Help! My Teen Wants an Oral Piercing
As your children grow up, they start to look for ways to express themselves as individuals. Some methods of expression can be healthy, some can be neutral and some can be harmful. You can help your child make smart and safe choices while allowing him or her the opportunity for individuality.
One of the most common issues of self-expression we hear from parents concerns oral piercings. That includes the tongue, lips, cheeks and even uvula. We generally recommend against these procedures, for several reasons:
- Harm to basic oral functions. Studs, rings and barbells make it harder to chew, swallow and even speak.
- Damage to teeth, gums and dental work. Biting or orally manipulating oral piercings can cause scratches, cuts and chipped teeth; it can also puncture and dislodge fillings.
- Drooling. The presence of foreign bodies in the mouth stimulates excess saliva production.
- Allergic reactions. Many people are allergic to the metals used in piercing jewelry, which can lead to harmful swelling.
- Infection. Punctures in the mouth can allow harmful bacteria into the bloodstream, causing pain and swelling that can even lead to suffocation if the tongue swells enough to block the airways.
- Nerve damage. Tongue piercings can cause temporary or even permanent damage to the sense of taste.
We understand that you can’t talk your children out of everything they want to do, and they may insist on doing some things with or without your approval. If your child does get an oral piercing, proper dental care becomes that much more important. Use a mouth rinse after every meal to remove any harmful particles. Keep all mouth jewelry tight in order to prevent loose components from causing choking or infection.
Finally, schedule a visit at KiDDS Dental. We will make sure there are no harmful side effects from the piercing and teach your child the proper oral care.
Give us a call at 509-891-7070 to schedule today!