In terms of popular body piercings, next to the ears, you may be surprised to learn that the tongue is actually the second most popular part of the body to have pierced. Piercings in general are designed to benefit us in numerous different ways. Not only are they intended to enhance and improve our appearance, functioning as fashion accessories, they also allow us to express ourselves and make statements about who we are. In regards to any piercing however, it’s absolutely vital that you take care of the piercing as best you can, that you always look after it carefully, you follow aftercare instructions, and above all else, you have your piercing performed by a fully trained and fully qualified professional with years of experience and access to the best quality tools and equipment that money can buy. Put simply, if you’re away by the beach, or even in another country, and you see some shady little back alley shop offering cheap piercings, don’t even think about going inside and getting one as you will be putting your health at risk of infection, and besides which, chances are that they won’t know what they’re doing properly anyways, so not only will it look pretty poor, it probably won’t take, forcing your body to reject it anyways. Say that you have had your tongue pierced by a pro, taking care of the piercing during the healing process is down to you, so take a look at these handy tips.
Know which symptoms to expect – Before you go any further, the first thing you need to do is to know exactly which symptoms to expect. For example, for the initial 3 to 5 days, you can expect to see symptoms such as painful swelling, inflammation, bleeding, tenderness, and light bruising, along with increased sensitivity.
Ice for the swelling – Rather than sucking on entire ice cubes, which can be painful and uncomfortable, especially in the winter, it’s recommended that in order to help the initial swelling go down quicker, you should drink plenty of ice chips with iced water. Basically, every time you drink a glass of water, load it up with ice, sip on it, and swill it around your mouth slightly before swallowing. Allow the ice chips to melt inside your mouth and you’ll be amazed by just how quickly the swelling does in fact go down.
Avoid certain foods – Unless you want an especially nasty surprise when you next eat your dinner, you need to make sure that you avoid certain types of food, otherwise you run the risk of causing yourself a great deal of pain and discomfort. Spicy foods, extra salty foods, acidic foods, and even hot (temperature) foods can all cause stinging and burning sensations on, and around the piercing, so until your tongue piercing has fully healed, don’t risk it and stick with foods you know won’t irritate you.
Always wash your hands – Before you handle your piercing for any reason, make sure that you thoroughly wash your hands using hot water and anti-bacterial soap. Even the slightest traces of bacteria can lead to infection, and an infected tongue piercing is no joke.
Rinse your mouth thoroughly – Bacteria thrive in conditions which are: warm, dark, and moist, and guess what? Yep, the human mouth fits that criteria perfectly, so it’s no wonder that the human mouth is a breeding ground for all types of different bacteria. For that reason, keeping your mouth as clean and as sterile as possible is absolutely essential. After each meal, as well as in the morning and right before bed, use a good quality anti-bacterial, alcohol-free mouth wash/rinse solution and swill it around your mouth thoroughly for around 40 – 60 seconds at a time. When you spit the mouthwash down the sink, make sure you don’t then drink water afterwards as this will rinse it away much quicker.
Clean the piercing itself – Another great way of caring for your tongue piercing is to use small cotton buds to clean it. Take a teaspoon of natural sea salt, dissolve it in a little warm water, and, using the cotton bud, apply it liberally to your piercing on both the upper, and under-side of your tongue. Repeat this process 2 – 4 times each day. As well as that, although you may not enjoy the taste, you should also use anti-bacterial soap to clean the piercing in the same way as before, just make sure you don’t swallow any soap by mistake, because although it won’t hurt you, it certainly won’t taste too pleasant.
Replace the jewelry when the swelling subsides – After the swelling has gone down after a week or two, make sure you replace your jewelry with something smaller. You should speak to your piercer for this as they will know exactly which size and design of jewelry to use.