Anonymous asked in Beauty & StyleSkin & BodyOther - Skin & Body · 1 decade ago

How long should I wait to change my tongue ring?

I've gotten so many different responses on this question so I figured I should ask on here. My piercer told me right after the swelling goes down, and a friend who got his tongue pierced at a different place told me he was supposed to wait 6-8 weeks. I've also heard 7-10 days.. I don't really like the huge barbell, so what's the soonest I can change it?

14 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    * Comfortable: 3 days to 2 weeks

    * Healing Time: 6 months

    * Rinse frequently with warm salty water.

    * Ask for your piercer's mobile phone number.

    * Avoid putting anything dirty in your mouth and refrain from kissing and oral sex during the healing phase.

    * Cold foods are best at first (e.g. ice-cream, milk shakes).

    * Do not play with the jewelry against your teeth or press it into your gums.

    * Never leave your jewelry out for more than a few hours during the first 6 months - the piercing may close.

    * Take vitamin C and zinc to maximise your healing.

    * To minimise swelling in the first few days, suck on ice-cubes and antibacterial/anti-inflammatory throat lozenges, and try not to talk too much.

    Care Routine

    * Day 1

    1. Advice

    Ask for the mobile phone number of your piercer. Misery is common during the first few days and you may worry about the swelling. I like to be available for re-assurance or advice.

    2. Bleeding

    The tongue has an excellent blood supply so expect some blood in your mouth during and just after the procedure.

    3. Pain

    You will experience some soreness for the first day or so. Paracetamol (e.g.Panadol, Tylenol) is an appropriate pain-reliever which may help you to sleep on the first night. Do not use aspirin as it promotes bleeding.

    Days 2 - 5

    1. Cold Drinks

    Keep a supply of iced water on hand and sip this as required to reduce discomfort and swelling. Sucking ice cubes will also help.

    2. Food

    At this stage it may be difficult to talk and eat because your tongue will be swollen. It is important to maintain your food intake during the healing period. High-calorie foods (e.g. milkshakes, ice-cream) will keep up your energy levels – if you do not eat enough, the healing process may be delayed. Cold foods are better tolerated than hot foods.You should avoid anything spicy, or stringy foods that may get caught on your new piercing.

    3. Mouthwashing

    o Rinse your mouth with salty water as often as you like. The correct proportion is 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt to 8 ounces (250mls) of bottled water. Sea salt can be purchased from supermarkets or delicatessans. Do NOT use iodised salt as the iodine slows healing.

    o Try sucking antibacterial/anti-inflammatory throat lozenges such as Difflam ® to reduce the swelling.

    o Use a disinfectant mouthwash after eating:

    + Biotene ®

    + Listerine ®:It should be diluted to a quarter of the usual strength – otherwise the mouthwash will destroy your naturally occurring enzymes and kill the exposed healing tissues.

    + Oral_B ®

    + Rembrandt ®

    + Tech 2000

    o If your tongue turns brown or green this is a sign that you should reduce the amount of mouthwash that you are using.

    o Do not use mouthwashes or toothpastes containing peroxide.

    4. Pain

    After the first day you should not need any more pain relief.

    5. Plaque

    Buy a new soft bristle toothbrush. If any plaque forms on the jewelry itself, gently remove it with a toothbrush.

    6. Swelling

    You may experience some swelling on Day 1, but the worst swelling occurs during Days 2-4. The swelling often feels much worse than it really is. Ice and cold drinks will help reduce swelling. Hot foods, spicy foods, talking a lot will tend to increase the swelling.

    7. Worry

    It is common to feel a bit depressed and anxious at this time. As a doctor I very occasionally supply the patient with two diazepam 5mg tablets and ask the patient to take a quarter of a tablet night and morning. Diazepam is a muscle relaxant and anti-anxiety agent. It helps relax the muscles of the tongue and relax the patient. You should not drive if taking diazepam. If you are in a drug rehabilitation program you should discuss taking diazepam with your sponsor or doctor.

    * Days 6 - 14

    1. Changing Barbells

    Your initial barbell is usually longer than the your tongue is thick, to accommodate swelling. After 5 - 10 days most people will see their piercer to fit a shorter bar.

    2. Healing

    A tongue piercing should be very comfortable after 2 weeks. However the piercing is not permanent till 6 months have elapsed. Don’t play with or chew on your piercing as this can lead to the formation of scar tissue.

    3. Hygiene

    Avoid putting anything dirty in your mouth and refrain from kissing and oral sex during the healing period.

    4. Safety Check

    You should check that the ball is firmly screwed on to the barbell about once a week. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap before touching the piercing.

    5. Warning

    Never leave your piercing without jewelry for more than a few hours during the first 6 months! Even after this time a fully healed piercing may shrink, making it difficult to re-insert the jewelry.

    Piercing Options and Jewelry Choices

    * Suitable Positions

    1. Midline Piercings

    Correct Positioning is critical with tongue piercings. The correct place is in the midline, on the front third of the tongue far enough back so that the jewelry does not hit the teeth when speaking but not so far back that the piercing is stretched when swallowing or yawning. The further back the piercing the worse the swelling and pain during the first week.

    2. Side Piercings

    Piercings at the side of the tongue should only be undertaken by very experienced piercers.

    3. Horizontal Piercings

    These are very likely to cause nerve damage and are never recommended.

    * Suitable Types

    1. Bar bells

    Internally threaded bar bells are better as they cause less damage when changing jewelry. If the bar is externally threaded, be very sure that no threads are exposed and avoid taking the jewelry in and out. Ask whether a range of balls and accessories is available as people like to wear different balls at different times e.g. fluoro balls when night-clubbing, clear balls at work. Jewelry is also available that is flesh coloured and inconspicuous.

    2. Captured bead rings

    Rings are sometimes used at the side of the tongue but are not recommended as a first tongue piercing.

    * Suitable Sizes

    1. Gauge

    Only 14 gauge or heavier jewelry should be used. Smaller gauges will migrate out through the tongue and be very uncomfortable to wear.

    2. Initial Barbell Length

    5/8" to 7/8"

    16mm to 22mm

    3. Eventual Barbell length

    7/16" to 5/8"

    11mm to 16mm

    * Suitable Materials

    Surgical Stainless Steel, 18 carat gold, titanium, niobium.

    * Changing Jewelry:

    It is best to change jewelry during the two weeks, but this is best done by a professional piercer. After that time it should be easy to change jewelry yourself.

    Other Issues

    * Alcohol

    Drinking alcohol decreases your co-ordination and increases the risk of biting your jewelry and cracking a tooth. If you do drink, choose low alcohol beverages such as beer or cider. Any drink with more than 10% alcohol is likely to hurt and will impair the healing process.

    * Aspiration

    Be aware that with tongue piercing, aspiration is a risk if the ball unscrews from the barbell and roles back down your throat into your windpipe. The ball may then lodge in your lungs. This is a medical emergency: Call an ambulance.

    * Bacterial Infections

    1. Infections are uncommon with tongue piercings. Avoid putting anything dirty into your mouth (e.g. chewing pens and fingernails).

    2. Even though your mouth harbours more bacteria than any other part of your body, the washing action of your saliva and the enzymes it contains improves healing.

    3. Refrain from kissing and oral sex during the healing period.

    4. Symptoms of infection include increased pain, increased redness and an increase in the amount and thickness of the discharge. The infected discharge is usually thick and yellow, green or grey and may have an unusual odour. Consult with your physician or piercer and do not remove the jewelry until you seek advice.

    * Cleaning

    Expect to see white material collecting around the balls of your barbell. This is a sign of healing. Gently clean this material away with a soft toothbrush. Never use undiluted mouthwash or alcohol to clean your piercing. These will kill the healing flesh.

    * Mouthwashes

    I advise against the use of mouthwashes such as Listerine. After several days of frequent use the tongue surface usually turns green or brown and looks decidedly unhealthy. Please just use plain salty water.

    * Smoking

    Smoking is used as a method of cooking food. Smoked tongue is a delicacy in some cultures. Smoking your own tongue is your own personal choice. I cannot recommend it. Smoking slows healing by suppressing your immune system and blood circulation.

    * Teeth

    1. The most obvious risk of tongue piercing is chipped or broken teeth. This usually occurs through biting the bar bell, especially in new piercings with the initial longer bar bell. To minimise the risk, change to the shorter barbell before Day 14. Acrylic balls may reduce the risk as well.

    2. Most common is loss of the enamel at the back of the teeth through repeated rubbing by the jewelry.

    3. The most serious risk is loss of teeth through bone resorption. Repeated pres

    Source(s): 11 piercings
  • 4 years ago

    Best Friend Tongue Rings

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Small Tongue Rings

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    How long should I wait to change my tongue ring?

    I've gotten so many different responses on this question so I figured I should ask on here. My piercer told me right after the swelling goes down, and a friend who got his tongue pierced at a different place told me he was supposed to wait 6-8 weeks. I've also heard 7-10 days.. I don't...

    Source(s): long wait change tongue ring:
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  • 6 years ago

    I just got mine done a week ago and to be honest you should wait a month to two months before changing the ring out. Also You should always keep a glass of ice water with you day by day until swelling and its healed plus don't drink dark things and don't eat spicy food for the first two weeks also take care of it by using mouth wash and if u smoke or drink....... double up on the recommended times for rinsing your mouth out.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site

    tongues take 4-8 weeks to heal. so that's how long you should wait.

  • 7 years ago

    DON'T eat / drink any dairy for the first week! alcohol free mouth wash after smoking drinking or eating. Don't drink beer but most other liqueurs will help clean it but it will hurt! ice will help swelling. Don't change for atleast 2-3weeks (not recommended) the recommended time is 6-8weeks

  • 6 years ago

    Wait atleast 28 days.. If you change it to early you could cause infection and it could mess up the healing process.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    it should be fine after nine days, i would say you can change it already if its not swollen, i had mine done and i changed it after 1 week and a few days, but then during the night the barbell fell into the drain (i was playing with it with my tongue*stupid idea*)causing the hole to close -.-

  • 4 years ago


  • Anonymous
    5 years ago
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