Monday, September 27, 2010

Orthodontist In Calgary Talks About The Hazards of Tongue Piercing

Your teenage daughter pierced her nose last year.  Now she's sporting a tongue barbell - she's gone and pierced her tongue.

As with tattoos, piercing is a highly fashionable trend that teenagers are enthusiastically embracing.  But what are the long-term dental ramifications associated with tongue piercing?

The constant "playing" with the barbell, (the tongue always gravitates to the foreign object), pushes up against the front teeth.  Over time a slight gap starts to form - soon there's a noticeable gap and gum tissue looks inflammed.  The self formed gap between the front teeth has just turned into a costly investment at the dentist and or orthodontist.  Teeth that have been forced out of place don't miraculously move back into alignment.  Teeth that are out of alignment are also at high risk for chipping and breaking - another trip to the dentist.

Encouraging teenagers self expression is an important part of their development.  But being realistic about the possible outcome of tongue piercing, and  how these outcomes might impact the individuals long-term dental health, opens the door for a great conversation on making smarter, less expensive, choices.