The Ultimate Guide To Tongue Piercings And Choosing a Style

Are you interested in getting a cool new tongue piercing? Tongue piercings are often considered "alternative" piercings, even for people with plenty of piercings already. They look scary, but they're not!

Getting a tongue piercing may seem intimidating, but you have nothing to worry about as long as you visit a good piercer and use good aftercare. Most people won't even notice that you have a tongue piercing until you show them.

I'm here to talk all about tongue piercings, so you can prepare yourself for the big day. Read on to learn more.

Safe Tongue Piercing Types

Tongue piercings are far safer than many people think that they are, as long as you get them done by a professional and you use the right kind of jewellery or jewelry as they spell it in the US (and a good amount of common sense). They look scarier than they are if you aren't used to piercings. Even many people with a lot of piercings are afraid of tongue piercings.

There are several safe ways to get tongue piercings. This article applies to the US but the majority can also be applied to having a tongue piercing in the UK too.

The first is a basic single tongue piercing. This piercing goes along the middle line of your tongue. Each side of your tongue can function individually, and the piercing goes right in the centre.

The piercing should be far enough back that it doesn't come in contact with your teeth. That said, the piercer can place it at several points along that centre line. They'll use their best judgment based on your anatomy.

You can have multiple tongue piercings as well. They can either run up that centre line or be side by side.

If they're side-by-side, each piercing will instead be in the centre of one half of your tongue, rather than in the true centre of your tongue as a whole.

Keep in mind that having multiple tongue piercings, even if they're safe tongue piercings, will increase your chances of hurting your teeth and gums with the jewelry.

Unsafe Tongue Piercings

Many people who are inexperienced with piercings (and even some poorly-trained piercers) love snake eye tongue piercings or frog eye tongue piercings.

These piercings use a single piece of jewelry (jewellery) with two exposed points on the front or top of your tongue. For snake eye tongue piercings, the jewelry pokes out on either side of the tip of your tongue. For frog eye tongue piercings, the jewelry pokes out at two points on the surface of your tongue.

So why are these unsafe?

It's possible that the jewelry will pin the muscles in your tongue together in a way that can be dangerous and uncomfortable. Again, both halves of your tongue are able to move on their own. Remember that you can fold your tongue and think about what that would be like if a piece of metal was restricting your movement.

These piercings are also far worse for your teeth and gums than standard tongue piercings. The snake eye tongue piercing, especially because it can (and will) hit both sides of your teeth.

Where To Go For Your Tongue Piercing

Not all piercers are good piercers. If you're getting a tongue piercing, you have to find a high-quality piercer so you can be as safe as possible.

Look online for piercers near you that are either part of the Association of Professional Piercers and who only sell high-quality implant-grade jewelry (more on that later). These piercers have higher standards and more training than your average piercer.

Do not go to a shop in a mall unless that shop is high-quality (and they often aren't). Ask piercers if their jewelry (jewellery) is internally-threaded, and if it's not, run the other way.

Look at piercer's portfolios. If there's even a single snake eye or frog eye tongue piercing, it's best to go elsewhere. This piercer is willing to do an unsafe piercing knowing that it can hurt their client.

Good piercing shops have similar hygiene standards to dentist's offices. If you walk into the shop and the workers aren't using gloves to handle jewelry, and they don't have a Statim or autoclave, the shop is not reliable.

What To Expect

Again, tongue piercings look scarier than they are. It's normal to feel anxious, but remember, if you've gone to a good piercer, you're in good hands.

When you arrive at the shop, you'll check-in by filling out forms and showing the counter staff your ID. The piercer or an assistant will pick out jewelry after glancing at your tongue. The jewelry will be large, but don't worry.

They may also give you a small slip of paper and ask you to initial it. This is going to go into the Statim while the jewelry gets sterilized. It's to let you know that the piercer is using safe practices.

When you go into the piercing room, the piercer will have you sit down and they'll look at your tongue. They'll mark it with purple ink and show you to see if you like the placement. Feel free to ask for adjustments.

When the placement is right, the piercer will likely use a clamp (though many piercers prefer freehand piercings. Tongues are often an exception because they're so slippery).

They'll gently press the needle against your tongue without piercing you. This will help them gauge the proper place to pierce.

The piercer will ask you to take a deep breath in and then let it out slowly. This is when they'll push the needle through your tongue along with the jewelry. They'll add the top (or bottom) onto the jewelry, and the piercing is over.

The piercing will hurt, but it will feel more like a "jolt" than a sharp pain.

Tongue Piercing Aftercare Basics

tongue piercing

Taking care of tongue piercings isn't difficult, but it will be annoying. Your mouth is self-cleaning, so it's easier than healing other types of piercings. There are still a few things that you need to know if you want a quick and easy healing process.

Here's a rundown.

Basic Healing Guide

The day that you get your piercing, your tongue is going to swell up like a balloon. This is unavoidable, annoying, and stressful. Don't worry; it will pass soon enough.

During this time, it's best to avoid any spicy foods. They may not harm your piercing per se, but they will sting. Some piercers recommend against eating or drinking dairy, but as long as you rinse your mouth afterwards, there doesn't seem to be a real problem with it.

Cold water and saltwater rinses will be your friends during this time. Sucking on ice will make your tongue feel better.

The first week post-piercing, your tongue will likely still be swollen. This is why the piercer uses such a long bar. It looks long when they're holding it, but it's more than likely that it will feel snug after your tongue swells.

You will have a lisp during this time. After about two to four weeks, your swelling should be mostly gone.

Note: You should not use alcohol on your healing tongue piercing. Leave it alone.

When (and How) To Change Your Jewelry

When your swelling goes down, visit your piercer. It's important that you let them downsize your jewelry so it doesn't clang against your teeth. Your tongue jewelry should always be snug, but comfortable.

Do not try to change your jewelry on your own until your piercer says that it's okay. While the piercing is healing, it will be prone to closing up and you may damage it.

When it's time to change your own jewelry, it's in your best interest to stick with high-quality pieces for your day-to-day wear. While plastic tongue rings (bars) or acrylic jewelry may seem best for your teeth, they're not good for your body.

I recommend using an "M&M bead" on the bottom and a flat gemmed piece on the top for a stylish and subtle look.

If you want "fun" jewelry from a site like, it's appropriate for short-term wear as long as you buy the right size. If you're not sure about your size, ask your piercer.

Tongue jewelry is frustrating to put in. Prepare to stand in front of the mirror for several minutes while you're trying to screw the end onto your jewelry.

I recommend getting a box of latex gloves to make it easier. If you're struggling, take a breath and take a few minutes away from it.

Is It Time For Your Tongue Piercing Appointment?

Remember: tongue piercings look scarier than they are. The piercing will be over in a matter of seconds, and you'll have a brand new piece of jewelry.

Visit a good piercer, use proper jewelry, and take care of your piercing until it's healed. You'll be fine! This post is for informative purposes only and does not offer medical advice.

*Collaborative post

No comments