As most of us know, starting to take your children to the dentist at a young age is a suggested practice. Though when at the dentist it is common for parents to be concerned about some of the routine procedures for their kids when they are such a young age. X-rays are one of these practices. Because of the radiation that is emitted during an x-ray, it can easily be mistaken as harmful to children.
Even in adolescents and adults, x-rays are only taken a couple times a year. It is better safe than sorry to limit the amount of radiation exposure that a person is exposed to in their lifetime. But avoiding x-rays can actually be more of a precaution than a danger to most. The amount of radiation that you are exposed to during a dental x-ray is actually less than what you are exposed to from the air and other common sources.
This being said, the exposure to radiation from x-rays can build up in your body and that is what can eventually cause cancer. The reason most worry about x-rays on children is that the exposure to radiation is starting at an earlier age and that kids are more susceptible to radiation than adults.
What is most commonly suggested by dentists is to only have x-rays done when really needed in children. X-rays are indeed safe for children but are not normally a part of a routine checkup. Once the permanent teeth are grown in is when routine x-rays are more common.
In most cases, whether x-rays are needed or not is based on an individual basis. Talking to your dentist is most often the best advice to give. If your child has premature problems with their teeth, an x-ray when they are young can help start preventative treatment and help them get better faster. If x-rays are needed in children, most dentists will take more precautions and use more protection to limit the amount of radiation that the child is exposed to.