SUGGESTED AFTERCARE FOR ORAL PIERCINGS
Use one or both of the following solutions for inside the mouth:
- Antimicrobial or antibacterial
alcohol-free mouth rinse.
- Packaged sterile saline solution with no additives (read the label) or non-iodized
sea salt mixture: Dissolve 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized (iodine free) sea salt into one cup (8 oz) of warm distilled
or bottled water. A stronger mixture is not better. Saline solution tat is too strong can irritate your piercing.
(If you have high blood pressure or a heart condition, please check with your doctor before using a saline product as your
primary cleaning solution.)
(Consult your piercer, the APP website, or call (888) 888-APP for current suggested
CLEANING INSTRUCTIONS FOR INSIDE THE MOUTH
Rinse mouth with cleaning
solution for 30 seconds after meals and at bedtime (4-5 times daily) during the entire healing period. Cleaning too often
or with too strong a rinse can cause discoloration and irritation of your mouth and piercing.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE EXTERIOR OF LABRET (CHEEK AND LIP) PIERCINGS
Soak in saline solution and/or wash in mild,
fragrance-free liquid soap-preferably anti-microbial or germicidal.
- WASH your hands thoroughly
prior to cleaning or touching your piercing for any reason.
- SALINE soak at least two to
three times daily. Simply soak directly in a cup of warm saline solution for five to ten minutes. For certain placements it
may be easier to apply using clean gauze saturated with saline solution. A brief rinse afterward will remove any residue.
no more than once or twice a day. While showering, lather up a pearl size drop of the soap to clean the jewelry and the piercing.
Leave the cleanser on the piercing no more than thirty seconds.
- RINSE thoroughly to remove
all traces of the soap from the piercing. It is not necessary to rotate the jewelry through the piercing.
by gently patting with clean, disposable paper products. Cloth towels can harbor bacteria and snag on jewelry, causing injury.
- For the first three to five days: significant swelling, light bleeding, bruising,
- After that: Some swelling, light secretion of a whitish yellow fluid (not pus).
piercing may seem healed before the healing process is complete. This is because they heal from the outside in, and although
it feels fine, the tissue remains fragile on the inside. Be patient, and keep cleaning throughout the entire
- Even healed piercings can shrink or close in minutes after having been there for years! This
varies from person to person; if you like your piercing, keep jewelry in-do not leave the hole empty.
TO HELP REDUCE SWELLING:
- Allow small pieces of ice to dissolve in the mouth.
an over the counter, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium according to package instructions.
speak or move your jewelry more than necessary.
- Sleep with your head elevated above your heart during the
first few nights.
TO MAINTAIN GOOD ORAL HYGIENE:
- Use a new soft-bristled toothbrush and store
it in a clean area away from other toothbrushes.
- Brush your teeth and use your chosen rinse (saline or mouthwash)
after every meal.
- During healing floss daily, and gently brush your teeth, tongue and jewelry. Once healed,
brush the jewelry more thoroughly to avoid plaque build up.
TO STAY HEALTHY:
- The healthier
your lifestyle, the easier it will be for your piercing to heal.
- Get enough sleep and eat a nutritious diet.
emotional stress, which can increase healing times by up to 40%.
- To help healing and bolster your ability
to fight infection, take nutritional supplements daily, including iron, B vitamins, 1,000-5,000 mg of vitamin C (divided into
a few equal doses throughout the day), and 30 mg of inc for women (50 mg for men).
ORAL PIERCING HINTS
- Once the swelling has subsided, it is vital to replace
the original, longer jewelry with a shorter post to avoid intra-oral damage. Consult your piercer for their downsize policy.
this necessary jewelry change often occurs during healing, it should be done by a qualified piercer.
clean hands or paper product, be sure to regularly check threaded eneds on your jewelry for tightness (“Righty-tighty,
- Carry a clean spare ball in case of loss or breakage.
- Contact your
piercer for a non-metallic jewelry alternative if your metal jewelry must be temporarily removes (such as for a medical procedure).
you decide you no longer want the piercing, simply remove the jewelry (or have a professional piercer remove it) and continue
cleaning the piercing until the hole closes. In most cases only a small mark will remain.
- In the even an
infection is suspected, quality jewelry or an inert alternative should be left in place to allow for drainage or the infection.
Should the jewelry be removed, the surface cells can close up sealing the infection inside the piercing channel, resulting
in an abcess. Until an infection is cleared up, the the jewelry in!
- Slowly eat small
bites of food placed directly onto your molars.
- Avoid eating spicy, salty, acidic, or hot temperature foods
or beverages for a few days.
- Cold foods and beverages are soothing and help reduce swelling.
like mashed potatoes and oatmeal are hard to eat because they stick to your mouth and jewelry.
- For tongue
piercing, try to keep your tongue level in your mouth as you eat because the jewelry can get between your teeth when your
- For labret (cheek and lip) piercings: be cautious about opening your mouth too wide as this
can result in the jewelry catching on your teeth.
- Each body is unique and healing times vary considerably.
If you have any questions, please contact your piercer.
WHAT TO AVOID
- Do not
play with your jewelry. Long term effects include permanent damage to teeth, gums, and other oral structures. See
the APP’s Brochure: Oral Piercing Risks and Safety Measures for more information.
- Avoid undue
trauma; excessive talking or playing with the jewelry during healing can cause the formation of unsightly and uncomfortable
scar tissue, migration, and other complications.
- Avoid using mouthwash containing alcohol. It can irritate
the piercing and delay healing.
- Avoid oral sexual contact including French (wet) kissing or oral sex during
healing (even with a long-term partner).
- Avoid chewing on tobacco, gum, fingernails, pencils, sunglasses,
and other foreign objects that could harbor bacteria.
- Avoid sharing plates, cups, and eating utensils.
smoking! It increases risks and lengthens healing time.
- Avoid stress and all recreational drug use.
aspirin, alcohol, and large amounts of caffeine as long as you are experiencing bleeding or swelling.
submerging healing piercings in bodies of water such as lakes, pools, etc.
Each body is unique and healing times
vary considerably. If you have any questions, please contact your piercer.
These guidelines are
based on a combination of vast professional experience, common sense, research and extensive clinical practice. This is not
to be considered a substitute for medical advice from a doctor. If you suspect an infection, seek medical attention. Be aware
that many doctors have not received specific training regarding piercing. Your local piercer may be able to refer you to a
piercing-friendly medical professional. For more information, see the APP Brochure Troubleshooting For You and Your Healthcare Professional.