Oral Piercing Aftercare

When it comes to oral piercings, proper aftercare is crucial for promoting healing and minimizing infection risks. Healing times vary depending on the type and location of the piercing, as well as individual factors. Here’s a general guide to healing times for different oral piercings:

  • Tongue Piercing: 2 to 4 weeks.
  • Lip Piercing: 3 to 6 weeks.
  • Cheek Piercing: 2 to 3 months.

Remember, these timeframes are approximate and may vary based on individual health and adherence to proper aftercare practices.

During the initial weeks, it’s normal for the pierced area to exhibit redness, tenderness, and swelling. To ensure a smooth healing process, follow these essential aftercare tips:

  • Hand Hygiene: Always wash your hands thoroughly before touching the piercing. This helps prevent the introduction of bacteria that can lead to infections.
  • Piercing Cleanliness: Keep the piercing clean by following your practitioner’s advice. Use recommended cleaning solutions and avoid harsh substances that may irritate the piercing.

For those seeking professional guidance, contact us. Optimal aftercare, coupled with expert advice, contributes to a successful and infection-free healing process.

In conclusion, prioritize the well-being of your oral piercing by adhering to recommended aftercare practices and seeking advice from reputable professionals. This comprehensive guide ensures a seamless healing journey for oral piercings, be it tongue, lip, or cheek piercings.

Hand Washing Tips for Piercing Aftercare and Infection Prevention

When it comes to reducing infection risks, hand washing stands out as the most critical practice, especially for new piercings. To ensure optimal hygiene and minimize the risk of infection, follow these essential hand washing tips:

  • Prioritize Hand Washing: Before touching the affected area, it’s crucial to wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Effective Hand Washing Technique: Use warm water and liquid soap for a thorough hand wash.
  • Complete Drying Process: Always dry your hands completely using a clean towel or paper towel. This step is vital in removing most germs and preventing their transfer to the affected area.

A new piercing is likely to exhibit tenderness, itchiness, and slight redness, which are normal symptoms that can persist for a few weeks. Additionally, a pale, odourless fluid may discharge from the piercing, forming a crust. It’s important to note that this discharge is not pus and does not necessarily indicate infection.

To distinguish between normal healing processes and potential infection, stay vigilant for signs such as persistent redness, excessive swelling, and unusual discharge with an unpleasant odour. If in doubt, consult your practitioner for guidance.

By incorporating proper hand washing techniques into your piercing aftercare routine, you enhance the chances of a smooth healing process. Remember, maintaining good hand hygiene is a simple yet effective way to safeguard your new piercing.

As you embark on your piercing journey, prioritize hand washing as a fundamental step towards a healthy and infection-free healing experience.

Oral Piercing Aftercare

When it comes to the internal healing of oral piercings, such as tongue, lip, and cheek piercings, following a meticulous aftercare routine is crucial. Incorporate the following steps into your daily routine for optimal healing:

Internal Healing Tips:

  • Gargle After Each Meal: Use an alcohol-free mouthwash or a warm salt water solution (1/4 level teaspoon of sea salt in an egg cup/shot glass of warm water). Gargle to promote cleanliness and reduce the risk of infection.

External Healing Tips (for Lip and Cheek Piercings):

  • Warm Compress Application: Wet a clean cloth or gauze in the warm salt water solution. Apply as a warm compress to soften any discharge.
  • Cleaning Process: Clean entry and exit points of the piercing with a cotton bud or gauze dipped in the warm salt water solution. Gently move jewellery to work warm water through the piercing after discharge is softened or removed. Tighten the ball on bars by screwing it to the right during cleaning.
  • Frequency: Perform these steps twice daily, preferably after washing or bathing.
  • Drying Process: Use ONLY fresh disposable paper towel/kitchen roll to dry the piercing. Avoid communal hand/bath towels to prevent contamination.
  • Avoid Cotton Wool: Do not use cotton wool for cleaning, as its fibres may get caught in the piercing.
  • Avoid Picking: Refrain from picking at any discharge, and avoid moving, twisting, or turning the piercing while it’s dry.
  • Sunbeds and Swimming: Avoid sunbeds for the first two weeks; if using, cover the wound area with a breathable plaster during tanning. Refrain from swimming for the first 24 hours following a piercing.

By following these comprehensive aftercare instructions, you contribute to a healthy and efficient healing process for your oral piercing. For personalized advice and concerns, consult with a professional piercer. Your commitment to proper aftercare ensures a smooth journey to a fully healed and vibrant piercing.

Special Aftercare For Tongue Piercing

Initial Care Guidelines for Oral Piercings:

For the first few days after getting an oral piercing, it’s crucial to take special care to ensure proper healing. Follow these expert tips for a smooth recovery:

  • Eating Precautions: Be cautious when eating during the initial days. Avoid spicy foods that may irritate the piercing and hinder the healing process.
  • Swelling Reduction with Cold Products: Combat swelling by incorporating cold products like ice and ice cream into your routine. Gently apply ice or indulge in soothing ice cream to help minimize swelling around the pierced area.
  • Refrain from Oral Sex: To prevent complications and promote optimal healing, abstain from any form of oral sex until the piercing has fully healed. This precaution is essential to avoid irritation and reduce the risk of infection during the initial healing phase.

Remember, the first days are crucial in establishing a foundation for successful healing. By following these guidelines, you contribute to a smoother recovery and reduce the risk of complications. If you have any concerns or questions, consult with your piercer for personalized advice based on your specific situation.

Embrace these initial care measures for your oral piercing, and enjoy a trouble-free healing process.

Signs of Infection

Identifying Signs of Piercing Infection:

While oral piercings can be a stylish form of self-expression, it’s crucial to be vigilant for signs of infection. If appropriate aftercare is neglected, infection may occur. Familiarize yourself with the following indicators:

  • Increased Swelling and Redness: Watch for swelling and redness that progressively intensifies around the piercing site.
  • Severe Burning and Throbbing Sensation: Be cautious if you experience a severe burning and throbbing sensation around the piercing, as this may indicate an infection.
  • Heightened Tenderness and Pain: Increased tenderness, especially when touched, can be a sign of infection. If the piercing becomes increasingly painful, it’s essential to take notice.
  • Unusual Discharge with Offensive Smell: Pay attention to any unusual discharge, particularly if it is yellow or green and has an offensive smell. These are potential signs of infection.


If you observe any of the above symptoms or have concerns about infection or allergic reactions, take the following steps immediately:

  • Contact Your Practitioner: Reach out to your piercing professional promptly to discuss your symptoms and seek advice on next steps.
  • Seek Medical Attention: If the signs of infection are severe or if you have any doubts, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Allergic Reaction Concerns: If you suspect an allergic reaction to any products used during the piercing process, consult your practitioner or seek medical assistance.

Prompt action is crucial when it comes to potential piercing infections or allergic reactions. Early intervention can prevent complications and contribute to a smoother healing process. If in doubt, always prioritize your health and well-being by seeking professional guidance.

For Further Information

Reporting Concerns: Contacting Health Authorities for Piercing Safety

If you have concerns about piercing safety or suspect any issues related to hygiene and health standards, it’s essential to take prompt action. Follow these steps to report concerns:

  • Contact Your Local Environmental Health Department: Reach out to your local Environmental Health Department to report concerns about hygiene, cleanliness, or any potential violations in piercing establishments.
  • Get in Touch with Public Health England Health Protection Team: If you believe there are broader health-related concerns, contact your local Public Health England Health Protection Team.

This Information is provided by: Public Health England, North West Public Health England, East Midlands Tattoo and Piercing Industry Union

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