At BJS we are used to hearing alarmist claims about the danger of body piercings and today is no different – a study from the University at Buffalo claims that tongue bars damage teeth. They have released a report based on a single patient, resulting in many high profile news websites plastering their front pages with unsubstantiated claims that tongue piercings lead to tooth damage, brain abscesses and expensive dental work.

Unfortunately for said news websites the University at Buffalo study is not representative of the majority experience (hands up everyone with tongue piercings and healthy teeth!), responsible piercing aftercare or modern tongue studs. Basically the report concerns a 26 year old woman who has developed a gap in her teeth due to playing with her metal barbell for 7 years.

University at Buffalo Claims Tongue Bars Damage Your Teeth

My main objection to this story is that it is the experience of one person and that some basic piercing advice could have prevented her problems – if she did not have access to such advice or a good piercer, then that is another issue. The story offers no statistics on the supposed link between tongue piercing and tooth damage, so all we have is one individual who had a bad experience.

BioFlex Tongue Bars

BioFlex Tongue Bars

Here at Body Jewellery Shop we know that the most important factor in getting a piercing is knowledge – I would have advised this patient to wear a BioFlex tongue bar, stop playing with it and seek dental attention at the first sign of tooth damage. Wearing a BioFlex tongue bar can eliminate the issues mentioned in the University at Buffalo tongue bar report. BioFlex is a fantastic new material that is flexible and highly biocompatible. I will explain its many benefits in a minute but suffice it to say, this patient could have avoided her dental issues by wearing one.

The main issue here is that the patient and possibly the dentists involved in the report lack knowledge about the latest innovations in tongue piercing jewellery. BioFlex tongue bars were not widely available when the patient had her tongue pierced 7 years ago but since then they have become widely available and very popular. If she had asked a good piercer for advice they could have told her to switch to a softer BioFlex tongue bar and stop the damage right there. Of course we don’t know if the patient sought advice and if she did, what that advice was. All I know is that any good body piercer should be up to date on the latest types of jewellery and that you should always seek help at the first sign of a problem, rather than letting it progress this far.

How BioFlex Tongue Bars Reduce Risks

BioFlex is a medical plastic that is used to create body jewellery, medical devices, implants and many other products. It is one of the best materials for safe body jewellery with both European Standards and FDA approval:

BioFlex complies to regulations on Medical Use: the Council of Europe, European Pharmacopeia, 3rd Edition (1997) and Supplement 2001 Monograph 3.2.2 USA. The product has passed the Class IV tests (for Bio-compatibility) of the United States Pharmacopeia XXIV and has been approved by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration for implantation and medical use.

The main benefit of BioFlex tongue bars is that they are soft and flexible. This means that they do not push against your teeth like a metal bar and you cannot chip your teeth on them. This would have prevented the problems experienced by the University at Buffalo patient or at least stopped them progressing so far. The other benefits of BioFlex tongue bars are:

  1. High biocompatibility reduces chance of infection
  2. Reduces healing times when compared to metal jewellery
  3. Bends with the body
  4. Too soft to chip tooth enamel
  5. High flexibility reduces pressure on teeth
  6. Non-stick properties prevent plaque build-up
  7. Can be trimmed with scissors to ensure perfect fit
  8. Metal-free
  9. Safe for X-ray
  10. Safe for MRI scans
  11. Safe for most medical/dental procedures
  12. Reduces impact damage in case of accidents
  13. Easy to customise, fit and insert
  14. Safe for initial piercing jewellery

View the original story from University at Buffalo