

We took our 5 year old and our JUST turned 3 year old to the dentist and he said he needed to take dental X-Rays (which are digital) because there seemed to be a lot of areas that needed treatment. I absolutely hated the idea of doing it, but after talking with him for a while we agreed to go ahead and do it. They did a full set of X-Rays on both of our children, which involved about EIGHT pictures total. It's been eating me up and worrying me ever since, and it has now been 8 months ago. My daughter (who is the 3 year old) is "needing" another complete set according to her dentist, or he won't finish her dental fixes (she needs to have a few more fillings, but we took a break because she had a bad last experience). Her last X-Rays were 8 months ago, is it REALLY necessary to re-do them before finishing treatment? I feel horrible that I ever even let them do them in the first place, although I do realize they were necessary at the time. Or were they? Since her baby teeth are going to fall out anyways....

Replies

  • sabrtooth1
    January 23, 2013 at 12:42 AM

     


    Quoting ffxmom70:

    I tend to believe teeth can just decay because both my kids have had what the dentist called a defect which is like a pit in the tooth. In my daughter's case, when the tooth came in, it already had a pit on it, on the front of the front tooth, which seems like a weird place to get a cavity.

    A developmental pit is NOT a cavity.  It is a place where the enamel did not close, or form properly, when the tooth was developing.  Developing tooth buds are susceptible to damage from fevers or illnesses kids have, drugs we take ( even over the counter ones) or a blow to the face.   Developing adult teeth can also be damaged by baby teeth that decay, since the adult  teeth are growing right underneath. 

    When the tooth erupts with a developmental pit, that area is more susceptible to decay because that divot is a place for plaque and bacteria to collect, and is hard to keep clean.  Since the enamel is thin or missing there, the acids released by the bacteria eat thru the pit faster.  You CAN keep a pit clean, brush with a tooth strengthener like Sensodyne Pronamel and rinse with a good fluoride rinse like ACT, but it's hard for kids to be that attentive, so dentists tend to just fill the pits even if they haven't begun to decay.

     

  • unspecified42
    January 23, 2013 at 2:27 AM

    My 8 year old has had dental X-rays several times. He's probably had more radiation exposure on the handful of flights he's taken in his lifetime.

    If your 3 year old needs multiple dental fixes, clearly you've got something more serious going on than the average person. I would absolutely think further X-rays are needed since her teeth are so very bad to need that many fillings at such a young age.

  • fullofhope1
    January 23, 2013 at 3:11 AM
    Thank you so much! This is great news lol and thanks for the tips!

    Quoting sabrtooth1:

     




    Quoting fullofhope1:

    Can I ask you a question ... My daughter has gaps between all of her teeth. I have her drink a lot of water and I'm not fond if any kind of sugary foods and soda unless she's away once a week. Does the gaps show any kinda of signs of anything or is this normal? I brush her teeth twice a day. She's independent so likes to do it then I do it right after she has done it. Thanks!

    The gaps are called Primate Spacing,  are quite normal, and are actually a GOOD thing.  Primate Spacing gives the adult teeth room when they erupt, since the adult tooth is normally about twice as wide as the baby tooth.  If the baby teeth are tight together, in a nice arch, when the adult teeth come in, they will be terribly crowed and overlapped untill the head grows enough for the tongue to force the teeth into position.  And sometimes that doesn't happen.  And while the teeth are crowed, they are more susceptible to decay, because all the surfaces cannot get clean.  Speaking of that, the gapping also HELPS keep the baby teeth from getting cavities between the teeth.  Teeth that touch get cavities on the sides when you don't get that contact point clean enough.  Only floss can get between the teeth and clean that contact.  Teeth that do NOT have a contact, are easier to clean all the wasy around. 


    Sounds like you are doing a good job with her teeth!  Keep on brushing her teeth after she does it.  If she begins to complain, you can try telling her that you are brushing the places she might have missed, and SHE can brush YOUR teeth, to get at the places YOU missed.  When her adult teeth begin to erupt, around age 6, and start to push the teeth closer together, you will have to begin to floss her.  It will be much easier to do that, if she remains in the habit of you getting into her mouth with your hands. 


    PS:  It's not just sugary foods that cause decay.  All those "white" starches they tell us are so bad for our waistlines, are also bad for our teeth.  These are things like pasta, white bread, white rice, crackers, Cheetos, popcorn, etc.  Always brush the mouth after eating those things, or at least rinse throughly with water.

  • ScrChk23
    January 23, 2013 at 8:53 AM

     My dentist does a set once a year.  Does not matter on the age. 

  • Mom2Just1
    January 23, 2013 at 2:25 PM
    My dentist gets X-rays because they look at them to make sure the teeth are falling out and
    Coming in okay.
  • EsmeVincent
    January 23, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    ds dentist says its good that the kids have gaps between the baby teeth, that way not much food can get caught and stuck...but its still good to floss....ds does floss but not alot because he has nice sized gaps between each tooth.  I say with baby teeth, gaps are good.

    Quoting fullofhope1:

    Can I ask you a question ... My daughter has gaps between all of her teeth. I have her drink a lot of water and I'm not fond if any kind of sugary foods and soda unless she's away once a week. Does the gaps show any kinda of signs of anything or is this normal? I brush her teeth twice a day. She's independent so likes to do it then I do it right after she has done it. Thanks!

    Quoting sabrtooth1:

    I am a Registered Dental Hygienist.  Firat of all please realize that her "baby teeth" do not completely fall out until she is 12 to 14 years old!!!  Until they do, decay in those teeth can cause damage to the adult teeth underneath, and infection that CAN spread from the teeth thru the facial bones into the eyes, sinuses, and even the brain.  That said, most dentists do not take xrays on a child under the age of 4 or 5 UNLESS an examination reveals visable cavities.  If that is the case, then a full set of xrays ARE necessary, to show the extent of decay between all the teeth, and how deep the decay is.


    Whether or not she needs another FULL set of xrays depends on several things.   Rampant decay on a 3 year old indicates poor parenting choices.  A 3 year old is NOTcapable of looking after their OWN oral hygiene, or choosing what goes into their mouthes.  So the chances are, that those previous parenting choices have continued.  The dentist also takes into consideration how proactive you have been in restoring your child to health.  If only a few of the cavities were fixed over the last 8 months, your dentist would have a valid concern that there may be more decay, or that the previous decay has worsened.


    If, on the other hand, 99% of the cavities have been fixed, you have removed ALL sugary and acidic drinks, and fermentable carbohydrates like crackers, chips, snacks, white bread, dry cereal, candy, cake, and cookies from her diet, you  brush her teeth twice daily, and floss them once daily, then I would ask the dentist why he can't just take xrays of the work that is not completed.


  • fullofhope1
    January 23, 2013 at 11:18 PM
    Thanks and what would you at us the right age to take a child in to see the dentist. The only thing I don't like is a lot of dentists are younger ones I've seen trying to do unnecessary work lately.

    Quoting EsmeVincent:

    ds dentist says its good that the kids have gaps between the baby teeth, that way not much food can get caught and stuck...but its still good to floss....ds does floss but not alot because he has nice sized gaps between each tooth.  I say with baby teeth, gaps are good.

    Quoting fullofhope1:

    Can I ask you a question ... My daughter has gaps between all of her teeth. I have her drink a lot of water and I'm not fond if any kind of sugary foods and soda unless she's away once a week. Does the gaps show any kinda of signs of anything or is this normal? I brush her teeth twice a day. She's independent so likes to do it then I do it right after she has done it. Thanks!



    Quoting sabrtooth1:

    I am a Registered Dental Hygienist.  Firat of all please realize that her "baby teeth" do not completely fall out until she is 12 to 14 years old!!!  Until they do, decay in those teeth can cause damage to the adult teeth underneath, and infection that CAN spread from the teeth thru the facial bones into the eyes, sinuses, and even the brain.  That said, most dentists do not take xrays on a child under the age of 4 or 5 UNLESS an examination reveals visable cavities.  If that is the case, then a full set of xrays ARE necessary, to show the extent of decay between all the teeth, and how deep the decay is.



    Whether or not she needs another FULL set of xrays depends on several things.   Rampant decay on a 3 year old indicates poor parenting choices.  A 3 year old is NOTcapable of looking after their OWN oral hygiene, or choosing what goes into their mouthes.  So the chances are, that those previous parenting choices have continued.  The dentist also takes into consideration how proactive you have been in restoring your child to health.  If only a few of the cavities were fixed over the last 8 months, your dentist would have a valid concern that there may be more decay, or that the previous decay has worsened.



    If, on the other hand, 99% of the cavities have been fixed, you have removed ALL sugary and acidic drinks, and fermentable carbohydrates like crackers, chips, snacks, white bread, dry cereal, candy, cake, and cookies from her diet, you  brush her teeth twice daily, and floss them once daily, then I would ask the dentist why he can't just take xrays of the work that is not completed.


  • EsmeVincent
    January 23, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    well I didn't take ds till April of last year...he was 4...only reason I took him then was because he walked into a wall and busted his mouth and hurt his 2 front teeth(the tops ones)....I've heard 3 and up but I wouldn't worry too much about taking them till right before they start school and need the dental records.

    When ds went they did a set of xrays and said that yes the 2 front ones were damaged and either need to be pulled(if we wanted) or we could let them fall out on their own(earlier than they would normally) OR if they started to show signs of damage to the adult teeth.  We went back a month later and had another set of xrays done to see if maybe the teeth were healing(which they weren't) or if they were still bad.  He went back then in Oct for a proper cleaning and he will go back in May after school is out.  His dentist says that other than the 2 damaged teeth from the run in with the wall they are great.  Also says that the gummy vitamins are bad for kids teeth and kids shouldn't take those.  We then switched from the gummy(the gummy ones can get stuck between the teeth) ones to the regular chewable ones

    Quoting fullofhope1:

    Thanks and what would you at us the right age to take a child in to see the dentist. The only thing I don't like is a lot of dentists are younger ones I've seen trying to do unnecessary work lately.

    Quoting EsmeVincent:

    ds dentist says its good that the kids have gaps between the baby teeth, that way not much food can get caught and stuck...but its still good to floss....ds does floss but not alot because he has nice sized gaps between each tooth.  I say with baby teeth, gaps are good.

    Quoting fullofhope1:

    Can I ask you a question ... My daughter has gaps between all of her teeth. I have her drink a lot of water and I'm not fond if any kind of sugary foods and soda unless she's away once a week. Does the gaps show any kinda of signs of anything or is this normal? I brush her teeth twice a day. She's independent so likes to do it then I do it right after she has done it. Thanks!



    Quoting sabrtooth1:

    I am a Registered Dental Hygienist.  Firat of all please realize that her "baby teeth" do not completely fall out until she is 12 to 14 years old!!!  Until they do, decay in those teeth can cause damage to the adult teeth underneath, and infection that CAN spread from the teeth thru the facial bones into the eyes, sinuses, and even the brain.  That said, most dentists do not take xrays on a child under the age of 4 or 5 UNLESS an examination reveals visable cavities.  If that is the case, then a full set of xrays ARE necessary, to show the extent of decay between all the teeth, and how deep the decay is.



    Whether or not she needs another FULL set of xrays depends on several things.   Rampant decay on a 3 year old indicates poor parenting choices.  A 3 year old is NOTcapable of looking after their OWN oral hygiene, or choosing what goes into their mouthes.  So the chances are, that those previous parenting choices have continued.  The dentist also takes into consideration how proactive you have been in restoring your child to health.  If only a few of the cavities were fixed over the last 8 months, your dentist would have a valid concern that there may be more decay, or that the previous decay has worsened.



    If, on the other hand, 99% of the cavities have been fixed, you have removed ALL sugary and acidic drinks, and fermentable carbohydrates like crackers, chips, snacks, white bread, dry cereal, candy, cake, and cookies from her diet, you  brush her teeth twice daily, and floss them once daily, then I would ask the dentist why he can't just take xrays of the work that is not completed.



  • EsmeVincent
    January 23, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    OP I would call your dental ins to see how many xrays a year they cover and if they only cover 1 per child per year then I would tell the dentist that you yourself do not see the need for the 2nd set AND the ins will not cover it and you won't pay for another set out of pocket.  OR if the ins does cover more than one I would just tell them no that you do not want her to have another set and ask for her records so you can switch dentists.

  • LADYxGHOST
    January 23, 2013 at 11:51 PM
    I have never heard of teeth decaying for no reason. Staying away from sugar and juice isn't the only steps a parent needs to take to prevent tooth decay. Proper oral hygiene is important too. My ds had autism and I couldn't get him to brush and fling it myself was impossible. It took 2 adults, one to hold him and one to brush. I cut out anything sweet but without proper brushing he developed cavities and decay in a molar needing a cap. The dentist said as long as it was his baby teeth he would worry too much. My dd had to go in more often for exams and xrays. But decay always is a result of something.


    Quoting EsmeVincent:

    I mostly agree with you but its not always the parents fault...my nephew and niece don't eat candy and rarely get juices and their molars started to decay for no reason...they had to get their teeth capped to save them from anymore damage.



    Quoting sabrtooth1:

    I am a Registered Dental Hygienist.  Firat of all please realize that her "baby teeth" do not completely fall out until she is 12 to 14 years old!!!  Until they do, decay in those teeth can cause damage to the adult teeth underneath, and infection that CAN spread from the teeth thru the facial bones into the eyes, sinuses, and even the brain.  That said, most dentists do not take xrays on a child under the age of 4 or 5 UNLESS an examination reveals visable cavities.  If that is the case, then a full set of xrays ARE necessary, to show the extent of decay between all the teeth, and how deep the decay is.



    Whether or not she needs another FULL set of xrays depends on several things.   Rampant decay on a 3 year old indicates poor parenting choices.  A 3 year old is NOTcapable of looking after their OWN oral hygiene, or choosing what goes into their mouthes.  So the chances are, that those previous parenting choices have continued.  The dentist also takes into consideration how proactive you have been in restoring your child to health.  If only a few of the cavities were fixed over the last 8 months, your dentist would have a valid concern that there may be more decay, or that the previous decay has worsened.



    If, on the other hand, 99% of the cavities have been fixed, you have removed ALL sugary and acidic drinks, and fermentable carbohydrates like crackers, chips, snacks, white bread, dry cereal, candy, cake, and cookies from her diet, you  brush her teeth twice daily, and floss them once daily, then I would ask the dentist why he can't just take xrays of the work that is not completed.


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