BASIC PIERCING CARE
Always wash your hands before touching the piercing or the surrounding area. Any contact with the ring or bead will deposit bacteria directly into the piercing, and will cause an infection.
To soak your piercing, use a clean 8 oz. glass. Fill the glass with hot but tolerable water and add ¼ teaspoon of non-iodized sea salt. Press the opening of the glass against your skin (making a seal) and position yourself to submerge the piercing in the hot sea salt water. Hold for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with water.
To compress your piercing, submerge a single-use compress (such as paper towel or gauze – use only high quality products such as Bounty paper towel/medical gauze) into a hot water salt solution (as described above). Apply to piercing area for 15-20 minutes, repeat when compress cools. Rinse with water.
Your own body heals your piercing, not the cleaning solutions. We suggest unscented Castille soap (available at natural health food stores). Cleaning your piercing and removing the dry matter can be done at the same time (your daily shower is the best place to do this). After washing your hair and body, lather up the jewelry and piercing area (be careful to only wash the area and not to rotate the jewelry itself). Leave soap on the piercing for 30 seconds, then proceed to rinse the area well under water for 7-10 minutes, again making sure to not rotate the jewelry.
Your new oral piercing will probably swell up for approximately 3-7 days. You should ice your piercing for the first few days to help bring the swelling down. Crushed ice, slurpees and lots of cold water work well. To allow for all swelling, the initial “post” or ring will be larger than the final piece of jewelry that you wear day-to-day. Some suggested anti-inflammatory products that will aid in bringing the swelling down are as follows: Ibuprofen (ex: Advil, Motrin, or Midol), chamomile tea, cold drinks, crushed ice, and pineapple juice (a natural anti-inflammatory).
Products and foods to avoid: Spicy foods, citrus products, dairy products, food & drinks high in yeast content.
Cleaning Oral Piercings
Rinse your mouth with an alcohol-free and fluoride free anti-bacterial mouthwash. Some suggested brands of mouthwash are: Tech 2000, Bioten or Oral B. Rinse for 60 seconds after meals, smoking and drinking. Sea salt aids healing without stripping your mouth of healthy, necessary bacteria. Rinse with sea salt no more than 8 times daily. Use ¼ teaspoon of non-iodized sea salt to 8 oz. of warm water, rinse with this solution for 60 seconds.
Discharge is common with oral piercings. This is not pus or an infection. It is your white blood cells; this indicates that the piercing is healing. When brushing your teeth, brush the bottom beads (and top, if tongue) of the jewelry regularly. Brush with a soft toothbrush and non-peroxide toothpaste. Your piercing will be more comfortable with a barbell clean of plaque and bacteria.
As the piercing heals and swelling decreases, the post or ring can be downsized. However this should not be attempted too soon. Remember patience is a virtue. Changing the jewelry too soon usually results in more swelling and delayed healing time. Even if you decide to remove the jewelry, and do not replace it, the swelling will still take a week to reduce. Please do not hesitate to call regarding any concerns you may have.
OUTER LIP, LABRET, AND CHEEK PIERCINGS
Please refer to the instructions under Basic Piercing Care for the outside of the piercing. For care of the inside of the piercing please refer to instructions under Cleaning Oral Piercings.
ADDITIONAL HEALING HELP
It is important to take care of yourself during the healing process. Eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep and taking a multi-vitamin that contains zinc will help the process along.
- No oral contact, remember any new piercing is an open wound.
- Avoid rough play with the piercing during the initial healing period.
- Check threaded jewelry periodically to make sure the ends are tight (especially tongues).
- Do not constrict your piercing. Tight clothing can irritate your piercing causing excessive scarring. Wear clean loose clothing.
- Change your bedding often while your piercing is healing.
- Avoid make-up on or around your piercing and be careful with sprays and powders (including bubble bath, creamy products and bath bombs).
- Stay away from stimulants such as alcohol, aspirin, and acetaminophen (Tylenol) as they thin your blood.
- Swimming pools are a breeding ground for bacteria and contain chlorine. Staying away from swimming for at least two months is best. If you must swim, use a watertight wound covering such as Tegaderm or Clean Seals (available at any pharmacy).
- Do not self-diagnose piercing issues! Come in to see JP as soon as possible.