Should we get dental X-rays? What do you and your kids do when you go to the dentist or orthodontist?
We have a couple of great local docs we go to for dental and orthodontic work. For years now, we've asked the dentist not to do fluoride treatments OR x-rays, and we also only go once a year, instead of shlepping all six of us in every six months. He's been completely cool about all of it. No problems.
(As a matter of fact, they're always surprised at how good our teeth are. Read more: How often do you get your teeth cleaned?)
At the orthodontist we've ‘passed' on the x-rays there mostly, but we do let them get one at the very beginning of treatment and possibly one at the end, only if there's a very good reason that he can explain to me. And again, he's great about it too and respects our rights as parents to choose what treatments our kids receive.
If I ask them, “Should we get dental x-rays, are they safe?“, they of course tell me that the machines are “safer than ever”. But “they” say those cancer machines in airports are safe, too.
Is it normal to have cavities and tooth decay? Are root canals safe? How does our oral health affect the health of our whole body? Learn more here about dental health and healing cavities naturally.
Should we get dental x-rays?
This CNN article that Kent found freaked me out:
“A study published this week in the journal Cancer shows that people who have had dental x-rays are more likely to develop a type of brain tumor called meningioma than those who have not.
This does not prove that dental x-rays cause tumors. But it supports previous research about the connection. Dental x-rays have also been implicated in thyroid cancer. But there's still significant doubt about the existence of any direct relationship between meningioma and dental x-rays, and dental professionals were quick to call for more research, saying the study was less than perfect.
“It’s a cautionary tale … we do know that radiation can cause tumors, and we have to be judicious with its use,” said Dr. Donald O’Rourke, an associate professor of neurosurgery at the University of Pennsylvania who was not involved in the study.” Source: Brain tumors linked to dental x-rays.
The really troubling part is that an x-ray on a child is much more potent than one on an adult!
Still, no there is no proven danger, but there is no proven safety either, therefore we err on the side of caution and go with never or rarely.
*By the way, my friend Sarah agrees with me that there are likely hidden dangers to dental x-rays and strongly suggests that if you DO get one, to insist on a thyroid guard!
What if your dentist puts pressure on you about it?
Then I'd say look for a new dentist if at all possible. If not, then just make your wishes clear and hopefully they'll back off.
Share your thoughts!
Is the rare x-ray at the dentist or orthodontist unavoidable? What do you do? Do you even go to the dentist or orthodontist? Should we get dental x-rays?
More you might like:
- Read about when I opted out of the airport scanners on a recent trip to California: I'm Not Normal.