(HealthDay News) -- Whether you need a better picture of an aching arm after a fall or an inside glimpse of your pearly whites, some X-rays are a medical necessity.
But despite their undisputed value, X-rays also expose you to radiation.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers these guidelines to minimize unnecessary radiation exposure:
- Find out how an X-ray will benefit you. Don't refuse an X-ray that is medically necessary.
- On the other hand, don't push for an X-ray if your doctor says one isn't needed.
- If you are pregnant or even think you might be, always let the technician know before getting an X-ray.
- Ask if you can wear a protective lead shield.
- Ask if lower-radiation X-rays are available.
- Keep a list of your X-ray history to track how often you have them.