The best way to care for your oral piercing is to rinse your mouth for 30-60 seconds with a medical grade oral rinse after you brush your teeth both morning and night. Just a capful or two of mouthwash is all you need. You should use enough mouthwash for a comfortable swish. Do not use ordinary mouthwash, because many brands contain alcohol or other antiseptics that produce a burning feeling. These ingredients can irritate your new piercing and hinder the healing process. We use and recommend Swish It! mouth rinse. Swish It! is specially formulated to help heal oral wounds.
For the first 3-6 weeks, you should do a sea salt rinse after eating, after smoking, or after drinking anything but bottled water. This will help lower the number of food particles in your mouth.
First: Fill a fresh disposable cup with one cup of warm water, and add 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized sea salt, stirring until the salt is completely dissolved.
Second: Rinse your mouth for 15 seconds with the salt solution, do not swallow.
You can also do a cold rinse by adding 1/4 teaspoon sea salt to 8 ounces of bottled water. Keep in the refrigerator and rinse as needed. The cool rinses feel wonderful on your healing piercing, and can help decrease swelling. Salt rinses will soothe your new piercing. The rinses feel really good and also help calm the itching part of the healing phase.
Shaved ice and cold liquids can help reduce swelling in oral piercings, but remember: do a sea salt rinse after you eat or drink anything other than bottled water. Shaved ice and frozen treats should be used only sparingly. Remember, you now have a healing wound in your mouth with metal inserted in it. Metal conducts cold, and if you overdo it, you could create a cold injury in addition to your piercing wound! Cold liquids out of the refrigerator are usually cold enough to control swelling.
It is important to brush your teeth three times daily while your piercing is healing. Brushing your teeth will cut down on the amount of bacteria and food particles in your mouth. It is suggested that you purchase a new toothbrush to use during the initial healing period. Make sure to use a toothpaste that DOES NOT contain whiteners. Also, plaque (a white, crusty shell) will begin to build up on your tongue jewelry if you do not gently brush the ends and post. You should brush your jewelry daily if you want to prevent plaque buildup.
While your oral piercing is healing…Try to eat very slowly. Place only small portions of food in your mouth at one time. At first, eating may seem awkward, but this is mainly due to swelling. The jewelry in your brand new piercing wound is also longer to allow room for the piercing to swell. As the swelling goes down, be careful not to bite down on your jewelry.
Don’t use tobacco products or chewing gum, and don’t bite your nails. Refrain from consuming alcohol after you get any new piercing for several days, and NEVER play with your jewelry, or touch your new piercing with unwashed hands. In other words, the less you move your jewelry, and the fewer things you put in your mouth, the quicker your piercing will heal. Even after your piercing is healed, be careful not to play with your jewelry excessively.