What to Tell Your Teens About Oral Piercings
If your preteen or teen has already started asking you for permission to get a lip, tongue, or other oral piercing, you need to fully understand the risks involved so that you can make an informed decision and help your child understand the reasons behind it. What are some of the risks associated with oral piercings?
- Infection – Piercings provide a way for the bacteria in the mouth to get into the rest of the body. Infections around the piercings are the primary risk. However, it is possible for infections in the mouth to spread to other parts of the body rapidly.
- Chipped teeth – Many young people with mouth piercings end up with a habit of flicking at the piercings with the tongue. Others may bite the piercings with their teeth. The clinking of metal against the teeth can result in chipping.
- Nerve damage – If the piercing itself is not performed properly, the nerves can be damaged.
- Gum damage – Bacteria and infection can lead to problems with the gums. If an infection gets into the gums, it can lead to severe damage and potentially even lost teeth.
- Tooth loss – If a tooth is chipped badly enough, a root canal and crown may become necessary. This may even lead to eventual loss of the tooth.
- Taste inhibition – Infections due to tongue piercings can seriously affect how the tongue functions. For some, the ability to taste food properly has occurred.
These are just a few things to help your teen consider before getting a piercing of this nature. It is also important to note that a mouth piercing requires regular maintenance (brushing, rinsing, etc.) in order to avoid infections.
Helping Teens to Make Good Oral Health Decisions
Self-expression is important, but teens sometimes need to be reminded that actions have long-term consequences. At BRSH+FLSS, we’re all about prevention. The good habits and decisions of today lead to the happy and healthy smiles of tomorrow. To schedule an appointment for your kids, call 619-741-1500.