How to Properly Care for a New Tongue Piercing

HeatherT514 By HeatherT514, 3rd Oct 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Oral Care

Tips to prevent infection and "tearing" of a new tongue ring.

Caring for Your Tongue Ring

Tongue piercing is not a new trend. In fact, it was used in ancient times. People back then believed that by getting their tongue pierced it helped them alter their state of mind, and aided in communications with gods. Now, however, a tongue piercing is more of a fashion statement.

Those who get their tongue pierced normally decide to have it done, get it done, and then realize they don’t know how to care for it. Or, sadly, don’t think they have to care for it.

However, there are certain things you should do in the first four to six weeks, as well as certain things you should avoid doing. If you don’t care for your tongue ring properly, if can cause many problems. Swelling, which will happen even if cared for properly, will not subside and even become worse. Infection is not uncommon. A tongue ring can even lead to dental issues such as tooth chipping and a receding gum line.

Don't Play With It

Almost everyone who gets their tongue pierced has to play with it. You probably are no different. You find yourself flipping your tongue out, catching the ball between your lips. You run it around your teeth and are amazed at the new sensation. You aren’t above biting or chewing on the ball. By doing these things though, you run the risk of not only ripping or tearing the new hole but also chipping your tooth, both of which are very painful.

Also, keep your hands out of your mouth. Think about the things you have touched in a day’s time. You know your fingers have germs and bacteria on them. When you put your germ-ridden fingers into your mouth, you are risking an infection.

Keep it clean

Always carry a travel sized bottle of mouth wash that contains no alcohol with you wherever you go. Keep a large bottle of this same mouthwash in your bathroom. You need to rinse your mouth often, especially after eating and drinking. Mouthwash will help to kill the bacteria in your mouth, and lessen your chance of getting an infection.

Don’t think that while brushing your teeth, you should brush around or over your tongue ring, as this can result in tearing the hole. Brush your teeth as you normally would, while avoiding your tongue ring completely. Then rinse with the mouthwash.

Watch Your Foods

The biggest mistake newly pierced people make is to run right out afterwards and grab a pizza or some other food. Give yourself a little time between the piercing and eating. It is very easy to take a bite, only to realize you’ve bitten the ball of your ring. Again, biting the ball can chip your tooth, or tear the hole.

For the first few weeks, you will want to avoid eating foods that could get stuck on, or wrapped around, your tongue ring. These things include pizza and spaghetti. These foods are great, but not if when you swallow it tries to take your tongue ring with it. Also avoid cereals like cheerios, apple jacks, or anything else that comes in nice little round circles. These can easily slip over the ball of your tongue ring and become stuck, leaving you to pull and tug on them to get them off, increasing your soreness.

Give Your Tongue a Break

When working on romance with your boyfriend or girlfriend, keep your tongue out of things for the first four to six weeks. Kissing is part of this too, as your significant other is going to be even less used to it then you are. If their lips close to soon, you are going to be in for some pain. Give your tongue a break.

Keep it Tight

The only time your fingers should go in your mouth is when you are checking to ensure the balls of the barbell are on securely. The balls can become loose in general as you talk, eat, and play with your tongue ring.

Every night before you go to bed, very carefully check to make sure the balls are screwed on securely. This helps ensure you don’t accidentally swallow a ball in the middle of the night, and also makes sure the barbell doesn’t slide out. Replacing a barbell in the first few days after a piercing can be quite painful as your tongue is already swollen and tender.

Speaking of Swelling

It is quite natural for everyone’s tongue to be swollen right after piercing. This swelling will reduce towards the end of day two, and is normally gone completely by the end of day three. Yours may take less or more time given the rate of which your body heals.

In the morning when you first wake up is often the time when swelling can be at its worse. For this, you can try reducing the swelling by popping some ice chips on your tongue. The trick with this though is to let them melt on their own. Don’t suck on or bite them. You may also take an anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen.

If the swelling remains for an extended period of time, you should go see your doctor to be sure you don’t have an infection. Also, rarely, after having something pierced, people will find that they are allergic to the steel (or plastics, or coating) used in certain types of body jewelry.

The four to six week time frame used is the time frame it takes for your tongue to toughen up. It does this by forming a callus around the hole itself. It is the average amount of time people report being cautious with foods and cleaning. At the end of this time your tongue may still be healing, even though you can eat the foods you want, and no longer bother with cleanings. Your tongue can take up to one year to heal fully.


Body Art, Body Piercing, Infection, Infection And Bacteria, Infections, Oral, Oral Care, Oral Health, Oral Health Care, Oral Hygiene, Piercing, Piercings, Prevent Infection, Preventative Maintenance, Prevention And Care, Preventive Maintenance, Rings, Tattoo, Tattoo Basics, Tattoo Tips, Tattooing, Tongue Rings

Meet the author

author avatar HeatherT514
I am a single, work from home mom of two. I began writing at a very young age, and now use my love of writing to support myself and my children.

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