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What to Eat After a Tongue Piercing?

Feb 13, 2017

After having your tongue pierced, some foods will be uncomfortable and even painful to eat. This is normal since the surrounding tissue will be inflamed and sensitive to touch after piercing. In order to help accelerate the healing process, maintaining a good oral hygiene and eating properly are recommended. The healing time can take up to four or even five weeks. Here are some suggestions for you.

What to Eat After a Tongue Piercing

1. Liquid Foods

A good starting point would be drinking protein shakes, non-acidic juices and cold non-spicy soups. At this point, the swelling will be pronounced and it will be difficult for you to even speak properly.

2. Soft and Bland Foods

After the swelling in your tongue subsides a little, you can start eating soft foods such as ice cream, jello, flan and baby foods. Try to choose cold foods over hot ones, since your tongue will still be very sensitive and a burn will do more damage to the already injured tissue.

3. Beverages

What to eat after a tongue piercing? Most beverages, except alcohol, are allowed during the healing process. At first, avoid hot drinks such as tea and coffee. Immediately after the procedure is completed, an iced beverage is recommended. With time, you can shift from cold beverages to hot beverages. However, you need to know that since a piercing is a piece of metal inside your mouth, it can conduce heat, causing you to burn if the beverage is too hot when you drink it.

How to Eat

  • Eat just when you have enough time to do it properly and relaxed. Eating in a rush can cause harm to yourself.
  • During the procedure a metal barbell will be put in your tongue while it's swollen, so you need to be extra careful to eat slowly. Eating too fast can cause your barbell to move and hit your teeth, causing them some damage.
  • Before eating, you need to wash your hands and tighten the beads attached to your barbell to avoid swallowing them by accident.
  • Use disposable tableware in every possible occasion, as metal utensils can carry bacteria even if they are properly washed. They can also accidentally hit your barbell, interfering with the healing process.
  • Keeping a good hygiene is recommended to avoid any kind of infection. During the first few days after the procedure is done, wash your mouth after each meal and every five to six hours with a solution made with two cups of water plus two or three teaspoons of table salt. 

Foods to Avoid After a Tongue Piercing

Now you know what to eat after a tongue piercing. Here is a list of foods that you should avoid.

1. Hot and Spicy Foods

Eating spicy foods can cause a lot of pain as spicy foods are very irritating and the wound on your tongue is very sensitive.

 2. Acidic Foods and Drinks

Acidic beverages or foods will also be irritating for the wound in your tongue. You should avoid foods or drinks that are made with or contain some ingredients such as: lemons, oranges, grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, pickles and tomatoes.

3. Alcoholic Beverages

Avoiding any kind of alcohol during the healing process is recommended. Alcoholic beverages and even food or oral hygiene products that contain it can cause injury to your pierced tongue because of the chemicals in alcohols.

4. Hard Foods

Crunchy and hard food can cause damage to your pierced tongue. Small fragments of these foods can get stuck in the piercing canal, causing pain and infection. Besides, you need extra chewing to decompose such foods, which increases swelling of tissues. Some examples of hard foods are: cookies, apples, nuts, crackers, chips, carrots and toast.

5. Sticky or Chewy Foods

After having your tongue pierced, it will be much easier for the food to get stuck in the piercing canal and even get attached to the barbell. This is why sticky foods like oatmeal or peanut butter should be avoided. Chewy foods such as red meat will oblige you to masticate more, causing an increase in inflammation of your tongue. 

More Tips for Taking Care of Your Tongue Piercing

What to eat after a tongue piercing? This is an important question to answer, and it is also important to know other tips for better healing.

1. Address Swelling Promptly

During the first few days, a little inflammation will be normal. You can sleep with your head in an elevated position and take some drugs as ibuprofen to help reduce the swelling. If your tongue swells seriously and your barbell gets too tight, you need to change it for a larger one without any delay. Failing to do so can lead to serious injury such as necrosis (irreversible death of the tissue).

2. Do Not Smoke

Smoking can reduce the blood flow to the wound, slowing down the healing process and increasing the infection risk. It can also dry out your mouth, making the piercing uncomfortable and even painful. Try to do your best to avoid cigarettes or cigars. Nevertheless, if you succumb to the temptation, make sure to rinse your mouth with salty water afterwards.

3. Avoid Other People's Bacteria

It is very easy to catch foreign bacteria, and some activities, like French kissing, sharing utensils with another person, drinking from the same straw or cup and performing oral sex, can highly increase this risk. All these activities should be avoided to ensure a proper healing process without any complications.

4. Don't Play with Your Jewelry

At least before the healing process is completed, you should not play with your piercing. Doing this can cause bleeding, abnormal cicatrization, beads loss and teeth damage.

5. Watch for Signs of Infection

  • To know if an infection may be developing, you need to be aware of the kind of secretions coming out of your piercing canal. Secretions that are white, yellow, brown or green and have a foul smell can be signs of infection.
  • Other signs and symptoms include increase in swelling, redness, heat and/or pain. Fever can also be present.

If you are careful and follow every given instruction, an infection is unlikely to appear. However, if it still happens, you should make an appointment with your doctor or dentist so he or she can evaluate if an antibiotic is needed.