Getting my tongue pierced is something I have wanted done for years and years and in August I finally manned up and went for it. For me, the decision was not an easy one so I have decided to write why I decided to bite the bullet, the pros and cons and how the piercing was after it was pierced to help those curious or wanting the piercing done on themselves. I am hoping to write a post containing all the information I wanted before I went for it so I hope this helps anyone that was in my position – stuck in two minds.
I had read that the two most important things you will need to buy before getting the peircing done is alcohol free mouthwash (this is to ensure it is cleaned and does not prevent the healing process) and ibuprofen. Iboprofen acts to minimise swelling and any pain that may occur. I think all together these came to £2.50 for me in my local Tesco and are easily obtainable in any drug store or supermarket.
Finding the Right Piercer:
This goes without saying: DO YOUR RESEARCH! For me I had several different options and I ensured I looked online for reviews from customers and their piercing portfolio. A tongue piercing is not like an ear piercing, ensure they use sterile needles and equipment and are happy to answer any questions you may have after the piercing has taken place. Do not go for cheap and cheerful as your tongue is something you don’t want to mess around with. My local peircer in London checked all the boxes; great reviews, lots of tongue piercing experience that I thought looked great and friendly staff. I was set and went in for it.
Getting it Pierced:
Would you believe it was the least painful piercing I have ever had? In the parlour I went in, there were two piercers around me to ensure it is all measured out correctly as you can’t pierce through a vain ect. I had some tiny veins but they could be avoided but it is important they check this before marking out where it will be. He then did so. I asked for it to be more around the middle of my tongue than the front and I sat down ready to go. I was super nervous about the pain! He dried my tongue (the weirdest thing ever!) and clamped it down. Then before I even realised he had began the piercing (as I had my eyes closed) it was over without a single bit of pain! He then left the needle in and changed it for the titanium 20mm tongue bar. Titanium was important as no-one is allergic to that, whereas if they pierce with stainless steel, your body could react very differently, the 20mm was a large size for a tongue bar but accommodates for potential swelling. This felt a little fiddly but more because I was having threaded through my tongue, but again not at all painful. That was it. It was a mere 2/10 for pain, I swear, but everyone’s pain threshold is different. My piercer then gave me a card where I could get it professionally cleaned four times within the next month for free and to monitor its healing, I was pleased they offered that after care service as my auntie got hers pierced years ago and removed it due to infection. I then took an ibuprofen as soon as I stepped out of the parlour as a preventative to swelling, I think this was my secret to not even noticing it.
The Week After The Piercing:
Day 1: I was told to avoid as much dairy as possible amd eating ice can help prevent swelling. If you know me then you’ll know I eat ice anyways so that wasn’t anything new! I tried to avoid eating as much as I could but for lunch I actually got McDonald’s chicken nuggets and slowly ate them as I was starving! I ate them in tiny chunks only using my back teeth and that was fine! It is only a little swollen but I don’t have a lisp or any discomfort so I was happy. Everytime I eat (as well as wake up and before I go to bed) I clean it out. I either use a salt bath (a mix of rock salt and hot water) or the non-alcohol mouthwash to disinfect it. I also take ibuprofen three times a day as a preventative.
Day 2: No swelling over night. Tried to eat a cereal bar but just couldn’t do it as you don’t realise how much you move your tongue when eating something like that! I was back to work this morning and working in retain means you can’t hide in a corner and not talk at all but I just spoke a lot less and a lot slower than I usually do but it was fine. Having the bar so large does make it much harder but there was no pain at all. For lunch I had a cold drink where sucking a straw much more difficult than before but it was equally extremely soothing for the piercing. Probably a little more uncomfortable than it was yesterday but I’m sure with the correct after care it will settle down.
Day 3: When I went to clean the piercing this morning I noticed I had a tiny little white bubble next to the piercing. I searched Google to find why it is and they say it is caused by either too much movement of the larger bar or too much cleaning, so going to keep the two as minimal as possible (still cleaning it regularly just not as often and trying to talk much less e.g. offer to clean the shop instead of sell!). I was scared the little bump would get bigger so I was petrified to talk but being more careful should be fine.
Day 4: The bump had gone overnight so that would but its cause down too excessive movement. My tongue however did swell overnight noticeably as the 20mm bar fit in my tongue instead of looking too big. I cleaned it as soon as I woke up and was delighted that work was quiet so again talking was kept to a minimum. Biggest mistake yet: trying to eat stir fry noodles. No. Not happening. I ended up throwing them out and drinking a smoothie. Noodles + Tongue Bar = Disaster. I’m drinking as much water as humanely possible, the little bump returned but it was after I had a coughing fit and I could feel it push against the bar which caused excessive movement. Only took the two lots of ibuprofen today; once when I woke up and another before bed. Can’t wait to eat normally again as just eating on my molars is taking forever! I love it though and just can’t wait to get a smaller bar!
Day 5: I can understand why people say it’s one of the more uncomfortable piercings during the healing process now. I’m forever scared of ripping the piercing or getting it infected or even losing the ball to the bar. Eating yogurt has helped ALOT! Still only eating on the side of my mouth else it causes too much irritation. I managed to eat popcorn and I was so happy, plus I ate some strawberries earlier on in the day without problem. I’m still washing it out after every time I eat even just with cold water to prevent any infection.
Day 6: Today was as uncomfortable as yesterday. I did manage to eat porridge and felt full for the first time in just under a week! Talking at work was much the same, still keeping it as minimal as possible. This evening I ate yogurt and ice cream and it feels much much better! I’m hoping this is the beginning of the end of the healing stage.
Day 7: Can’t believe I’ve had it for a week! Today it feels SO MUCH better! I’m able to eat solid foods, talking is noticeably much easier and the sweeling has gone down almost completely. First day it’s been great and it is pretty much healed. Will continue to be cautious with it but I’m so happy with it and can’t stop looking at it in a mirror.
Then vs. Now:
So it’s over a month old now and completely healed up. I got the bar changed about a week and a half ago to a 16mm bar at the piercers and have fallen back in love with it. You can hardly feel the bar in your mouth after having the longer one in for so long. I can do everything I did beforehand and there has been no trouble since. I’m so happy I went for it and wonder why it took me so long to go for it. People worry about their teeth with the bar but you can buy acrylic balls for the bar which do not damage your teeth at all. Additionally, people say it looks “slutty” (quote) however it is very discreet and is only as noticeable as you make it. If you stick your tongue out all the time people will see it, but talking normally you can hide it very easily. Some people say they can’t have it at work but you can buy clear bars that are not noticeable even up close so that way it can be hidden at work and you can change it once you get home.
I’m so happy with my new piercing and love how it looks. My advice for those unsure about it? Just go for it! It’s not a tattoo, it can be removed and it’ll heal right over. It isn’t painful at all and I think they look really classy and not “slutty” at all. I’m going to be keeping my 16mm titanium bar in but there are so many colour and design options you can make it reflect you completely.
Have you got your tongue pierced or looking to get it done? If you have any questions then let me know, I’ll be happy to help!