Category Archives: Teen Spot

To Pierce or Not to Pierce

Oral Piercings, are they a good idea?While oral piercings are a popular fad among teenagers, there are many risks to consider before deciding to pierce your tongue:

Procedure Related Risks:

  • Infection:  Infection is possible with any opening in skin or oral tissues.  Considering that the mouth is teeming with bacteria, oral piercing carries a high potential for infection at the piercing site.  Handling the jewelry after it is placed can also lead to infection.  Failing to properly care for the piercing immediately following the procedure can also cause infection.
  • Swelling:  Swelling is a common sympton of piercings.  The tongue is in constant motion which can slow and complicate the healing process.


Jewelry Related Complications:

  • Injury to the gums:  Metal jewelry in general can injure gums and if placed where it is in constant contact with the gums, it can cause the soft tissue to recede.
  • Damage to the teeth: Contact with the jewelry can chip or crack the teeth or dental restorations.
  • Interference with normal oral function:  Oral jewelry can stimulate excessive saliva production, impede the ability to pronounce words clearl and may cause problems with chewing and swallowing food.
  • Aspiration:  There is always the potential for the jewelry to become loose which then becomes a choking hazard.

If you do decide to proceed with an oral piercing, extra dental care should be taken.  Make sure when you brush your teeth that you also brush your tongue; take the jewelry out daily and clean it with warm water and soap and rinse the hole in the tongue with a small stream of water.

Tobacco and Oral Health

Some facts to know about tobacco use:

  • Smokers are about twice as likely to lose their teeth.  If you start smoking at age 18, you could lose between 4 and 5 teeth by the time you are 35.  The rate is 2.9 teeth every ten years according to Tufts University.
  • Smoking and smokeless tobacco cause bad breath, oral cancer and periodontal disease.   Because the early signs of oral cancer usually are not painful, people often ignore them.  If not caught in the early stages, oral cancer can require extensive, sometimes disfiguring surgery or worse, it can kill you.  If you are a tobacco user, watch out for a sore that won’t heal, white or red leathery patches on your lips and on or under your tongue; pain, tenderness or numbness anywhere in the mouth or lips, difficult in chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your jaw or tongue or a changes in the way your teeth fit together.
  • Sugar is often added to smokeless chewing tobacco which can lead to increased tooth decay.

About-Face, Equipping Women

We stumbled onto another good website today: About-Face equips women and girls with tools to understand and resist harmful media messages that affect their self-esteem and body image. On their website they explain WHY they do what they do:

Why we do it

All the major studies point to the problem: Western culture’s emphasis on stereotypes of women and girls, and thinness as the beauty ideal, is a risk factor for depression, negative mood, and binge eating. In turn, dieting is linked with eating disorders. In addition,

  • 95 percent of girls want to lose weight.
  • Teenage girls who read articles about dieting are five times more likely to take extreme weight-loss measures five years later than girls who do not read such articles.
  • Body image and eating disturbances contribute to higher levels of depression in adolescent girls.
  • Women of color and Caucasian (white) women are equally likely to present symptoms of eating disorders such as bulimia and binge eating disorder.

Check these guys out!

Do Something!

t4j-postlaunch-desktop-extendedWe heard about a great not-for-profit group for young people called, so thought we’d check it out. And guess what? It’s amazing! Here’s a few things they say about themselves: is the country’s largest not-for-profit for young people and social change. We have 2.5 million members (and counting!) who kick %*# on causes they care about. Bullying. Animal cruelty. Homelessness. Cancer. The list goes on. spearheads national campaigns so 13- to 25-year-olds can make an impact – without ever needing money, an adult, or a car. Over 2.4 million people took action through in 2012. Why? Because apathy sucks.


  • Believe in young people. Young people have the power to lead. We don’t require old people!
  • Trust young people. We provide reliable, easy-to-access information and activation strategies, but young people decide for themselves what to do.
  • Celebrate young people. We think all measurable contributions from young people are valuable.
  • Respect young people. We understand that young people have diverse abilities and constraints.
  • Value young people. Our programs and products are free. We’re not after young people’s money; we want their passion, time, and creativity.

Some of the campaigns that are live right now are Teens for Jeans, The Bully Text, and Love Letters. Go check them out, and DO SOMETHING!