Whether for self-expression, fashion, or just because it feels right, tongue piercings have steadily made a mark in the piercing world. However, while they might look cool, there’s more to these piercings than just style. If you’re considering joining the many who’ve embraced this trend or perhaps going for the edgier “Snake Eyes Piercing“, there are essential factors you must weigh. Here are eight things to consider before taking the plunge.
1. Choose a Professional Piercer
The first and most crucial step in getting a tongue piercing is selecting a professional and experienced piercer. Ensure they operate in a licensed and reputable studio with proper sterilization practices. Ask for recommendations from friends or check online reviews to find a trustworthy piercer who prioritizes safety.
2. Pain and Healing Time
Tongue piercings are known for their relatively quick healing time compared to other body piercings. However, it’s essential to prepare for some initial discomfort and swelling. The pain level can vary from person to person, but the worst of it typically subsides within a week. Full healing may take up to six weeks.
3. Infection Risk
Like any other piercing, tongue piercings come with a risk of infection. Proper aftercare is vital to minimize this risk. Clean the area regularly with saline solution and avoid playing with the jewelry with dirty hands. Keep an eye out for signs of infection, such as excessive redness, swelling, or discharge, and consult a healthcare professional if you suspect any issues.
4. Swelling and Speech Impediments
Expect some initial swelling after getting your tongue pierced. This can affect your speech and make it difficult to eat certain foods. Stick to a soft diet during the healing process and avoid spicy or acidic foods that could irritate the piercing.
5. Jewelry Choices
There’s a wide variety of tongue jewelry available, including barbells, rings, and studs. Your piercer will recommend an appropriate size and style for your anatomy and healing needs. Be sure to choose hypoallergenic materials like surgical stainless steel or titanium to minimize the risk of allergic reactions.
6. Oral Hygiene is a Must
Maintaining good oral hygiene is non-negotiable when you have a tongue piercing. Bacteria can accumulate around the jewelry, leading to bad breath and other oral health issues. Brush your teeth and tongue gently but thoroughly, and use an alcohol-free mouthwash to keep your mouth clean.
7. Gum and Tooth Damage
One of the most significant concerns with tongue piercings is the potential for gum and tooth damage. The jewelry can chip or crack teeth, and constant contact with gums can lead to recession and other oral health problems. Be cautious when eating and avoid biting down on hard objects.
8. Avoid Alcohol and Smoking
Both alcohol and smoking can slow down the healing process and increase the risk of complications. It’s best to abstain from these habits while your tongue piercing is still healing to ensure a smooth recovery.
9. Downsides to Multiple Tongue Piercings
While multiple tongue piercings can look striking, they come with added risks and complications. Each new piercing increases the chances of gum and tooth damage and can affect your speech and eating habits even more. Consider the practicality and long-term implications of multiple piercings carefully.
10. Commitment to Aftercare
The key to a successful and trouble-free tongue-piercing experience is a commitment to aftercare. Your piercer will provide you with specific instructions for cleaning and maintaining your piercing. Follow these guidelines diligently to minimize the risk of complications and promote healing.
How often should I change or clean my tongue-piercing jewelry?
During the initial healing phase, you should not change your jewelry. After it’s fully healed, you can switch it out as often as you like, but always ensure the jewelry is sterilized and of the appropriate material and size.
For cleaning, even after the piercing is healed, maintain good oral hygiene practices. Regularly cleaning your mouth after eating and brushing your teeth twice daily will help prevent potential complications. If you switch to a new piece of jewelry, ensure it’s cleaned with a saline solution before insertion.
Is the “Snake Eyes Piercing” different from a regular tongue piercing?
Yes, the Snake Eyes Piercing is distinct from a traditional mid-tongue piercing. While a standard tongue piercing is vertical and goes through the tongue’s thickness, the Snake Eyes Piercing is horizontal, situated at the tip of the tongue, pinning the two sides together. Because of its unique placement, it carries its own set of risks and considerations. Some professionals might even advise against it due to potential complications, so always consult with a knowledgeable piercer.
How do I know if my tongue piercing is infected, and what should I do?
Some swelling, pain, and a slight change in saliva color or consistency are normal after getting a tongue piercing. However, signs of an infection include:
- Prolonged pain or swelling beyond the initial days.
- Yellow, green, or dark-colored discharge.
- Red streaks radiating from the piercing site.
- Foul odor from the piercing.
- Fever or chills.
Getting a tongue piercing can be a thrilling experience, but it’s essential to approach it with caution and responsibility. By choosing a professional piercer, understanding the potential risks, and committing to proper aftercare, you can enjoy the aesthetics of a tongue piercing without compromising your health and well-being. Remember that every individual’s experience with tongue piercings is unique, so stay informed, and consult with your piercer or a healthcare professional if you have any concerns during the healing process. With the right preparation and care, you can flaunt your tongue piercing confidently and safely.