Vivid Tattoo Care Sheet for Tongue Piercings
Ø Always wash your hands with liquid antibacterial soap and water before touching on or near your piercing.
Ø Tighten balls on jewelry once a day to prevent loss (lefty-loosey, righty-tightey).
Ø Dilute Listerine 50% with clean water. Rinse with Listerine solution every time you eat, drink, or smoke or every 2 hours for at least a month. You should be rinsing about 5 to 6 times a day. Over cleaning or not diluting the Listerine may cause discoloration of your tongue.
Ø Keep your talking down to a minimum (under 20 words a day) for 3 to 5 days or until all swelling is gone.
Ø Eat soft foods such as mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, puddings, and ice cream while swollen.
Ø Keep crushed or small pieces of ice on your tongue to help reduce swelling.
Ø You can take Tylenol, Benadryl, or Advil to help keep swelling down.
What to Avoid…
Ø Do not play with your jewelry. Initially, it will prevent your piercing from healing. Long term effects can result in permanent damage to your teeth.
Ø It can take a tongue piercing anywhere from 6 months to a year to completely heal. During this time, do not change jewelry often.
Ø Do not chew gum or eat other kinds of candy for 2 weeks.
Ø Avoid alcoholic beverages.
Ø Avoid eating spicy, salty, acidic, or hot temperature foods for a few days.
Ø Avoid oral sex and kissing while healing.
Ø Do not share plates, cups or eating utensils. This can introduce bacteria to your piercing.
Ø Do not remove your jewelry for any reason!! Your piercing can close up in a matter of seconds. If you need to remove the jewelry for a MRI, CAT scan, or X-Ray, make sure it is scheduled for at least 2 weeks after you received your piercing and always wear a plastic retainer.
What to Expect…
Ø For the first 3 to 5 days, significant swelling, light bleeding, bruising, and/or tenderness.
Ø After that: Some swelling, light secretion of whitish-yellow fluid (not pus).
Ø A piercing may seem healed before healing is complete. This is because piercings heal from the outside in. Although it may feel healed, the tissue on the inside remains fragile. Be patient and keep cleaning it through out the entire healing period.
Ø You can change your jewelry in 2 weeks (this does not mean that your piercing is healed). You were pierced with a longer barbell to allow room for swelling and it will need to be changed to a shorter barbell to prevent accidental biting. We recommend acrylic jewelry for all oral piercings.
After Piercing is Healed…
Ø Maintain good oral hygiene. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to keep it clean. During healing, brush teeth gently. Once healed, brush jewelry and tongue thoroughly to avoid plaque build up.
Ø Remember that you should never play with your jewelry. Even after it is healed, you can cause scar tissue or damage your teeth.
Ø Even healed piercings can shrink or close in a matter of minutes after having been there for years! This varies from person to person; if you like your piercing, leave the jewelry in place.