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Fruit roll-ups shown to improve dental x-ray quality

Fruit roll-ups shown to improve dental x-ray quality

When you need a dental x-ray, having a fruit roll-up in your mouth can improve your likelihood of receiving a high quality image by 39%.

A scientific study published in the June issue of Journal of Medical Radiation Sciences (JMRS) compared 270 dental x-rays, from people who were told to hold their tongues against the roof of their mouths throughout the procedure. Radiographers – healthcare professionals who take medical images including x-rays – managed to take high-quality x-rays in 75% of cases where the patient used a sticky fruit strip as an adhesive-aid, compared to just 36% of cases where the patient’s mouth was empty.

Incorrect tongue placement is the most common reason for poor-quality dental x-rays, occurring in anywhere between 40 to 80 percent of cases.

Journal of Medical Radiation Sciences Editor-in-Chief, Cherry Agustin says these research results could help patients save time and money, by reducing the need for second x-rays.

“When a person can’t hold their tongue in place and the radiographer needs to re-take the x-ray, the patient has to spend more time and money, and gets exposed to more radiation,” she said.

“Fruit leather (a fruit roll-up’s generic name) can help get the x-ray right the first time, and also tastes delicious.”

Of the 270 study participants, 90 were x-rayed while holding their tongue in place with fruit leather or chewing gum, 90 used medical tape, and 90 used no adhesive aid at all. From most to least effective, the results were fruit leather, chewing gum, medical tape, and lastly, no adhesive aid.

The study was undertaken by doctors Andisheh Mokhtari, Sedigheh Razi, Kasra Rahimipour and Tahmineh Razi at the Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology Department, Faculty of Dentistry, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Iran.

The original study can be found here:

Two rolls of fruit leather on a white background. They look similar to fruit roll-ups.
Image caption: Fruit leather, the generic name of fruit roll-ups, is made of dried fruit puree.

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Simone Costa
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