Oral piercings include piercings that pass through the tongue, lips, cheeks, and sometimes, the uvula – the teardrop-shaped tissue at the back of your throat. While they give piercing enthusiasts a unique way to express their style, oral piercings have to be handled very carefully.

Oral piercing aftercare is crucial to prevent infection, reduce swelling, and speed up the process of healing.

Here’s a quick guide to proper oral piercing aftercare:

Tips for Oral Piercing Aftercare

  1. To clean the pierced area, you can either use a solution of non-iodized salt or an alcohol-free mouthwash. Swish the mouthwash or salt solution around your mouth for a few minutes. Repeat this many times a day to maintain proper hygiene and limit bacterial growth inside the mouth. For uvula piercings, you will also have to gargle with the solution.
  2. Mouth rinses should be done after every meal, before going to bed, and the first thing in the morning.
  3. To clean the outside area around your pierced lip or cheek, you can use a saltwater soak or a solution of liquid antibacterial soap with water. Always dry the area afterward using a clean paper towel.
  4. Brush your teeth twice a day. Use a new, soft-bristled toothbrush and be very careful when brushing near the pierced area. Rinse your mouth with the salt solution or an alcohol-free mouthwash after brushing your teeth.
  5. Eat soft foods and drink more fluids during the first few days. Some options include soup (not too hot), smoothies, ice cream, yogurt, pudding, etc. It may not be easy to chew food like you normally do and you don’t want to run the risk of biting on your piercing.
  6. Avoid eating very spicy, salty, or acidic food and drinks. Also, do not drink hot beverages like tea, coffee, or hot chocolate.
  7. Stay away from cigarettes, alcohol until the piercing is completely healed.
  8. You must keep the piercing away from harmful bacteria and any other foreign bodies. This also includes your partner. So, avoid kissing and any other activities involving the mouth. Do not share your plates, cups, fork, spoons, or knives with anyone.
  9. You will experience some swelling, which will continue for a few days. To help ease the swelling, you can put some ice in your mouth and let it dissolve.
  10. Do not lick your piercing or play with it. Cleaning time should be the only time you can touch it. Touching it unnecessarily can lead to infection, pain, swelling, and increased healing time.
  11. Do not try to change the jewelry before the piercing has healed.
  12. Sleep on your back with your head propped up for at least the first few days.

Oral piercings require extra care to help them heal properly. If you notice any signs of infection, such as prolonged swelling, redness, discharge, blistering, etc., make sure to consult your doctor immediately.