After Care Information - Tongue



Surgical Stainless Steel Barbell: 14 to 10 gauge. The Barbell should be 6 to 10mm longer than the thickness of the tongue at the piercing location to accommodate the swelling of the tongue. Using too short a barbell may cause the balls of the barbell to ‘nest’ into the tongue. This prolongs the healing period and invites infection. A shorter barbell may be inserted, after the swelling immediately after the piercing has subsided. Usually 3 to 4 weeks.

Cleaning Solutions

Listerine or another antiseptic mouthwash and Difflam C or Savacol. It is advisable to purchase both Difflam C and Savacol, Using Difflam C first, as it contains anti-inflammatory agents and painkillers. The swelling of the tongue should have subsided once the Difflam C is finished, in which case it is fine to substitute Savacol for the twice – daily clean.

Healing Period

Initial healing is usually completed within 2 to 5 weeks. Swelling of the tongue is normal and unavoidable during the first week of healing. The swelling can be reduced, however, by sucking clean ice during the first few days of healing. At first the tongue may feel uncoordinated or slowed down by the barbell. This too will pass.

Aftercare Procedure

  1. Always wash your hands before cleaning or handling your new piercing. Keeping the piercing clean is the key to speedy healing and minimizing the chance of infection.
  2. Use an antibacterial handwash such as Softwash Antibacterial.
  3. Rinse your mouth for at least a minute with Listerine after anything besides water or ice enters your mouth. This includes all other drinks and cigarettes. Try for a minimum of one rinse per hour.
  4. Twice daily, rinse for 2 to 3 minutes with Difflam C or Savacol.
  5. During this twice – daily clean, hold the top ball or your barbell (washed hands!) and tighten the lower ball clockwise. This is very important, for if the ball of the barbell unscrews, it is usually swallowed.

Hints and Tips

Plaque can form on your tongue jewellery, most noticeably on the bottom ball of a barbell. This can make the ball very difficult to remove. It is best to combat this using an anti-plaque product (as directed), after the tongue has healed. Denture cleaning products are great for cleaning removed jewellery.

Blood plasma is secreted by all healing piercing. In drier areas of the body, the plasma dries to form a crusty build-up on your jewellery. The mouth however, is continually wet. If you see a secretion coming from your fresh piercing there is no cause to panic. Blood plasma is a normal part of healing.

Smaller balls or a labret – stud end on the barbell may be considered if there is excess rubbing on the bottom palate or frenulum, that will not ease or callous.

Tongue piercings made in the front and side edges of the tongue using rings have been successful in a small number of cases. Generally, the rings have to be so large that they can make eating and speaking extremely difficult. If you want to wear a ring in your tongue, we suggest piercing and healing the tongue with a barbell, and then changing to especially made ‘D’ shaped ring.

Leave your jewellery in your piercing if you want to keep it. Even up to a year or two after healing, the piercing will shrink or may close entirely if the jewellery is removed.