Mouth piercings are all the rage these days. Who wouldn’t want to stick a metal pole through their tongues? Well, many parents wouldn’t, followed closely by most dentists. What is the appeal of mouth piercings? Why do young adults want to puncture their tongues for pretty? No really, I am asking you! Could it possibly be that more and more celebrities are debuting their “stylish” fashion accessories? Or is it just a peer pressure thing, like smoking?
These are questions that most parents sit and ponder. I know my parents did. When I pierced my tongue for the first time, I was completely unaware of the possible consequences. I thought “A tongue piercing. Cool!” Little did I know 5 months later I would be at the dentist’s office with a chipped front tooth. The worst part was I had to walk around with part of my tooth missing until I could get in to see my dentist. My parents were also surprised to hear chipped teeth were a possibility with a tongue ring.
So you don’t have to learn the hard way, I have put together a list of possible effects of mouth piercings to consider before allowing your child to get one:
1) Chipped teeth – This is one of the more common effects of a mouth ring. Almost everyone has bitten their tongue at one time or another. Hitting your metal jewelry against your teeth is kind of like biting your tongue. You can try as hard as you can to keep it from happening, but accidents will always sneak up on you.
2) Infected piercing – Because of the large number of bacterial organisms present in the mouth, it is very likely that a tongue piercing will get infected at some point or another. An infection could cause swelling of the tongue. In the worst case scenario, the bacteria could enter the bloodstream and cause other problems throughout your body.
3) Swallowing jewelry – Well… sometimes it just happens!
If your child insists on a mouth piercing, stress to them the importance of keeping it clean. Remove the jewelry to eat and sleep. Wash the mouth with antiseptic mouthwash after every meal. Remove jewelry and brush it to remove plaque. Or you can just be like my Mom & Dad and when your child tells you “But Mom, Drew Barrymore has her tongue pierced” simply reply “Well, lucky for her I’m not her mother”!