Healing Time
Tongue, approximately 6-weeks. The jewelry cannot be removed for at least 6 months, a year is better. Even though the piercing may be healed before then, it takes some time for it to "toughen up."

Special note on tongue piercings

Cleaning the inside tissue
At least 4-6 times a day, you will want to rinse with Tech 2000 or a sea salt solution for 30-60 seconds. A sea salt rinse is 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt dissolved in 8 ounces of warm water. Continue the rinses for 6-8 weeks.

The piercing will probably be swollen for the first few days
To minimize the amount of swelling you can use ice. Simply place it in your mouth and let it melt. Crushed ice is better to use - large pieces can increase swelling. Reducing the amount of talking you do will help to reduce the swelling. Cut down on your intake of warm beverages, spicy and acidic foods, tobacco and alcohol for the first week. Eat only soft foods for the first week or as long as your tongue is swollen. Avoid drinking carbonated beverages for 3-4 days. They can break the seal that is forming at the piercing site.

No oral contact of any kind
No oral contact of any kind for the first 6 weeks (including French/wet kissing and oral sex without barriers). You could end up with a severe infection.

Chris Rocks says:
If a woman has a pierced tongue, she'll probably suck your dick. If a guy has a pierced tongue, he'll probably suck your dick.

Seriously though, a chick that knows how to use a tongue stud is a fine sexual partner indeed. I have been so blessed a few times, and can report without equivocation, it's a Good Thing.

A new thing (to me anyway) is tongue spacers. A friend of mine has a 1/2 inch translucent round plastic spacer in his tongue that match the ones in his ears. Light filters through them, and his ears glow blue or green or whatever color he has in his ears. His tongue only glows when he shines a flashlight through it, but it's kind of neat looking.

I feel I should add some personal experience to this node, which should also serve to explain the procedure involved.

I have my tongue pierced and I'd have to say that it is a most interesting experience. I'd highly recommend the procedure to any folks curious about it. My SO swears blind that kissing and oral sex are now vastly improved as a result. I also have a couple of novelty balls that glow under ultraviolet light, which is always fun when visiting clubs and bars.

If I've now tipped you toward getting the piercing, here's what happens from go to woah.

  • You select a someone to do the piercing. This is the most important step. I believe that when looking to be pierced you should avoid tattooists and hairdressers who do a sideline in body piercing and find someone who does the job full time. This is simply my preference however. It is important to be comfortable with the person who is punching holes in you.
  • The piercer will look at your tongue to assess whether it is suitable for the piercing. I'm not too sure what makes a tongue unsuitable to be pierced. That may have something to do with length.
  • You rinse your mouth out with some mouthwash while the piercer prepares the needle and jewelery.
  • A mark will be placed on your tongue with a felt pen indicating the place where the new piercing will go. You are given the chance to approve the position, or move it.
  • Once you're happy with the positioning, the piercer will put a light antiseptic on the piercing area and take hold of your tongue using some foreceps. This is to both flatten out the piercing site and prevent you from instinctively retracting your tongue.
  • Now the painful part!. The needle is pushed through your tongue into a cork resting on the underside. The pain is momentary and akin to biting your tongue hard with your incisor.
  • Since the needle is hollow, the jewelry is pushed through the inside of needle. The needle is then removed and the balls are screwed onto the barbell to hold it in place.
  • "Rinse and spit" and you're done.

There are some excellent aftercare instructions already noted above, so I'll skip those. However be aware that because of the swelling quite a long barbell is used for the initial piercing. Once the swelling has gone down I'd recommend getting the bar shortened. This makes the piercing much more comfortable to wear.

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