Use one of the following solutions for inside the mouth:
- Sterile Saline Solution : PH balanced and isotonic.
- Antimicrobial or antibacterial alcohol-free mouth rinse
Rinse mouth 3-4 times daily (never more!) with cleaning solution for 30-60 seconds after meals and at bedtime during the entire healing period. If you over clean, it may cause discoloration or irritation of tongue and can potentially create other issues with healing. If you feel like something has become stuck in your piercing you can always rinse your mouth with regular cold water.
What is Normal?
For the first three to five days: significant swelling, light bleeding, bruising, and/or tenderness.
After that: Some swelling, light secretion of a whitish yellow fluid (not pus).
A piercing may seem healed before healing is complete. This is because piercings heal from the outside in, and although it feels healed the tissue remains fragile on the inside. BE PATIENT, and Keep cleaning throughout the entire healing period.
Even healed piercings can shrink or close in minutes after having been there for years! This varies from person to person; if you like your piercing, leave the jewelry in place.
What To Do
Try to sleep with your head propped up on pillows during the first few nights of healing; keeping your head above your heart will help to avoid much initial overnight swelling.
An over-the-counter, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.) taken according to package instructions can reduce discomfort, and it can also help to diminish swelling the first few days.
Check twice daily with clean hands to be sure the threaded ends on your jewelry are on tight. To clean hands, wash them carefully with liquid antibacterial soap. If your hands aren’t freshly washed, don’t touch yourself above the neck during the initial healing time.
Replace your toothbrush and make sure to keep it clean so that everything that goes into your mouth is hygienic while you are healing. A sensitive type of toothpaste may be less irritating to your mouth during healing than a usual, stronger variety.
Try to go slowly when you eat and to take small bites when you are getting used to your new jewelry. Cold foods and beverages feel great and can help diminish swelling. Drink plenty of liquids, especially bottled water.
To help reduce swelling
- Allow small pieces of ice to dissolve in the mouth.
- Take an over the counter, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen or Naproxyn Sodium* according to package instructions.
- Sleep with your head elevated above your heart during the first few nights.
To maintain good oral hygiene
- Use a new soft-bristled toothbrush and keep it clean.
- Brush your teeth, and use your chosen rinse (saline or mouthwash) after every meal.
- During healing floss daily, and gently brush your teeth, tongue and jewelry. Once healed, brush the jewelry more thoroughly to avoid plaque build up.
- The healthier your lifestyle, the easier it will be for your piercing to heal.
- Get enough sleep and eat a nutritious diet.
What to Avoid
- DO NOT PLAY WITH THE JEWELRY. Long term effects of playing with, and clicking the jewelry against the teeth can result in permanent damage to teeth and other oral structures.
- Avoid undue trauma; excessive talking or playing with the jewelry during healing can cause the formation of unsightly and uncomfortable scar tissue, migration, and other complications.
- Do not change the jewelry prematurely. Most Aftermarket Jewelry is not suited for initial healing and can create major issues with healing and lead to potential infection!
- Avoid any mouthwash containing alcohol. It can irritate the area and delay healing.
- Avoid oral sexual contact including French (wet) kissing or oral sex during healing (even with a long term partner).
- Avoid chewing on gum, tobacco, fingernails, pencils, sunglasses, etc.
- Avoid sharing plates, cups, and eating utensils.
- Avoid smoking! It increases risks and lengthens healing time.
- Avoid stress and all recreational drug use.
- Avoid any aspirin or alcohol, and large amounts of caffeine.
- Avoid submerging in bodies of water such as lakes, pools, etc.
Oral Piercing Hints and Tips
- Once the swelling has subsided, it is vital to replace the original, longer jewelry with a shorter post.
- Consult your piercer for their downsize policy.
- Because this necessary jewelry change may occur during healing, it should be done by a qualified piercer.
- With clean hands or paper product, be sure to regularly check threaded ends on your jewelry for tightness (“Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey”).
- Carry a clean spare ball in case of loss or breakage.
- Contact your piercer if your jewelry must be temporarily removed (such as for a medical procedure). There are non-metallic jewelry alternatives.
- Should you decide you no longer want the piercing, seek professional help in the removal of the jewelry and continue cleaning the piercing until the hole has closed. In most cases only a small indentation will remain.
- In the event that an infection is suspected, quality jewelry or an inert alternative should be left in place to allow for drainage of the infection. Should the jewelry be removed, the surface cells can close up, sealing the infection inside the piercing channel, resulting in an abscess. Until an infection is cleared up, leave quality jewelry in!
- Slowly eat small bites of food, placed directly onto the molars.
- Avoid eating spicy, salty, acidic, or hot temperature foods or beverages for a few days.
- Cold foods and beverage are soothing and help reduce swelling.
- For tongue piercing, try to keep your tongue level in your mouth as you chew and swallow.
Each body is unique and healing times vary considerably. Contact us if you have questions or need assistance. In the event of an emergency contact your doctor.
Disclaimer: These guidelines are based on a combination of vast professional experience, common sense, research, and extensive clinical practice. This information is not to be considered a substitute for medical advice from a doctor. Be aware, however, that many doctors have no specific training or experience regarding piercings and may not be educated on how to best assist you.