ifIknew is a health initiative for young adults that uses a multi media approach, including social media and in person programs, to address the contemporary issues that impact the well-being, self-image, careers, and relationships of people in their 20's and 30's.

If I Knew is a prevention education project that raises awareness about risky behaviors that can profoundly impact lives.

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Q & A: I want to get my tongue pierced! Are there any negative side effects that I should be aware of?

The tongue is almost constantly in motion, and it is located in the mouth, which is a hotbed of bacteria. These two environmental factors sometimes jeopardize healthy healing. Fortunately, there are ways to greatly reduce the risk of infection. Check out the piercing studio before getting pierced. Studios which are members of the Association of Professional Piercers are held to very high standards of cleanliness, whereas many body art studios are often unregulated.  Check that they have an autoclave and ultrasonic cleanser for sterilizing instruments and that the piercer is skilled and experienced at this craft. Also, avoid going to a shop that uses piercing guns, which are much more difficult to clean and inflict greater tissue damage!

After you get pierced, you will probably be advised to avoid playing with the piercing, to wash your hands before touching it, to rinse your mouth a couple of times a day with diluted mouthwash or sea salt water for one minute, and most importantly, avoid oral sex (think HIV prevention) and open mouth kissing until the area has fully recovered.