- Avoid sharing drinks and utensils
- Always wash your hands before touching your piercing or the surrounding areas
- Get a new tooth brush and be diligent about keeping it clean while healing
- Don’t put things in your mouth like pens and other things that carry bacteria
- Avoid oral sexual activity during healing
Avoiding and Treating Swelling
- Ice is the perfect way to avoid swelling. Suck on ice chips or hold an ice pack to the pierced area for a few minutes, several times a day.
- Keeping your head elevated at night can reduce swelling. Prop your head up with a few pillows while sleeping.
- Anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen (Advil) can be purchase over the counter and can reduce and/or prevent swelling.
When properly performed and properly cared for, most piercings will typically heal fast with minimal discomfort, swelling and bleeding.
People are often concerned about infection, particularly with oral piercings because they believe the mouth to be dirty given that so many germs and bacteria can pass through the mouth through everyday activities like eating, drinking, talking and even breathing. While this is true, our saliva actually contains naturally occurring antimicrobials that get rid of the potentially harmful toxins that may enter.
In addition to this natural defense, healing time for this area tends to be significantly shorter than for other areas of the body, and so there is less of a window for infection to occur. Your mouth, in fact, has one of the shortest and most efficient healing periods within your entire body.
As a further barrier against infection, your head and neck regions have so many veins and arteries concentrated in one area that it is much faster for your body’s natural infection-fighting agents to reach this area.
With oral piercings, the greatest opportunity for infection is during the procedure itself, and during healing, which is why it is so important to choose the right piercing professional to do the job, and to follow proper care guidelines while your piercing heals.