Tongue Piercing Aftercare Instructions to Prevent Infection

Tongue piercing aftercare instructions

One of the biggest concerns about getting a tongue piercing is the risk of infection.

The fact that this piercing is in your mouth puts it’s risk of getting infected higher than that of some other popular piercings.

This doesn’t have to be the case though – take good care of your tongue piercing and you should not experience any problems at all!

That’s exactly the reason I have created these tongue piercing aftercare instructions for you to follow.

Stick to this routine and you will soon have a nicely healed up tongue piercing which you can customize with all the stunning jewelry you can buy!

Cleansing your tongue piercing

during the healing period of your tongue piercing you will need to take the necessary steps to prevent infection and other problems arising.

This is very important in making sure your piercing heals up quickly and properly.

Note: Always wash your hands thoroughly before touching your piercing.

Rinse your mouth out

Oral-B Alcohol Free MouthwashRinse your mouth out after eating or drinking anything apart from plain water.

The mouthwash you use should be anti-bacterial and alcohol-free as alcohol is an irritant and may hinder the healing process of your piercing. Oral-B is a good brand. If you cannot get hold of Oral-B, use original Listerine diluted with water by 50%.

You should be rinsing your mouth out 4 or 5 times a day. This includes after each meal and before going to bed.

Swill the mouthwash around your mouth for about 60 seconds. Before you spit it out, gargle the mouthwash if you are able to do this. Be careful though and don’t choke!

Check your jewelry

Tongue Piercing Aftercare InstructionsWith clean hands, check the ball on your jewelry is tight enough so it does not fall out.

Do this by holding the bottom ball with one hand and with the other hand turn the top ball to the right. The rhyme to remember this is: Lefty loosy, Righty Tighty.

Whilst your at it, dab a bit of saline solution on your piercing around your jewelry. Saline solution is made by stirring half a teaspoon of sea salt into a glass of luke warm water (distilled water or spring water work best).

You should rinse your mouth out with pure distilled water to get rid of any salt which may remain on your tongue. If you have any health issues such as high blood pressure, skip this step altogether.

Practice good dental hygiene

Take extra care to keep those teeth clean so bacteria does not breed in your mouth.

Brush your teeth after every meal, being careful not to strike the jewelry in your tongue as this would hurt.

You should also floss your teeth as a lot of  the bacteria in your mouth will be found in between your teeth. This bacteria could spread and end up infecting your piercing.

As always: Prevention is better than cure!

Eat cold, soft foods

Banana and raspberry smoothieFor the first week after getting your tongue pierced you need to avoid too much chewing.

Don’t worry, it’s only a few days you will be going without your favourite foods. You can do it!

Eat only soft food such as soup and mashed potato. Smoothies are another great option as they are nutritious and filling.

Read: What can you eat when you get your tongue pierced?

If your piercing is feeling irritated, sore or swollen, try sucking on an ice cube to sooth it and reduce swelling.

Things to avoid

When you first get your tongue pierced, there are certain things you should avoid altogether.

Some things to avoid are:

  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Acidic, salty, hot or spicy food
  • Kissing and oral sex
  • Fiddling and playing with your jewelry
  • Removing or changing your jewelry
  • Chewing gum or any other chewy sweets such as toffee
  • Sharing plates, eating utensils or cups
  • Strong chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide or any cleansing solution containing alcohol

Just use your judgement; if it could harbour bacteria – avoid it!

What to expect whilst your piercing heals

Swollen tongue piercing
Swelling in common in new tongue piercings.

For the first 3 to 5 days your piercing will be a bit sore,red and swollen. This is perfectly normal and to be expected.

Don’t freak out if you see any light bleeding, bruising or experience tenderness during this period. This is very common and is a part of the natural healing process.

Your piercing may lightly excrete some white-yellowish fluid which is not pus after the initial stage of healing.

This should all pass within two weeks.

At the two week mark your piercing may appear to be healed from the outside but will still be tender on the inside so be gentle with it.

At this stage you may change your barbell from the long one (which made room for swelling) to a shorter one to prevent you from accidentally biting it. A long bar could move around and chip your teeth.

In tongue piercings it is safe to use titanium or stainless steel as these metals are easily sterilized. The ball is often made from acrylic as it is softer and less likely to chip your teeth.


Follow all these steps routinely and you will experience so serious problems with your new tongue piercing.

After a couple of weeks you will be able to start carefully changing your jewelry.

The amount of time a tongue piercing takes to fully heal varies drastically from person to person. The average time period is about 3 to 4 weeks.

After you have healed up you will be able to choose your jewelry from a larger selection. There is a massive selection available.

Treat yourself to a sexy new tongue bar here:

10 Comments on Tongue Piercing Aftercare Instructions to Prevent Infection

  1. I am always delighted about your images. Truly you might be a professional. The tongue piercing comes with strict rules and I do not know how many people can stick to it. I am always ready to read your post and already bookmarked.

    • Hi nkay.

      Thanks very much for reading my post and for bookmarking my site. I really glad you enjoyed reading this.

      I hope after people read this they will realise they need to take more care of their piercing.

      Nice one!

  2. Hannah, this is a very interesting article on tongue piercing. Thank you for being so thorough about the do’s and don’t. Is it true that the tongue swells a lot when you get it pierced?

    • Hi Diane.

      I’m glad you found my post interesting. Yes, it is true that the tongue piercing often swells a lot when it is first done. That is the reason the piercer will put extra long jewelry in it – so there enough space for swelling!

      Thanks for reading.

  3. Hi there Hannah,

    Besides having two of my ear lobes pierced once when I was very young, I really don’t know much about piercing stuff at all. So this question might sound a bit silly.

    When you create a hole in your tongue and decide later on that you don’t want to have a pierce at that area, will it heal back? How many areas can you create piercing in a tongue?

    Thank you for enlightening me with this blog post.

    • Hey Cathy.

      No question is silly, that’s actually a good question and something that people need to know. If you remove the jewelry from a tongue piercing it will close up and heal back to normal. There will be a slight scar but if the piercing was cared for properly, any scarring will fade with time.

      You can pierce any part of the tongue – there are many different types of tongue piercing. Some of these piercings involved getting two piercings done in the tongue at once!

      Thanks for reading and for your comment.

  4. Hey there Hanna, there seems to be a lot more going on here with piercings than what the onlooker might understand. From where I stand I thought it was as simple as punching a hole and placing a jewellery piece in it. Seems to be that it takes plenty care and maintenance needed to have a successful piercing

    • Hey Elliedan.

      There is certainly a lot more to getting a piercing than most would probably think. Caring for the piercing is highly important.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Great site Hanna! I have one ear pierced. My daughter has a nose ring, your site made me think of her. You’re very professional anyone could follow your instructions. Interesting site loved it!

    Cheers to you,

    • Hi James.

      I’m glad you find my website to be professional. I hope to provide all the information anyone with piercings could need.

      Thanks for reading.

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