Q:  Are x-rays OK for young children? 

A: Dentists use x-rays on children to detect decay, track tooth development, and find abnormalities in the roots or bone structures.

The radiation used for dental x-rays has always been minimal, comparable to spending a day out in the sun. With digital x-rays and sensors, the radiation has decreased exponentially. That being said, radiation is radiation and radiation is cumulative. To protect young children from scatter radiation (however minimal), lead thyroid collars are placed around the neck while x-rays are taken.

Most children will be ready to have their first x-rays taken around the ages of 4-5, unless there are concerns about tooth development or congenitally missing teeth.