How do I prepare for dental x-rays?

Dental x-rays are a very normal part of a dental visit and are a valuable tool in helping your dentist find and treat dental problems in the early stages. X-rays do not hurt, but they can be taken more comfortably if you are relaxed. Talk to your dentist about any concerns you have.

Rita Medwid

Knowledge is power. Ask your dentist or hygienist to show you the x-ray film, sensor and holder. Ask them to show you where it is placed in your mouth and how many seconds you have to stay still. You may be standing still and a machine will circle your head. When you have a chest x-ray, you take a deep breath and hold it. For dental x-rays you will still be able to breathe without disturbing the x-ray. If you are prone to gagging, they can use special techniques to calm that reflex. Talk with the dentist or hygienist first, they are there to help you.

You don't need to make any special preparations for a dental x-ray, but you may feel more relaxed if you know what to expect.

During the most common type of x-ray, the bitewing, you bite down on a piece of plastic with an x-ray film in the center. A dental professional positions a scanner outside your mouth near the tooth and shines x-rays through your cheek and the tooth. These images are captured on the film.

During digital x-rays, you hold an electronic pad or sensor in your mouth, and the image is sent directly to a computer.

During panoramic x-rays, you keep your chin steady on a tray while the scanner circles your head.

If you are concerned with having dental x-rays taken, discuss this with your dentist and take steps to protect yourself from exposure to any radiation to the body. No matter how great or how small the exposure, it is cumulative. Here are three radiation eliminating food groups you can take that cleanse radiation from the body:

  1. Pectin-rich foods such as apples, oranges and plums especially the skin have the ability to bind to radiation residues and eliminate them from the body.
  2. Chlorophyll-rich foods such as chlorella, spirulina and alfalfa have the ability to neutralize the toxicity of radiation exposure.
  3. Seaweeds such as kelp, wakame, arame and kombu are rich in sodium alginate and iodine and are very protective from radiation exposure. Miso soup has also shown in research to be to protect the body from x-ray exposure.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.