Piercings, like tattoos, are a symbol of self-expression. While there are multiple types of piercings that you can opt for, one type of piercing is growing insanely popular – oral piercing. The tongue might seem like a weird organ for a piercing, but tongue piercings can give you a unique and spectacular look. However, just like any other piercing, oral piercings require an elaborate aftercare routine.

Here is what oral piercing aftercare comprises of.

Rinse Your Mouth

Whether you smoke, eat, or drink, one definite step you need to take is – rinsing. Any of these activities can cause discomfort to your piercing. So, you need to ensure that you rinse your mouth for at least 30 to 60 seconds with saltwater. Not only will rinsing help counter the white discharge that usually forms around your piercing, but it will also help eliminate any leftover food or smoking residue.

Mix sea salt with bottled or distilled water to form a salt solution. Moreover, if you choose to use mouthwash, then make sure to steer clear of alcohol-based products as they can be too harsh.

Counteract the Swelling

You can expect your oral piercing to remain swollen for a couple of days, if not weeks. This can often be pretty distressing. The simplest way to counteract the swelling is to suck on ice. Otherwise, you can opt for anti-inflammatory drugs after consulting a doctor. Moreover, you should also try to keep your head elevated while sleeping by slipping in an extra pillow. You should also avoid things that can thin your blood and elevate your heart rates such as caffeine and other stimulants.

Change Your Jewelry

Since oral piercings can cause considerable swelling, your initial piercing jewelry is typically larger or longer than the one that will ultimately be worn. You can change your piercing jewelry once you feel like your piercing has healed. Opt for a smaller or shorter piece of jewelry that suits your piercing. An improperly sized post or ring can often result in gum irritation, chipped teeth, or other types of oral trauma.

Keep Your Jewelry In

It takes at least four to eight weeks for an oral piercing to heal completely. While it’s safe to change your jewelry after your piercing has healed completely, you should never leave your piercing empty during the healing process. Oral piercings can close extremely quickly, which also makes the reinsertion of jewelry extremely difficult.

Lay Back on the Drinking

Your oral piercing can be extremely sensitive during its initial healing period. Too much alcohol consumption during this period can cause significant irritation and swelling. So, you should reduce your alcohol consumption for the first few weeks after your piercing.

Avoid Smoking

The best thing you can do for your oral piercing is to quit smoking altogether. If you can’t quit, then you should cut down on the number of times you smoke a day at least until your piercing heals.

Be Gentle with Your Piercing

No matter what you do, make sure to be gentle with your oral piercing. You should avoid chewing gum during the healing process as it can get stuck to your jewelry. Moreover, you should choose a natural chemical-free toothpaste over the traditional kind. Also, never follow the urge to play with your piercing during the healing process.

These few oral piercing aftercare tips can take you a long way to ensure that your piercing heals correctly and quickly!