Aftercare Guidelines for Oral Piercings – Part 2

 In Piercing
Luke Horton

Luke Horton

Oral piercing tips and hints

In our previous post we explained the cleaning and oral hygiene procedures, how to reduce swelling and control the pain. Today we’ll talk about some tips and things to avoid, in order to keep your oral piercing in perfect shape.


Piercing by Luke

Piercing by Luke


  • Once the swelling has subsided, it is vital to replace the original longer jewelry with a shorter one, to avoid intra-oral damage. Because this necessary jewelry change often occurs 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. Carry a clean spare ball in case of loss or breakage.
  • Contact your piercer for a non-metallic jewelry alternative if your metal jewelry must be temporarily removed.
  • Should you decide you no longer want the piercing, simply remove the jewelry (or have a professional piercer do it) and continue cleaning the piercing until the hole closes. In most cases, only a small mark will remain.
  • If an infection is suspected, quality jewelry or an inert alternative should be left in place to allow for drainage or the infection. Should the jewelry be removed, the surface cells can close up, sealing the infection inside the piercing channel, which can create an abscess. Until the infection is cleared up, keep the jewelry in!


  • Slowly eat small bites of food placed directly on your molars. Avoid eating spicy, salty, acidic, or hot temperature foods or beverages for a few days. Cold foods and beverages are soothing and help reduce swelling. Foods like mashed potatoes and oatmeal are hard to eat because they stick to your mouth and jewelry.
  • For tongue piercings, try to keep your tongue level in your mouth as you eat, because the jewelry can get between your teeth when your tongue turns.
  • For labret (cheek and lip) piercings: be cautious about opening your mouth too wide as this can result in the jewelry catching on your teeth.
  • Each body is unique and healing times vary considerably. If you have any questions, please contact any of our piercers.

Oral piercings

What is normal?

  • For the first 3 to 5 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 the healing process is complete. This is because they heal from the outside in, and although it feels fine, 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 keep jewelry in, don’t leave the hole empty.

Things to avoid

  • Don’t play with your jewelry. Long term effects include permanent damage to teeth, gums 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.
  • Avoid using mouthwash containing alcohol. It can irritate the piercing and delay healing.
  • Avoid oral sexual contact including French kissing or oral sex during healing (even with a long-term partner).
  • Avoid chewing on tobacco, gum, fingernails, pencils, sunglasses, and other foreign objects that could harbor bacteria.
  • Avoid sharing plates, cups, and eating utensils.
  • Avoid smoking! It increases risks and lengthens healing time.
  • Avoid stress and all recreational drug use.
  • Avoid aspirin, alcohol, and large amounts of caffeine as long as you are experiencing bleeding or swelling.
  • Avoid submerging healing piercings in bodies of water such as lakes, pools, etc.

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Mantra Tattoo & Body Piercing: Best Custom Tattoo Shop & Body Piercing in DenverCustom tattoos

Come visit us or give us a call to get your custom tattoo design done by one of our experienced tattoo artists, or to choose your jewelry and discuss your next piercing with one of our professional body piercers.

1695 Wadsworth Blvd, Lakewood, Colorado
(303) 239-8282 / (303) 238-3736
Open: Mon – Sat 11:00 am – 9:00 pm, Sun 12:00 noon – 9:00pm.

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