Tongue Piercing Aftercare – 5 Tips To Help Prevent Infections
One of the most popular body piercings is getting the tongue pierced. While this type of piercing is often highly coveted, it is often misunderstood. Due to the nature of the mouth, tongue piercings take far longer to heal than traditional body piercings on the ear or nose. The constant salivation handicaps the healing process, often causing tongue piercings to become infected unless the proper aftercare is practiced. After receiving a steel barbell tongue piercing, exercise these steps in order to promote your overall health and to make your piercing look good for years on end.
1. Clean continually for the first week
After receiving your tongue piercing, clean it continually for the first week after consuming everything except water. Remove the piercing and clean the area before reinserting it. Make sure you also clean it in the morning and before bed regardless of eating or drinking anything. Also, check to make sure the piercing is secure when you reinsert it. A loose piercing can often trap germs and bacteria, causing an infection.
2. Mitigate swelling
One of the greatest obstacles to cleaning a tongue piercing at first is the swelling. While this will be at its greatest the first night after the piercing, swelling will continue for days afterwards. Use ice chips to keep the swelling down. Let these chips melt on your tongue rather than chewing them. Drink cold beverages as well. Less swelling allows you to clean the piercing better and also prevents the initial piercing barbell from loosening and collecting bacteria.
3. Practice good hygiene
Beyond cleaning the piercing regularly, practice good oral hygiene to prevent potential infections. Brush your teeth regularly. Also, invest in a mild non-alcoholic, antibacterial mouthwash. While this may burn and irritate the piercing, the germ killing potential of this product will fight off opportunistic bacteria. Should this burning be too much, water down the mouth wash for the first couple days until the piercing begins to heal.
4. Don’t touch the piercing
If you can, try not to touch your new piercing right after you have received it. Refrain from playing with it or taking it in or out frequently. This not only irritates the piercing site but can also transfer germs to the area. Make sure if you have to touch the piercing to wash your hands thoroughly before doing so.
5. Check with your piercer
The person who pierced your tongue will let you know when to come back in for a checkup. Make sure you keep this appointment. These professionals can gauge if any problems have arisen from your piercing and can often recommend solutions depending on the problem. Furthermore, after the first two weeks, a tongue piercing is usually shortened and tightened to something smaller than the large steel barbell that the initial piercing was done with.
Getting a piercing is a responsibility. Following this simple guide will enable you to not only maintain your health but keep your piercing looking good long after the first barbell is inserted.
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