Piercings are becoming more common & they aren’t just on the ears anymore. While lip, labret & tongue piercings can be a fun way to express yourself, it’s important to take a few extra precautions when caring for your smile.

Just a Little Pinprick

While the pain of getting a piercing is fleeting, the recovery from this puncture wound can take time. In order to stave off infection, it’s important to wash out the area with disinfecting agents. This can mean rinsing out with mouthwash & placing disinfectants on the jewelry & running it through the piercing to ensure the inner area is cleaned. It’s often necessary to keep the piercing in as your body heals, so keeping both it & the piercing clean is paramount. You may have to change your eating habits temporarily to account for swelling as well.

Infections in the mouth can become more serious than on the ear lobes, so see a doctor if you think you have developed an infection, usually characterized by red inflammation that persists after recovery time has elapsed or a throbbing pain that doesn’t get better.

Your piercing artist should provide instruction for care, just be sure to always go to a professional.

Metal on Enamel

Most mouth jewelry is made of metal, often with small orbs that cap the end points. These metal balls can wear down enamel if they rub against each other often. This can happen more often when sleeping, so if you are able, it might be a good idea to take your piercing out at night. There are also softer end caps to jewelry that you can wear that come in a variety of colors, from faux metal to bright neons. 

Gaps in teeth can also snag metal bars, so make sure your jewelry won’t become lodged in your teeth. A knee-jerk reaction to that can be quite painful. 

Clean for Life

You’ll need to keep up on cleaning your piercing the entire time you wear it & long after that. While piercings tend to close up when not used for a prolonged period, a hole will still exist for a long time, possibly your whole life. Tongue piercings tend to heal more completely, but labret & lip piercings will still need occasional cleaning to clear debris & dead skin cells. This can be a little difficult depending on the piercing’s location & how well it closed, so it’s best to consult a health professional, possibly a dermatologist, to arrange a proper cleaning routine.

Labret, lip & tongue piercings all affect the mouth & a few risks are involved in getting them & keeping them. For the best results, listen to your artist & go to a dentist or doctor for any adverse reactions.

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