How to Take Care of Your Tongue Piercing

Girl with Tongue Pierced

Taking care of your tongue piercing while it heals is an easy and straightforward process. Follow these key guidelines as recommended by The Association of Professional Piercers (APP) and you’ll end up with a healthy, healed piercing. These tips apply to the classic tongue piercing, venom tongue piercings, and all the other different kinds of tongue piercings as well.

Always contact a professional piercer or a nearby professional piercing shop to ask about any problems or if you are experiencing a lot of pain, swelling, or bleeding after the first few days.

Clean Your Tongue Piercing 2 to 3 times a Day for the First 4 Weeks

Clean your tongue piercing regularly during healing, which will be around 3 and 4 weeks. The APP recommends the sea salt soak method (also called saline solutions soaks) to clean your tongue piercing. You can also use an alcohol-free mouthwash. Note that alcohol can irritate the tissue of the tongue, which could increase the healing time. If you have eaten but don’t have saline solution with you, you can rinse your mouth with plain water a few times to help clean any food from your piercing.

Eat Soft Foods and be Careful When Chewing

During the first few days, stick to soft foods and liquids to avoid irritating or injuring your tongue or teeth. It’s also a good idea to avoid citrusy, salty, spicy, and hot foods and beverages for a few days while the swelling is at its worst. The swelling will last around 7 to 10 days. 

Professional piercers recommend that chewing very gently to learn how to chew food with a barbell in the tongue, and without biting down on it. Softly chewing and biting down for a while will lessen any jolts if there is any contact with the barbell or tongue jewelry.

The APP also recommends avoiding kissing, oral sex, smoking, drinking alcohol, and chewing on things like fingernails, glasses, and pencils until a tongue piercing is fully healed.

It’s hard to refrain from some of these fun activities, but it’s all in the name of good health and healing. These are all things that could either introduce bacteria into a fresh piercing and lead to an infection or they could irritate a fresh piercing and cause additional pain and swelling.

Downsize Tongue Barbell

Downsize From the Healing Barbell After the Swelling is Gone

It’s important to discuss downsizing the tongue jewerly with the piercer when you get the piercing. Because of the amount of swelling, a longer barbell is used for the initial piercing of a tongue piercing so that it can heal comfortably. Once the swelling goes down, a shorter barbell is needed to keep the jewelry resting comfortably in the tongue. Keeping a longer barbell in after the swelling is gone can cause irritation to the piercing. The extra length will also increase the chance of biting down on the jewelry, which can potentially hurt or damage the teeth.