Thoughtfulness about what to eat after getting a tongue piercing is an important part of aftercare. Swelling, irritation, and general oral discomfort are to be expected with a new tongue piercing. Additionally, it’s important to be gentle with healing tissue to avoid complications. So, a diet of soft foods and lots of water is recommended by professional piercers for at least the first couple weeks of healing.
One: A Soft Diet Avoiding Acidic, Hot, Spicy, and Salty Foods
For the first few days up to the full 2 weeks, eating soft foods helps the piercing heal by not causing additional irritation or damage. Acidic, hot, spicy, and salty foods should be avoided because they can prolong the swelling or cause enough irritation for the piercing to bleed. Also, consider the level of stickiness of the food: extra “soft” items like oatmeal, peanut butter, and mashed potatoes are going to stick all over the mouth and aren’t actually a good option.
Another important part about what you can eat after getting a tongue piercing is chewing carefully during the healing period. The tongue will be swollen for the first few days, and the longer barbell stays in for about 2-3 weeks, until all the swelling is gone. Being more aware and deliberate about chewing and eating during this time helps reduce the chance of biting down on the barbell.
To get started, break food into smaller pieces so there is less to chew overall. Place the food carefully in the back of the mouth on one side or the other (over your molars), and bite down gently. Be careful to only bite/chew straight up and down at first as well, which also reduce the chance of the barbell getting caught in between teeth.
A fully liquid diet might be helpful and more comfortable for the first few days, but it is not required at all.
Two: Iced or Cold Water and Beverages
Staying well-hydrated is an important part of healing any wound, including tongue piercings. Water is always the best option to drink after getting a tongue piercing, but coconut water, teas, and juices that are not high in citrus/acid can also provide plenty of hydration.
Cold and iced beverages have the added benefit of helping soothe the swelling and giving some pain relief. Keep away from alcohol, acidic/citrusy juices, and heavily caffeinated beverages after getting a tongue piercing though because they can also irritate the tissue just like spicy foods can.
It’s important to stick to a soft food diet for at least the first two weeks of healing or up to three or four weeks if the swelling is persistent (or if you encounter other problems).
Once the swelling is gone and the tongue piercing jewelry is downsized, you can resume your regular diet. Eating food items gently is still recommended as you get accustomed to chewing foods with the new barbell in your mouth.
Feel free to call your professional piercer to ask any questions or advice while your piercing is healing—they are happy to help you keep your piercing healthy.