Oral Piercings: The Hidden Health Risks

Fort Worth pediatric dentistOral piercings can be done to just about any softer oral tissue available … cheeks, lips, and the tongue are the most likeliest of places that many teens and young adults will choose in an effort to address their individuality or as a fashion statement. If you believe your child is considering pursuing an oral piercing, a visit with their pediatric dentist outlining all the risks of their action may persuade them to reconsider.

A piercing involves making a hole in the tissue, inserting a piece of jewelry, and holding it in place with a backing.

A great deal of research should be completed before entertaining piercing, so ask questions like: is your child old enough to make this decision; have all possible side effects been discussed; and has your kid’s dental history been reviewed to determine that they aren’t already suffering from gum disease or other dental malady that will be made worse with an oral piercing.

Hidden health risks to be considered include the potential for developing an infection at the site, uncontrolled bleeding, nerve damage, scarring, or even an allergic reaction. These are problems that can occur right away or within days of the procedure.

Of course, the individual conducting the piercing must be thoroughly vetted to be assured they are working in a sterile environment, are licensed, and have a good reputation for the services they perform.

Final considerations include: are you prepared for the extra saliva production that is likely to occur with your new jewelry? Over time the ongoing contact of jewelry can damage gum tissue and break down dental enamel leading to dental decay, chipped teeth, or even a broken tooth. All of these eventualities involve costly and time consuming dental treatment. You need to weigh the advantages with the potential consequences.

Of course it goes without saying that any body piercing must be kept clean in an effort to prevent infection; and if you must have it done make sure to follow all the instructions issued for the best possible outcome.

Many young adults will go forward with oral piercings without giving these things much thought; but depending on the age of the patient, parental consent may be needed so be sure to contact your dentist to educate yourself on all the hidden risks involved with oral piercings.

To get more information about maintaining oral health, contact our caring team today!

How do I know if my child is getting enough fluoride?

kids dentist Fort WorthFluoride is beneficial to the support of healthy teeth giving them strength and fortifying the protective enamel that covers teeth. Fluoride has been added to city water supplies since the 1950s. Fluoride is also available in many of the foods we eat. But how do you know if your child is receiving enough of this critical component? With untreated bottled water, and everyone on the run these days, it may be best to rely on regular visits with your kid’s dentist to make sure their teeth are protected.

Your child should have their first dental visit around six months following the eruption of their first baby teeth … or at about twelve months. Pediatric dentistry provides treatment from a dentist specifically trained to take care of your child. This first visit will include an exam to assure that your child’s dental health is progressing correctly.

This is also the perfect opportunity for the parent to learn how to care for their child’s teeth during their early years; the importance of keeping baby teeth healthy and how to support the permanent teeth that will need to last a lifetime.

Why is fluoride so important? It is a mineral that is found in foods and water; and like many other discoveries in medicine, research found that by boosting fluoride intake, the outer surface of teeth became more resistant to the acids that promote dental decay.

Toothpaste, mouthwash, and oral rinses are available today with fluoride. This topical application is applied daily as often as we brush and swish. But when your child is just starting out it is up to you to make sure their daily oral hygiene habits are performed correctly and with the right tools.

Your kid’s dentist might suggest holding off using your adult toothpaste on your child until you’re sure your little one has mastered the art of spitting. Until then, an age appropriate toothpaste is recommended.

As your child ages, pediatric dentistry has the tools available to apply a topical protective covering of fluoride to teeth during their six month visit. In addition to having plaque buildup removed from teeth and an exam performed, other decay prevention helps are available.

Dental sealants protect the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth while fluoride (both topical and that taken internally) offer additional protection by strengthening dental enamel.

Contact our office at Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry today to schedule an appointment!