Taking good care of your tongue piercing will help it to heal well and keep it healthy in the future. Tongue piercings actually heal very quickly, thanks to the tongue’s high blood supply. Most tongue piercings take 4 to 6 weeks to heal completely, but the initial swelling should go down after a week. On the whole, caring for your tongue piercing is very straightforward. The most important things to remember are to keep the piercing clean with mouthwash and too avoid irritating foods. Once your tongue piercing has healed, it requires very little care. As long as you wear correctly fitting jewellery and maintain good oral health, you will most likely forget all about it – your tongue piercing will just become a part of who you are!
How To Care For New Tongue Piercing
- Rinse with alcohol-free mouthwash 4-5 times a day.
- Keep your mouth clean and brush your teeth after meals. This reduces the chance of food irritating your tongue piercing.
- Ibuprofen painkillers will reduce the swelling, as will cold drinks and ice cubes.
- Do not remove or change the jewellery until after the initial healing period. Most piercers will pierce the tongue with a long bar to allow room for swelling. Once the swelling has gone down (usually a week) they will change it for a shorter bar.
- If the bar feels too short or the balls start to sink into the surface of your tongue, consult your piercer immediately. You might need a longer bar.
- Avoid touching your tongue piercing – if you have to touch it, wash your hands before.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking, as these can slow down the healing process.
- Avoid chewing gum and foods likely to stick to your jewellery.
- Avoid acidic, spicy and salty foods – they may sting!
- Avoid oral sexual contact, swimming pools and sharing drinks. All of these will expose you to increased risk of infection.
How To Care For A Healed Tongue Piercing
- Do not leave your tongue jewellery out for extended periods. Tongue piercings can shrink in a surprisingly short time, so don’t leave your jewellery out for too long. If you want to hide your piercing at work or school, invest in a tongue piercing retainer.
- Ensure that your tongue piercing bar fits correctly. Your tongue bar should not pinch or dig into your tongue, even when you stick your tongue out. A too-short tongue bar can sink into the surface of your tongue and cause pain. If you think your bar is too short, replace it immediately.
- Check your jewellery regularly for plaque build-up. Plaque can build up on your tongue bar in the same way as your teeth. If you notice plaque any plaque, remove your jewellery and clean thoroughly.
- Maintain good oral health. A clean and healthy mouth means a clean and healthy tongue piercing.
- Keep an eye out for any changes. A healthy healed tongue piercing should not hurt, change colour or produce discharge. If you notice any worrying changes, consult a professional piercer immediately.