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Oral Piercing After Care

These care instructions apply for all piercings inside the mouth. This includes:
  • Tongue (6-8 weeks)
  • Labrette [Lip] (6-10 weeks)
  • Madonna [Upper Lip] (6-10 weeks)
  • Cheek (8-10 weeks)
  • Tongue Web [Frenulum] (8-10 weeks)

Body piercings at Tattoos by Lou are always performed in a clean environment with brand new jewelry and needles and sterilized equipment by a skilled, knowledgeable professional piercer. When you leave the studio however, the responsibility for the care of your new piercing rests with you. With all new piercings the most crucial time to give attention to aftercare is the first month but your piercing will heal best if you continue to care for it for at least the minimum times we suggest. The purpose of aftercare and cleaning is to remove any matter or discharge that collects on the jewelry and prevent harmful bacteria from collecting in the area of a fresh piercing. In the case of oral piercings, infection or irritation generally is a result of neglecting to continue aftercare for an adequate amount of time. The warm, moist environment of the mouth is an ideal place for bacteria to reproduce. Typically, most oral piercings show rapid signs of healing and this can deceive some people into thinking that they no longer have to care for their piercing. This is this time when problems invariably arise. Although a piercing may look healed to the untrained eye, it is important to keep up your cleanings for the entire duration of time that is reccommended. And, as always, dirty hands are one of the most common ways that irritants and infectious agents can be introduced to a fresh piercing. It might sound off-the-wall but people actually touch their tongue and lip piercings all the time for no reason. If you aren't cleaning your piercing then Keep Your Hands Off Of It.

The best way to ensure that your piercing heals as quickly as it can is to keep your body healthy. When your body is trying to heal a new piercing it needs you to take care of yourself. A healthy diet, regular sleep, and moderation with alcoholic beverages during healing can make a great difference. A daily multi-vitamin helps to improve the progress of a new piercing and many people also find that an additional zinc or Vitamin C supplement will speed the healing process further.

Many people are concerned about being able to eat normally after getting an oral piercing. The guidelines to follow are simple. Listen to your body: if eating a particular food bothers you then avoid it in the beginning; however, if it does not than feel free to enjoy any food you wish. Oral piercings though are known to show some swelling and, therefore, it is best not to have food or beverage that is very hot in temperature. Heat will make blood flow to the piercing area more and thereby increase the amount of swelling. If you let your food cool a bit first then this will not be a problem. Overall, as stated earlier, a healthy body heals fastest. So don't starve yourself waiting for an oral piercing to heal--regular nourishment will help your body to achieve a successful, well-healed piercing faster.

  1. The care of an oral piercing is simple and basically involves a frequent rinsing of the mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash. We generally reccommend purchasing Listerine antiseptic mouthwash and Gly-Oxide for care of these piercings.
  2. Since Listerine has a high alcohol content, it tends to have a stinging sensation. To avoid the discomfort from heavy use, it can be diluted 1:1 with water to make it more mild.
  3. In the first two weeks it is suggested to rinse the mouth with Listerine every three to four hours.
  4. It is also necessary to use the Listerine for the first six weeks after every time that the piercee eats, drinks, or smokes.
  5. The Gly-Oxide is to be used twice a day (typically before bedtime and after waking) directly on the surface of the piercing.
  6. A few drops should be placed at the point where the jewelry meets the skin. (For lip or cheek piercings, this is necessary only for the inside of the mouth.) The Gly-Oxide will bubble or foam and should be allowed to remain for 20-30 seconds.
  7. In the case of threaded jewelry, such as tongue barbells or a circular barbell in the lip, it is best to periodically check the tightness of the jewelry. Cleaning products can sometimes loosen the screw thread of a bead and this will prevent you from losing or, perhaps, swallowing it.
  8. Lastly, piercees with a fresh oral piercing must avoid all oral contact for the duration of the aftercare period. This includes open mouth kissing and oral sex.
  9. Be patient!
  10. If difficulties occur in the healing of your piercing or if you have any unanswered questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

(Note: Labrette, Lip, or Cheek piercees must also follow directions for "Facial Piercings" concerning the care of the outisde of their piercings.)

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