Aftercare for Oral Piercings
CLEANING INSTRUCTIONS FOR INSIDE THE MOUTH
Rinse mouth with saline solution for 30 seconds after meals, and at bedtime (4-5 times daily) during the entire healing period.
Cleaning too often or with too strong a rinse can cause discolouration and irritation of your mouth and piercing.
The correct mixture for saline is 1/4 Teaspoon added to 250mls warm water (do not use a stronger solution). Alternatively 1 Teaspoon to 1L of water in a bottle allows for convenience throughout the day.
CLEANING INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE EXTERIOR OF LABRET (CHEEK AND LIP) PIERCINGS
See aftercare for normal aftercare of piercings.
Soak in saline solution and wash with Health Basics Antibacterial Hand Wash.
Wash your hands thoroughly prior to cleaning or touching your piercing for any reason.
Soap no more than twice a day.
- Saline soak or compress no more than twice a day.
Rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of the soap and saline from the piercing. It is not necessary to rotate the jewellery through the piercing.
Dry by gently patting with clean, disposable paper products. Cloth towels can harbour bacteria and snag on jewellery, causing injury.
WHAT IS NORMAL?
For the first three to five days; significant swelling, light bleeding, bruising, and/or tenderness.
After that; some swelling, light secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid (not pus).
A piercing may seem healed before the healing process is complete. This is because they heal from the outside in, and although it feels fine the tissue remains fragile on the inside.
Be patient, and keep cleaning throughout the entire healing period.
Even healed piercings can shrink or close in minutes after having been there for years! This varies from person to person; if you like your piercing, keep jewellery in – do not leave the hole empty.
WHAT TO DO
TO HELP REDUCE SWELLING:
Allow small pieces of ice to dissolve in the mouth.
Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen according to package instructions.
Don’t speak or move your jewellery more than necessary.
- Sleep with your head elevated above your heart during the first few nights.
TO MAINTAIN GOOD ORAL HYGIENE:
Use a new soft-bristled toothbrush, and store it in a clean area away from other toothbrushes.
Brush your teeth and use your chosen rinse (saline or mouthwash) after every meal.
During healing floss daily and gently brush your teeth, tongue and jewellery. Once healed brush the jewellery more thoroughly to avoid plaque build up.
TO STAY HEALTHY:
The healthier your lifestyle, the easier it will be for your piercing to heal.
Get enough sleep and eat a nutritious diet.
Avoid emotional stress which can increase healing times by up to 40%.
- To help healing and bolster your ability to fight infection take nutritional supplements daily including;
- B vitamins
- 1,000-5,000 mg of vitamin C (divided into a few equal doses throughout the day)
- Zinc (30 mg for women, or 50 mg for men)
WHAT TO AVOID
Playing with your jewellery; long term effects include permanent damage to teeth, gums, and other oral structures.
Undue trauma; excessive talking or playing with the jewellery during healing can cause the formation of unsightly and uncomfortable scar tissue, migration, and other complications.
Mouthwash containing alcohol; it can irritate the piercing and delay healing.
Oral sexual contact; including French (wet) kissing, or oral sex during healing (even with a long-term partner).
Chewing; on tobacco, gum, fingernails, pencils, sunglasses, and other foreign objects that could harbour bacteria.
Sharing; plates, cups, and eating utensils.
Smoking! It increases risks and lengthens healing time.
Stress and all recreational drug use.
Aspirin, alcohol, and large amounts of caffeine as long as you are experiencing bleeding or swelling.
Submerging healing piercings in bodies of water such as lakes, pools, etc.
Spicy, salty, acidic, or hot temperature foods or beverages for a few days.
Once the swelling has subsided, it is vital to replace the original, longer jewellery with a shorter post to avoid gum & tooth damage. Consult Flesh Wound for our downsize policy.
Because this necessary jewellery change often occurs during healing it should be done by a qualified piercer.
With clean hands or paper tissue be sure to regularly check threaded ends on your jewellery for tightness (“righty-tighty, lefty-loosey”).
Carry a clean spare ball in case of loss or breakage.
Contact Flesh Wound for a non-metallic jewellery alternative if your metal jewellery must be temporarily removed (such as for a medical procedure).
Should you decide you no longer want the piercing simply remove the jewellery, or have Flesh Wound remove it, and continue cleaning the piercing until the hole closes. In most cases only a small mark will remain.
In the event an infection is suspected quality jewellery or an inert alternative should be left in place to allow for drainage of the infection. Should the jewellery be removed the surface cells can close up – sealing the infection inside the piercing channel resulting in an abscess. Until an infection is cleared up, keep the jewellery in!
Slowly eat small bites of food placed directly onto your molars.
Avoid eating spicy, salty, acidic, or hot temperature foods or beverages for a few days.
Cold foods and beverages are soothing and help reduce swelling.
Foods like mashed potatoes and oatmeal are hard to eat because they stick to your mouth and jewellery.
For tongue piercing; try to keep your tongue level in your mouth as you eat because the jewellery can get between your teeth when your tongue turns.
For labret (cheek and lip) piercings; be cautious about opening your mouth too wide as this can result in the jewellery catching on your teeth.
Each body is unique and healing times vary considerably.
If you have any questions, please contact Flesh Wound.