How to take care of your tongue

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How to Take Care of Your Tongue Piercing

Four Parts:

If you get a tongue piercing, it is crucial that you take care of it properly. Tongue piercings can easily become infected due to improper care. Follow these few simple guidelines to clean and maintain your tongue piercing and it will heal perfectly in no time!


Getting the Piercing

  1. Get permission.If you are under 18, make sure you get permission from a parent or guardian before you get the piercing. You need to have this approval so that you don't waste your time taking care of a piercing that you'll just have to take out regardless.
  2. Do your research.Find a piercer with a good reputation at a reputable tattoo or piercing shop. Read customer reviews online to find out information about the piercer's reputation, and make sure the piercer has completed an apprenticeship with a reputable piercer.
  3. Check out the shop.It is crucial for a piercing/tattoo shop to be sterile and clean. If you go to the store, and it does not appear immaculately clean, don't get a piercing there.
  4. Make sure sterile utensils are used.When you get the piercing, make sure that the piercer opens up a package of unused, sterile needles to use for your piercing. This is crucial to prevent the spread of infection and disease.
  5. Expect a little pain.The piercing itself will hurt minimally. The initial healing and swelling are the worst part.
  6. Don't be surprised.For the actual piercing, the piercer will take a clamp and put it on your tongue to hold it in place. This protects you from jerking when the piercing happens.

Surviving the Initial Healing Period

  1. Know what to expect.There will be more symptoms for the first 3-5 days immediately after getting the piercing. Expect to see swelling, light bleeding, bruising, and tenderness, especially during this initial period.
  2. Use ice chips to help with swelling.Drink lots of ice cold water and let small ice chips melt in your mouth to help keep the swelling down. Make sure they aresmallice chips so you don't freeze your mouth.
    • Don't suck on the ice chips; just let them melt in your mouth.
  3. Avoid potentially harmful objects/activities.Avoid tobacco, alcohol, large amounts of caffeine, oral sexual contact (including french kissing), chewing gum, and playing with your jewelry during the initial week of healing.
  4. Avoid spicy, hot, salty or acidic foods for a while.These can cause stinging and burning sensations on and near the piercing.
  5. Expect some discharge.Even if you follow these steps and do exactly what the aftercare sheet says, there could still be a whitish goo that come out of the piercing hole. This is normal and is not an infection. Just make sure that it is not puss.

Cleaning it Properly

  1. Rinse your mouth.After you get the piercing, use alcohol-free mouthwash 4 or 5 times daily for up to 60 seconds, including after meals and at bedtimes.
  2. Clean the piercing.To clean the outside of the piercing, dab sea salt on the piercing 2 to 3 times daily and wash with mild anti-microbial soap up to twice a day.
  3. Wash your hands.Always wash your hands with antibacterial soap before cleaning or touching the piercing or jewelry.Never touch the piercing except during moments of cleaning.
  4. Dry the piercing properly.Dry the piercing after cleaning with a paper towel or napkin instead of a bath towel or cloth. Towels can contain germs and bacteria, so it is better to use a disposable paper product instead.

Wearing the Right Jewelry

  1. Check the balls regularly.Occasionally, the balls on tongue piercing bars can become unscrewed or loose over time. It is important that you regularly check to make sure they are tight. Use one hand to hold the bottom ball in place and use the other hand to tighten the top ball.
    • Note: To tighten the balls, remember twisting to the right tightens and twisting to the left loosens.
  2. Change the jewelry after the initial swelling dissipates.Know that the original jewelry should be replaced with shorter jewelry after the swelling has reduced. See your piercer for this change, because it usually will be during the healing period.
  3. Choose the right style for you.Once the initial healing process is over, you can pick any of the many styles of jewelry for your tongue piercing. Just keep in mind if you have metal allergies or sensitivities to certain materials.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Why does it matter if my mouthwash is alcohol-based or alcohol-free?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    An alcohol-based mouthwash can irritate your piercing and make it more painful.
  • Question
    Is it normal for the ball to make a spot in my tongue?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes. During the healing and swelling it may leave a dent.
  • Question
    Can I drink warm tea with sugar within the first week of getting my tongue pierced?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, you will be able to eat normally after a week. It can take up to three to ten days for the swelling to go down, just make sure you're cleaning it after every meal or drink if it isn't water.
  • Question
    How long after getting a piercing can you give oral sex?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Wait at least a month until swelling and pain goes away. Pressure can add to the pain if you try to perform oral sex too early. Once you switch to a shorter barbell and the pain goes away you'll be able to do whatever.
  • Question
    Will my tongue swell after a piercing?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    It won't swell right away, but it will most likely swell the day after. Swelling goes down in about a week or so, depending on your body's reaction to the piercing.
  • Question
    When I eat, what should I do before, during and after eating?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Before you eat, wash your mouth out with warm water and salt. During eating, chew slowly and pick whichever side that feels better. After eating, wash your mouth out again.
  • Question
    I just got my tongue pierced yesterday. What foods can I eat today?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    The best thing to eat would be soup or cup of noodles, but make sure it is just warm and not hot at all, or it may burn your tongue and cause pain. Cold things such as popsicles are good for bringing down the swelling as well. It's difficult to eat the first couple days, but pain goes down in about a week or so.
  • Question
    Is it okay to play with my piercing during the initial healing period?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    No, it is best to leave it alone as much as possible to let it heal properly.
  • Question
    Can I use regular salt instead of sea salt?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Sea salt is preferred.
  • Question
    Why does it seem like my ring is sinking into my tongue?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    This is most likely because you played with the jewelry in your mouth during healing and the top hole got larger than it should be.
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  • Cold drinks can help soothe and reduce swelling during the healing.
  • Have bottled water with sea salt in it with you at all times if you have a busy schedule.
  • Keep your head elevated while sleeping to reduce swelling throughout the night.
  • Never take out the jewelry during the healing stage.
  • Eat soft foods, so you don't irritate the piercing while chewing, or if you don't want the piercing to interfere with eating.
  • Take Tylenol, Benadryl, or Advil to help reduce swelling and pain.
  • Use Ibuprofen to help relieve the pain.
  • Sleep with your head higher than the rest of your body to reduce swelling.
  • Don't play with your piercing while healing because it will take longer to heal.
  • Taking Midol will reduce pain and keep swelling down.
  • Keep a bottle of salt water on hand. Swishing with salt water will help with any irritation you are feeling around your piercing.
  • If you can eat after a few days of getting it done then do it because you'll have to get custom to it but make sure you rinse your mouth out with mouth wash or at least water until mouth wash is available.


  • If swelling still occurs one month after getting pierced, see a doctor. Swelling should only last 2-6 days.
  • Don't gargle with a lot of salt water. This will irritate the freshly pierced tongue, and it burns.
  • Always remember to keep the piercing in for at least two weeks before changing the jewelry so that it doesn't close up. The piercing will close in under 30 minutes if you take the piercing out too soon.

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Views: 957,847

Austin Fontae

Sep 28

"This article answered all of my questions, even some that I wouldn't have thought to ask about. It also made mefeel confident that I was taking care of my piercing correctly."

Bobbie Harvey

May 4, 2019

"This is the first time I have gotten my tongue pierced and I was worried, because it really hurts, but I have onlyhad it for officially two days now. Reading this helped me with know how long to expect the pain. I thought mine was messed up already lol."

Dalena Nguyen

Oct 23, 2019

"I'm nervous, because this is my first time getting my tongue pierced. Reading this and the tips and questionspeople have added helped me out a lot, now I know what I can and can't do. Thanks!"

Carrie Warkentin

Apr 14

"Every side effect possible was listed and that they were normal helped a lot. Plus a lot of ideas on how to cleanand what not to do etc. Great info. It all helped to know. Just in case! :)"


Jul 29, 2019

"The sea salt tip was helpful. I didn't know I could do that. My piercer didn't inform me. My tongue feels kind oflike when you burn a little spot with hot coffee or something."

Tamara Plummer

Mar 16, 2019

"I'm getting my tongue pierced tomorrow and feel a bit more knowledgeable about what to expect, and have a plan onhow to get through the healing stage. Very helpful."

Sarah Kelly

Jan 8, 2019

"All of the questions and answers stood out great for me, as I've just has my tongue pierced and I was wonderingwhat to do! Thanks, helped me a lot."

Lily Frangipane

Jul 22, 2019

"I wanted to get a tongue piercing, but I had no idea how to take care, so I was worried about swelling and stuff.This article helped me about it."
Rated this article:

Malinda Williams

Aug 17, 2019

"It was a little more detailed than the aftercare instructions that I received. Overall I learned a lot from thisarticle. Very helpful."

Gail B.

Jun 29, 2019

"I'm planning to have my tongue pierced this weekend and this article helped a lot. It has answered all myquestions. Thank you!"

Lia F.

Aug 2, 2019

"It answered almost every question I had about my new tongue piercing, and they were all valid and good tips. Thankyou! "
Rated this article:

Rebecca Nicole

Mar 14

"It helped me learn how to care properly for my new tongue piercing, and what to expect during the healing process."

Emma Lowe

Nov 23, 2019

"Tips, warnings, and the Q&A section were quite helpful, as some of the questions had were already answeredthere."

Marianna McPherson

Sep 18, 2019

"I pierced my tongue yesterday but didn't know about the ice to relieve the swelling. That worked! Thanks."

Mariyah Smith

Jul 24, 2019

"What really stood out to me is the details that were given on how to take care of your piercings."


Apr 12

"All of it. Got my tongue pierced and was given little info, but this has helped so much."

Stevie Reimer

May 18, 2019

"Extremely helpful. It helped calm some of my nerves after getting my tongue pierced."

Kitsune Silver

Sep 2, 2019

"I'm getting mine done tomorrow, and it's a relief after all the research I've done."


Apr 12

"Had my piercing done today and this site really helped with the questions I had. "
Rated this article:

Love Adams

Jul 12, 2019

"I'm doing research for a future piercing, so this article was extremely helpful."

Shanell Niles

Apr 9, 2019

"It was amazing because I have snake eyes and the directions come in handy."

Raven Washington

Aug 27, 2019

"The foods I shouldn't eat would be spicy, citrus fruit and salty things."

Georgia Wharmsby

Sep 4, 2019

"I had no clue how to look after mine. This was so helpful! Thank you!"

Adaiah Kabwe

Dec 14, 2019

"The do and don'ts of the healing period are amazing and in-depth."

Selena M.

Sep 5, 2019

"Step 5 helped a lot. Not everyone talks about the discharge."

Mikey West

May 28, 2019

"It really helped me because I got my tongue done recently. "
Rated this article:

Lucy Young

Jul 3, 2019

"Very detailed information that helped a lot! Thank you."

Madison Purry

Jul 6, 2019

"I learned a thing or two that I didn't know before."

Melanie Torres

Jul 30, 2019

"Everything on this article helped me, thanks.

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Date: 04.12.2018, 12:41 / Views: 64452