Introducing Your Child to the Dental X-Ray

Dentist examining an x-ray of teethGoing to the dentist for the first time can be a potentially scary or unnerving visit for a small child.  Some of the fear comes from the unknown and some of it comes from the array of new, unfamiliar people and instruments your children find within the dentist’s office.

One of the moments that can cause your children concern is when the dentist or the hygienist wants to do X-rays.  Not only does the child have to wear a heavy piece of clothing, but he has also to bite something hard and have a funny looking piece of equipment right up next to his cheek. To help keep your child calm during the process, it is best to briefly explain what will happen before ever entering the dentist’s office.

Most parents find that the easiest way to explain the X-ray process is to simply say that at some point during the visit the dentist will want to take some pictures of your teeth.  Let the child know that this is a type of camera that can actually take pictures through the sides of your mouth. Explain that camera will get really close to his face, and then, when it’s down, let him know he will be able to see the pictures of his teeth.

When you have a discussion about the X-ray process at home, all you need to do when the X-ray moment arrives is simply (and cheerfully) tell him this is the moment where the dentist wants to take those pictures. If the child still appears to be anxious, ask the dentist if you may remain near him during the X-rays.  Seeing you outfitted in a similar heavy smock and standing near the X-ray machine can go a long way in calming your child’s anxieties.

X-rays are extremely important in helping the dentist identify potential problems and dangers with your children’s teeth.  That’s why it’s imperative the dentist is able to take all the necessary X-rays to see your child’s full mouth.  By explaining the X-ray process in as simple and unthreatening manner as possible before you walk through the door, you can be an incredible help to the dentist in making sure she can properly take care of your child’s mouth.