Oral Piercing Aftercare

  • How long does a new oral piercing take to heal?

    Oral piercings can take 3-6 months to heal completely.

    Please note, the 3-6 month healing period is just a guide so if your piercing takes longer to fully settle don’t worry - your body just needs more time. Listen to your body.

  • When can I downsize my jewellery?

    After 2-4 weeks a downsize is recommended. This is where your piercer puts in a shorter bar that is flush to your skin, replacing the original bar which is extra long to allow for swelling. Once your swelling has receded the long bar is redundant and can cause irritation, migration, granulomas etc. A downsize helps to prevent this.

    Please book to arrange a downsize. Do not do your downsize yourself at home as the inside channel of your piercing will not be fully healed and therefore will need an experienced hand to change it.

    After your downsize, do not change your jewellery again for the remainder of the healing time. Once fully healed you can change your jewellery at will, but please ensure you always have clean hands and you use clean, high quality jewellery. If you would rather I did/organised this for you, please just get in touch.

  • Can I take the jewellery out of my piercing?

    Even after it is totally healed, do not leave your jewellery out of your piercing for long periods of time as it can still shrink and close up. Only remove jewellery to replace it with something new.

  • How do I clean and care for my piercing?

    To clean, I recommend purchasing a bottle of NeilMed Piercing Aftercare Mist / Wipes which are available to purchase in store. Take a clean cotton bud with clean or gloved hands and spray one end of the cotton bud with your NeilMed solution. Use this end to clean around one side of your piercing, removing any discharge, then use the dry end to dry your piercing thoroughly. Throw the used cotton bud away. Repeat the treatment on the other side of your piercing with fresh cotton buds. Do this twice a day for the full healing period.

    For the internal exit/entry points of an oral piercing (ie. tongue or the inside of a lip) I recommend purchasing a bottle of Tongue Rinse (available in store). Swish a mouthful of your solution around for at least 30 seconds, then spit out. Do this twice a day for the full healing period, and also rinse your mouth with the solution every time you eat, drink, smoke etc throughout the day. Rinse your mouth a maximum of 5 times a day to avoid over cleaning, definitely in the morning and before bed, and then three more times throughout the day, usually with meals.

  • The "Do's" and "Do Not's"

    DO: enure your hands are always clean or gloved when handling your piercing.
    DO: get plenty of turmeric into your diet as this will act as an anti-inflammatory and help speed up your healing. It also prevents the need for over consumption of painkillers. Turmeric tea is especially effective for oral piercings, and I recommend 2 cups per day.
    DO: wash your hands thoroughly after petting any animals and do not let them near the area of your new piercing. If animals have slept in your bed, ensure you change your sheets before getting into bed with your new piercing.
    DO NOT: get a piercing if you cannot commit to caring correctly for it and ensuring that it is always kept clean.
    DO NOT: touch, twist or fiddle with your piercing.
    DO NOT: remove the jewellery when cleaning or for any other reason.
    DO NOT: go to the gym / sauna / steam room / pool / sea etc until fully healed.
    DO NOT: use alcoholic mouthwash.
    AVOID: getting any hair or products on your piercing including soap, shampoo, lotions, sprays, makeup etc.
    AVOID: drinking alcohol for a minimum of 2 weeks after getting your piercing.
    AVOID: acidic or spicy foods as this can irritate the piercing, and don’t eat too much dairy as dairy can leave a coating around the mouth that slows down healing. Ice poles and cold water are perfect alternatives.

  • Things to expect

    While you may not get all of the below symptoms, all of them are a possibility and totally normal for a fresh or healing piercing so please don’t worry if you develop any of the following:

    Swelling, soreness, redness, localised bruising. Bleeding (particularly in the first few days or after catching your piercing) can also occur. You will also get a crust on your piercing (this is called lymph fluid) - this is a substance your body produces to heal itself. Clean this away by using your NeilMed solution. Do not pick or scrub the crust off as this can damage the skin underneath and make the piercing sore. Also use this method to remove dried blood.

    Your piercing may also begin to nest. This is where the jewellery creates a little dimple, usually on the inside of the mouth to settle into. This is totally normal, but keep and eye on it to make sure it doesn’t progress to embedding.

    If you smoke you may find that a white layer forms on your tongue - don’t worry if this happens. This occurs for all smokers but your tongue usually cleans itself. With a new piercing your tongue is just re-learning how to do that.

    If you are concerned or unsure please contact me via instagram or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I can take a look for you.

Do you still have questions?

If you still have some questions and would like to chat then please send me an email by clicking the button below, or send me a message through Instagram.

Follow me on Instagram

© Pricking Thumbs Tattoo and Piercing Studio.
All rights reserved.
Unit 81 (The Old Kent Market), 8 Fort Hill, Margate, Kent, CT9 1HD