Here are some basic aftercare instructions for your oral piercings. As usual, the best thing to do is to listen to your piercer carefully and to apply all the aftercare measures your piercer recommends. This is yet another reason why you should always find an experienced, reliable piercer: you will need to be informed about all of the appropriate aftercare and safety measures you need to perform during healing.
Remember: healing time is crucial for your piercing. You need to perform adequate aftercare measures and to follow some common safety tips, to ensure your piercing heals nicely and without any problems.
Oral piercings are often tricky because part of the wound is typically located inside your mouth. As such, it may pose a problem, especially during eating and chewing. Oral piercings such as tongue piercing or labret piercings (lip, cheek) have to be cleaned carefully and a special measure should be taken not to damage the piercing during eating.
To clean your oral piercing, it’s best to use a gentle solution that will not cause harm to your piercing. At the same time, a solution you choose has to be strong enough to fully clean your piercing. It’s best to use a common saline solution suitable for all piercing types, or a special, gentle cleaner specially formulated to be used for healing oral piercings. Before you use any product, make sure it’s safe to be used for mouth rinsing.
To clean your piercing inside the mouth, rinse your mouth with the solution about 4-5 times a day. It’s important to rinse your mouth after every meal and before you go to bed. Make sure to rinse your mouth for at least 30-60 seconds.
At the same time, don’t overdo it. Cleaning and rinsing every half an hour will not help. In fact, it can only make your skin very sensitive and irritated.
For the exterior part of the piercing (such as exterior of the lip and cheek), you should clean using the saline solution or a special anti-bacterial soap. Before you start, make sure to wash your hands before you touch your piercing. You may apply saline solution 2-3 times a day but soap should not be used more than 1 to 2 times per day.
To clean, soak the piercing with the solution and then rinse. You need to rinse thoroughly if you choose to use an anti-bacterial soap. With a saline solution, even a quick rinse will do. Make sure to dry your piercing. You should pat gently to avoid hurting your piercing. Always use disposable paper products for this purpose: cloth towels can harbor bacteria.
Here are some additional tips you should follow:
- Make sure to use a new, relatively soft toothbrush. It’s also best to floss daily to avoid accumulation of bacteria.
- Don’t forget to brush your teeth and apply mouth rinses after every meal.
- You need to clean your jewelry, too. At first, you should brush the jewelry gently, to prevent damage to the healed piercing. Later, it’s important to brush the jewelry regularly at the same time as you brush your teeth and tongue. This is the only way to prevent accumulation of plaque.
- Oral piercings tend to swell easily in the first couple of days. To reduce swelling and hotness, you can put a small piece of ice in the mouth and allow it to dissolve on its own.
- When eating, make sure to do it slowly. Take small bites of the food and place them directly onto the molars. If you have a new tongue piercing, try to keep the tongue level in your mouth as you eat.
- It’s best to avoid any strong, spicy food and alcohol. It will only damage your piercing and make it burn and hurt.
- Cold foods and beverages may sometimes help reduce swelling, but don’t go overboard.
- You piercing may seem healed well before the healing is complete. Remember, a piercing heals from outside in, so you should apply aftercare throughout the whole healing period.
- Never play with your jewelry during the healing time! The only time when you should even touch your jewelry is during cleaning.
- Avoid excessive talking or laughing during the first days. Opening your mouth too wide may damage your labret piercing because the inside of the labret can get caught on your teeth.
- Stay away from any sexual contact (including French kissing) during the first stage of healing.
- Don’t chew on pencils or other objects. You should also avoid chewing gum.
- It’s important to change your initial jewelry with a shorter one as soon as the swelling is gone. Since this will happen during the healing time, it’s vital that you ask your piercer to do the jewelry change. Don’t even attempt to change your jewelry by yourself!