If your teenager is determined to have their tongue pierced but you're equally determined not to let them, then you'll have tried to persuade them not to have the piercing. If this hasn't worked and your teen is almost old enough to go ahead without your permission, then you may think there's nothing else you can do.
Before you give up, check that your teenager knows how a tongue piercing might impact their teeth. Your teen may not know that a piercing doesn't just affect the tongue but can also cause dental problems. What should you tell them?
Tongue Piercings and Teeth
When you have your tongue pierced, your mouth has to cope with having piercing jewellery in it. This jewellery can damage the teeth, especially if you wear heavy metal studs, rings or barbells.
If these pieces bang against the teeth, then they can crack a tooth or chip off enamel. A piercing can smash into a tooth accidentally, or it can happen over time. If you're wearing a tongue stud and habitually tap it against your teeth, the teeth may eventually get weak and break.
If this happens, you'll need fillings or other restorative work to fix the damage. If you continue to wear the tongue piercing, it could then damage the restorative work itself, leaving you back at square one.
Tongue Piercings and Orthodontics
People who wear tongue piercings often play with their jewellery by pushing or tapping it against their teeth. Even if you don't actively do this, jewellery can push on certain areas without your help depending on where the piercing is.
Tongue jewellery often pushes against the back of the teeth. If this happens for a long time, the regular pressure of the jewellery can start to push teeth out of position. For example, teeth may start to protrude or develop gaps.
At this stage the only solution is orthodontic work to straighten the teeth out or close the gap. If your teen has had braces before, then this may be enough to put them off having their tongue pierced — they may not want to wear a brace again.
If your teen doesn't want to listen to you, make an appointment for them to see your dentist to talk about the piercing. Your teen may listen to someone who has seen the negative effects of tongue piercings first-hand and who can talk to them about how their teeth might be affected.