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How do I take care of oral piercings?

If you have a mouth or oral piercing, it's very important to see your dentist regularly and to brush twice a day and floss daily. If you experience any problem around the site of the piercing:
  • Contact your dentist or physician immediately for any signs of infection -- such as swelling, pain, fever, chills, shaking or a red-streaked appearance around the site of the piercing.
  • Keep the site clean and free of any matter that may collect on the jewelry by using a mouth rinse after every meal. Look for products that display the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance.
  • Minimize "clicking" the jewelry against teeth and avoid undue stress on the piercing. Be gentle. Be conscious of the movement of your jewelry when talking and chewing.
  • Check the tightness of your jewelry periodically -- with clean hands -- because beads can loosen on their threads. Checking can prevent you from choking on or swallowing your jewelry.
  • When taking part in sports, remove the jewelry and protect your mouth by using a mouthguard.
  • Most important, consider removing mouth jewelry before it causes a problem.
Because piercings can cause many problems in the mouth, it is best to be aware of how your body is reacting to them on a daily basis. Here are a few things you can do to help prevent complications:
  • Eat softer foods
  • Keep your mouth and teeth clean by brushing often with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and using an antimicrobial mouthwash.
  • Throughout the day, rinse your mouth out with warm, salty water.
  • Don't smoke or use tobacco.
  • Don't eat spicy, hard, or sticky food that you know could irritate your piercing.
  • Don't drink alcohol.
  • Contact your dentist immediately if you feel you have an infection.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.