What Do Bananas and Dental X-Rays Have in Common?

Dental X-Rays Dentist AugustaIt sounds like a strange question, but the answer comes as no surprise to dentists in Augusta GA—or anywhere else in the country, for that matter. The link between bananas and dental x-rays comes down to a matter of radiation. It’s a little known fact that bananas contain a small dose of naturally-occurring radiation. However, this information should help to calm your concerns about getting too much radiation when you have your x-rays taken at the dentist’s office each year.

We are exposed to varying amounts of radiation from the environment around us in our daily lives, and the amounts are typically minimal. Thanks to digital x-ray technology, dentists are able to capture accurate and precise images of your teeth and jaws without exposing you to harmful amounts of radiation. In fact, when we compare the approximate dose of environmental radiation that comes from various sources, we can see that dental x-rays rank just above a banana.

For example, an average banana contains about 0.1 radiation units, while a single dental x-ray exposes you to about 0.2 units. Compare that to the 10 units that we receive from the sun or the 40 units that we receive on a flight from New York to Las Angeles, and you can see that the risk from a dental x-ray exposure is minimal. There are other foods which are known to emit various doses of radiation, and studies show that we can be exposed to roughly 400 units a year from the foods that we eat.

To appreciate the value of dental x-rays, consider the reasons why we take them:

  • To check for cavities between the teeth
  • To check the bone level and identify areas of bone loss
  • To check for cavities under old fillings
  • To check for infection around tooth roots
  • To examine the mouth before beginning a dental procedure

To learn more about the value and safety of dental x-rays, contact an Augusta dentist today.