Tongue Piercing Body piercing; many conformists wonder WHY? The most common answer among college students ages 18-24 was that " I just wanted one," (Armstrong np). Other list toppers were "for self expression," and " to be myself, I don't need to please or impress anyone" (Armstrong np). Tongue piercing is a controversial fad increasing in popularity.
To pierce; or not to pierce, it's a big decision. Many celebrities such as Sisqo and Nokio of Dru Hill, Cherokee, Dennis Rodman, and Janet Jackson have already taken the leap into body piercing. The majority of piercings are gotten on impulse, but it's a really good idea to do some research before- hand. Some things to consider when you are deciding about obtaining a piercing: Why do I want a piercing? Is it because I want to impress or fit in with others? Have I considered the health risks? Is this a decision that I feel sure about? To get a better idea about what a tongue piercing involves you can look at online sites like www.safepiercing.com
and articles on pro-quest direct. Whatever you end up doing, make sure that you don't have any doubts, and that you really want to get pierced.
So, you have done the research and made up your mind; you are going to pierce your tongue. Before you stick out that pink wonder - you should make sure you know who you're trusting with one of your organs, a few blood vessels, not to mention a major artery. In picking a shop the first thing you should look for is a valid APP (Association of Professional Piercers) membership certificate. This certificate says a lot about the place. To obtain a certificate the shop must provide good quality copies of: "business license and business card, proof that the piercer has been piercing for at least a year, First aid/ CPR certificate, picture of autoclave (a very effective sterilizer that uses steam), copy of spore test from autoclave (monthly tests required), a complete video tour of the shop, copies of release forms and aftercare sheets, and samples of all advertisements" (APP np.) Beyond that you should also go to the shop before you get your piercing, then ask yourself the following questions: Does the studio seem clean? Do the employees seem knowledgeable? Are they using a piercing gun? This is very important to know, because if the studio performs body piercings with a piercing gun then do not give them your business. Piercing guns cannot be properly sterilized, and if you get pierced with one then you are putting yourself at risk for several blood-born diseases. The last step in choosing a shop is to just trust your gut-- if you feel uneasy or suspicious about the place then just go somewhere else. Usually you have a good reason to feel that way.
The actual piercing is a very quick process. First you wash out your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash for about two minutes. Then you stick out your tongue and the piercer holds it in place with a specialized set of tongs that are basically like kitchen tongs. A needle with a cork on one end is put through the tongue, then a barbell, (an earring with a ball on each side, one that screws off), is pushed up from underneath the tongue. A narrow hole in the center of the barbell allows it to slide onto the needle. Once the barbell is pulled all the way through the needle is disposed of and the ball for the top of the barbell is screwed on. Pain is involved, and it's up to you to decide if it's worth it. Most other body piercings are preformed in a similar method (except for ones with rings.) There are numerous health risks involved in getting a piercing, particularly of the tongue, because of the amount of bacteria that is constantly present. Many people have found the risks greater than the rewards. Even if the piercing is obtained at a clean studio and is taken care of properly risks still exist. You could have an allergic reaction to the material the jewelry is made of, choke on the barbell if it comes loose, chip a tooth when eating or talking, and break or damage fillings. The majority of other risks like infection and artery damage can be avoided by going to a shop registered with APP.
After you have obtained the piercing your work has definitely not ended. In fact, the majority of responsibilities are afterwards. You have to wash your mouth out with a mix of mouthwash and hydrogen peroxide after eating, avoid solid foods for at least two weeks, and drinking out of a straw, and French kissing for at least a month. Anticipate your tongue to swell to about twice its normal size. The swelling should be gone after two to three weeks. The aftercare of a tongue piercing is a lot of work.
Tongue piercing is an act with a lot of drawbacks and only cosmetic rewards. The best reason people can think of to do it is, "to express myself." Even so, in generation X that reason is obviously enough. I personally think it's a cool way to separate yourself from the norm. Individuality Rules!!!