The Dangers of Oral Piercings, Part 2
Tips To Lower the Risks of Oral Piercings
Keeping the jewelry and the piercing site(s) clean is of the highest importance. Unfortunately, adolescents are busy with school and social events, and may think that if they fail to remove their jewelry “just this once” that no harm will result. As noted above, this is false, particularly in regards to bacterial growth. The jewelry should be removed nightly and the teeth, piercing site and the rest of the oral cavity thoroughly cleaned. The jewelry should be cleaned as well and re-inserted only with very clean hands. Oral jewelry can harbor food particles, which can lead to bad breath and, of course, an increased risk of infection and cavities.
Talk to Your Child About Oral Piercings
While we hope your son or daughter isn’t wearing oral piercings, the reality is that you may not know for sure. To help prevent oral piercings and to help kids who may already wear them, it’s important that they know the risks. Just knowing that oral piercings can cause halitosis may keep your child away from this risky behavior, While no pre-teen or teen wants bad breath, many don’t appreciate the increased risks of nerve or dental damage or infection, so approaching it from the “social stigma” angle of bad breath may be your best bet, at least initially. Ask your child what he or she thinks about oral piercings and if his or her close friends have them. Avoid being judgmental, as that will result in a “shut down” on the child’s part. Helping your child understand the risks is the goal here.
If your child does have oral piercings, be sure he or she is aware of the dangers and agrees to inform you of any problems, regardless of size. If they experience tongue, cheek or lip swelling, increased saliva production, drooling, lack of taste sensation, bleeding or pain, they need to be brought to our office. If he or she is involved in sports, be sure they understand the importance of removing all oral piercings prior to practice or games.
Our NYC pediatric dental practice is devoted to giving your child the best chance at exceptional dental health. Don’t hesitate to call us at 212.267.0029 if you have any concerns!
Be sure to read Part 1 of this topic, posted under December, 2017 on our blog page.