Is It Still Worth Having Your Child's Teeth Cleaned If You Can'T Afford X-Rays?

For many people, getting dental x-rays is a normal part of visiting the dentist's office. The same can be true of child patients. However, x-rays can potentially be costly. If you've been putting off having your child go to the dentist knowing that you can't afford to have their teeth x-rayed, it's a good idea to go anyway, even without this procedure. Here's why.

Why X-rays Are Helpful

Dental x-rays can be helpful at any age, but they're particularly useful for children, which is why most pediatric dentists recommend getting them.

Dental x-rays reveal the inside of teeth, which can be useful in spotting cavities, especially in the early stages. Children are also more susceptible to the rare condition of dental resorption, where the tooth starts breaking down from the inside. These x-rays can also spot teeth that are growing in wrong, which gives dentists and orthodontists an opportunity to fix them before they're permanently stuck in that position or have to be extracted due to coming in wrong.

The Benefits Without Them

While it's true that dental x-rays can do all this, you're still getting a lot of benefits if you bring your child in solely for a cleaning and examination.

Dental cleanings, of course, clear away bacteria, plaque, and most importantly, tartar. Getting rid of tartar at home isn't possible, and unfortunately, it can increase one's risk of both gum disease and dental decay. Getting rid of these substances can help to prevent your child from having unwanted dental health problems in the future.

In addition, while some conditions are spotted earlier with dental x-rays, there are many issues that can be seen with the naked eye of a well-trained dentist or hygienist. Small cavities, gum disease, damage from grinding or injury, and other issues can all be discovered and treated without the added cost of dental x-rays.

What to Do

Dental x-rays can be affordable, so it's worth asking your dentist if they offer payment plans or options to bring the cost down. However, even if you turn down dental x-rays completely, you should still bring your child in for a cleaning on a regular basis. Most dentists suggest at least twice a year. Missing or avoiding these appointments carries the risk of your child's teeth or gums becoming damaged, so don't skip them. A simple cleaning is usually an affordable procedure and can help to prevent you from needing to pay for much costlier ones to undo damage done from dental neglect.

Schedule a children's dental cleaning for your child.