Thousands of years ago, the Mayan ruling class pierced their tongues and other parts of their mouth for sacred blood-letting rituals. Today, tongue piercing is a form of body art and a statement of individuality. Whatever your reason is for having your tongue, cheek or lip pierced, just be sure to follow some hygiene basics so that your piercing becomes a pleasure, not a pain.
CLEANING IS EVERYTHING
For the cleaning solution inside your mouth, you can mix an antimicrobial or antibacterial alcohol-free mouth rinse, plain clean water or sterile saline solution with no additives. You have to rinse your mouth with your chosen solution for 30-60 seconds after meals and at bedtime, at least during the entire healing period. Also try to see your dentist regularly, and remember to brush twice a day and floss daily.
CHOOSE SAFE JEWELRY
One cause of infections is the kind of jewelry you use. There are tons of options where you can buy your piercing jewelry but to be safe, better choose ones from credible sellers that offer 100% clean and safe jewelry, so that you won't ever have to worry about jewelry woes.
DON'T FORGET TO CLEAN YOUR JEWELRY TOO
Unclean jewelry can cause infection to your piercings so be sure to clean them regularly. You can soak your jewelry in saline solution and/or wash in mild, fragrance-free liquid soap. Soak them for five to ten minutes once or more per day. For certain placements it may be easier to apply using clean gauze saturated with saline solution. A brief rinse afterward will remove any residue.
You can also soap the jewelry once a day while showering. Lather up a pearl size drop ofthe soap to clean the jewelry and the piercing. Leave the cleanser on the piercing for thirty seconds or so. Then rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of the soap from the piercing. Finally, dry the jewelry by gently patting with clean, disposable paper products.
OTHER THINGS TO AVOID
With your oral piercings, you will be required to avoid things like the habit of playing with or touching your jewelry, as this may cause the formation of unsightly and uncomfortable scar tissue, migration, and other complications. You also need to avoid chewing on gum, fingernails, pencils, sunglasses, and other foreign objects that could harbor bacteria. When experiencing bleeding or swelling, you need to stay away from things like aspirin, alcohol, and large amounts of caffeine. As much as possible, you also can't share plates, cups and other eating utensils with someone. Smoking is also definitely a no go if you want to decrease the healing time of your piercing.