Usually between 6-8 weeks. The jewelry cannot be removed for at least 6 months- a year is even better. Even though the piercing may be healed before then, it takes some time for it to “toughen up”.
At least 4-6 times each day, rinse with Listerine antiseptic or sea salt solution for 30-60 seconds. Listerine should be diluted 50:50 using distilled water. A sea salt rinse is 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt dissolved into 8 oz of warm water. Continue to rinse for 6-8 weeks. Gently brush your tongue in the morning and at night after brushing your teeth.
TO HELP PREVENT INFECTION: Follow the previous instructions and:
- Wash your hands! Remember to NEVER touch your new piercing without washing your hands first.
- DO NOT make any oral contact for at least 4 weeks. This includes wet kissing and oral sex without a barrier.
The piercing will probably be swollen for the first few days. To help minimize the swelling, you may try the following:
- Place ice pieces in your mouth and let them melt. Crushed ice is always best- large pieces can increase the swelling.
- Reduce the amount of talking you do.
- Cut down on your intake of warm beverages, spicy and acidic foods, tobacco and alcohol for the first week or as long as your lip is swollen.
- Avoid drinking through straws while your piercing is healing.
- Avoid drinking carbonated beverages for 3-4 days. They can break the seal that is forming at the piercing site.
- Eat only soft foods for the first week or as long as your tongue is swollen.
DON’T PLAY WITH YOUR PIERCING WHILE IT IS HEALING: This includes clicking it against your teeth, rolling it along your lips, etc. These actions increase the irritation and can cause your piercing to tear. It is best to simply open your mouth to show off your jewelry, rather than sticking your tongue out, until you get used to your new jewelry. If you develop a white ring of tissue around the bottom of your piercing, don’t panic. This is normal. Also a whitish discharge should cause you no harm. However, if the discharge is yellow or green in color, see your physician immediately! Then call us.
IF BARBELL STUD HAS BEEN USED: Remember to check the balls to make sure they are not coming loose. Once the swelling has decreased (usually 2-3 weeks) you may downsize the length of the stud.
IF YOU SEE ANY SIGN OF INFECTION: If any signs of infection are present, you must contact your physician immediately! An infection in this particular piercing can lead to much more serious problems.