How To Not Gag While Getting An X-Ray At The Dentist

Gagging while getting an x-ray is a common occurrence at most dentist offices. Gagging usually occurs because your body is trying to protect its self from choking on the object in the mouth. Everyone’s mouth is different; we have conditioned our tongue’s sensitive area to be at different positions down the throat. When you go to the dentist the x-ray film can hit that sensitive area or it can be the dentists other tools that they use while working on or examining your teeth.

What can you do while at the dentist’s office that can help mitigate a sensitive gag reflex? There actually quite a few tricks you can try, many of which you can do by yourself while sitting in the dentist’s chair and a couple methods that require a little help from the staff at the dentist’s office.

The first way an Ogden dentist suggests is to distract yourself with something else, don’t focus on the fact that there is a big foreign object trying to fall down your throat, focus on what you are having for dinner, what you are going to do on the weekend, focus on anything not related to you having to be in the dentist’s chair right then. The next tip works hand in hand with distraction, relaxing your body. Don’t fight the sensation, just relax. Another way to make the gag feeling abate is to breathe really hard through your nose. Panting through your nose is a way to create a competing sensation and basically distracts your body from the gag reflex.

The hygienist and dental assistants can assist you in your gag prevention efforts also. Ogden dentists will have a salt shaker on hand, simply ask them about it and then shake a fair amount of salt onto the end of your tongue. Move the salt around your mouth with your tongue and then let them insert the x-ray film. The next thing to request is that they are prepared to hit the button to take the x-ray as soon as they insert the film in your mouth.

There are many ways you can reduce your gag reflex to a manageable level. They may seems simple, but every little bit will help.


  1. Stephanie says:

    If it matters to help anyone, they say putting salt on the tongue helps reduce gagging……so that’s what I will probably request every time I need a check up from my dentist. They also stress breathe though the nose….if it helps bring along something good to smell, I brought an empty flavor packet for those drinks you can take along… smelled like grape and i concentrated on smelling that while the bite wing was in my mouth.

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