When it comes to ear piercing, plugs should be put in as soon as the tapers are worn. Tapers are not meant to be worn on their own.
Wearing tapers without plugs may cause some amount of pressure on the lobes or pull the lobes down, which is not a good thing if the ears have not healed properly. Because of the taper's length, it can be pulled or knocked, causing a tear in the lobe or irritation.
A taper is meant to be worn with the right size of plug. The size of the plug depends on how much a person wishes to stretch the ear. A water-based lubricant can be used together with the taper when inserting the plug in.