How to Get Your Tongue Pierced

Piercing your tongue is not something you should do at home. While the tongue is known for healing quickly, you can easily do permanent damage, and/or cause death if you don't know the clinical procedure. It is very easy to catch infections.So do it at your own risk!


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    Find a business that offers tongue piercings, most tattoo parlors will also do your more exotic piercings. You can look in the phone book, internet directories or simply wander through town but the best way to find one is through recommendation.
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    Check the credentials of the business. These are people who will be cutting you. You run the risk of diseases such as H.I.V. and HPV if you go to an amateur outfit. Research their history for infection, ask around.
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    Don't be concerned about the cost. Price should be the last criteria for choosing a place. Your tongue is very important to you, give it the best you can afford. But just so you know, tongue piercings can cost as much as 30-60 dollars. Find a place you're comfortable with, that's clean, with piercers you like and trust. And make sure they autoclave their equipment!
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    Ask to see the autoclave's records--if they don't offer! A good place will be happy to show you how sanitary they are.
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    Find out the opening times of your chosen establishment, and book an appointment.
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    Ask to see the piercer's portfolio. Unless they're hacks, they'll be proud of their work and be happy to show you.
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    Eat lots of food prior to your appointment. Long-lasting foods such as pasta and oatmeal are very good choices. You will be unable to handle solid food for at least a day, most professionals will recommend two days before you try solids. Bring a glass or cooler of ice chips for you to suck on after its done. This will help with the swelling. Note: Your tongue can swell to twice its normal size.
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    Return to your piercer after the swelling has gone down(around 2-3 weeks) to be refitted for a smaller barbell. The long bar is more likely to damage your teeth as biting on it can cause your molar teeth to break. Most people wear a barbell that is 5/8" long.


  • Ice helps keep the swelling down.
  • Safety first. Always, safety first.
  • If you buy a new bar, make sure you wash it in warm salty water.
  • Practice good oral hygiene beforehand and after. 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. If you do get an infection see your doctor.
  • Make sure the piercer is using sterilized equipment. You should be able to ask to see their sterilization system or see the needles in their individual packages. If they will not show you consider a different parlor.
  • Avoid over cleaning your mouth. Some of the bacteria in your mouth is good.
  • Try to eat foods that have healthy bacteria, such as plain Greek yogurt, and make sure to eat plenty of high calorie food – if you do not eat enough, the healing process may be delayed.
  • Avoid eating anything with yeast in it for about three to four weeks, certain fruits such as plums and grapes, and even beer contain yeast. It could cause a yeast infection in your tongue, talk about gross!
  • Do not smoke while your tongue piercing is healing (2-3 weeks).
  • If you have a job that requires you to talk a lot, try to take a few days off.
  • Wash your mouth with non-alcoholic mouth wash wake up, before you go to bed, and after you eat or drink anything.
  • Refrain from kissing and oral sex during the healing period.
  • DO NOT drink with straws through the hole while it's healing. It could cause it to stretch, and not to mention it hurts.
  • In the USA, you will be able to find a list of reputable shops in your area through the website of the Association of Professional Piercers -
  • It will be good for your tongue if you wash your mouth with mouth wash for the first few months of having your tongue pierced.
  • Avoid eating solid/crunchy foods for the first week or so, or at least until the swelling stops.


  • It is also very bad to use mouthwash containing alcohol on a new piercing. Use a mouthwash that doesn't contain alcohol, or salt water rinses.
  • If your tongue DOES become infected,--Don't take the jewelry out! An infection is a lot easier to treat if you have an open wound than if you take the barbell out and let the hole close. The mouth tries to close holes quickly--so it can close over the surface and trap the infection inside. Tongue-piercings are usually trouble-free, but if you do have a problem, or just aren't sure about something, go back to the piercer.
  • Do NOT get it pierced with acrylic beads. These are impossible to sterilize properly.
  • The symptoms of thrush are a discolored, white or yellow, carpet like tongue, and dry mouth. If you do get thrush try to eat more dairy, preferable Yogurt because of the live active cultures found in it that will help breed the good bacteria.
  • Do not smoke or drink through a straw for at least the first month. It can pull the inner skin out and it will hurt a lot!
  • DO NOT bring your own barbell for the piercing. The barbell that will be used is longer than the average barbell you buy, but this allows room for your tongue to swell. You can always have the piercer change the barbell once your tongue is no longer swollen

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Categories: Tattoos and Piercing