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Published Friday, January 26, 2024

Your Guide To Tongue Piercings

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If biting your tongue makes you squeamish, this might not be the article for you, because today we’re talking about tongue piercings! Throughout history, humans have pierced their tongues for diverse reasons. However, it wasn't until the 1980s, with the advent of stainless steel body jewelry, that tongue piercing gained modern popularity.

The Classic Midline Tongue Piercing

The most popular placement for a tongue piercing is along the midline. This involves using a straight barbell, pierced vertically through the center, right between the two muscles that make up the tongue.


The Unique Double Piercing ("Venom")

A double piercing, often referred to as a “Venom” piercing, utilizes two straight barbells placed next to each other and pierced vertically through the tongue.


The Subtle Frenulum Piercing

The frenulum piercing passes through the small web of skin under your tongue. While not easily visible, this piercing can be done if you lift up your tongue. Some piercers avoid this due to the skin's unsuitability for supporting a piercing.


The Cautionary Tale of the Horizontal ("Snake Eyes") Piercing

We must discuss the horizontal - or ‘Snake Eyes’ - piercing, and why it’s not recommended. This piercing uses a straight barbell to pierce horizontally through the tongue, often towards the tip, with the balls resting on either side of the tongue. There are significant issues with this type of piercing:

  • The balls rest against your teeth, risking frequent impact and dental damage.
  • This piercing goes through both muscles of the tongue, restricting its movement and leading to potential muscle tearing, migration, and rejection.

The Right Jewelry for Tongue Piercings

Tongue piercings typically use a straight barbell. It's crucial that these barbells are threaded to minimize the risk of them being accidentally pulled out and swallowed when worn in your mouth.



What To Expect When Getting Your Tongue Pierced

When you get pierced, your piercer will use a barbell longer than what you will need once healed, to accommodate swelling, as our tongues like to swell up even more than other parts of our body when injured. Sorry, you will sound a little funny for a while, until that swelling goes down. 


Tongue Healing Time

Fortunately, our mouths like to heal quickly, meaning the healing time will be mercifully short compared to some other piercings, usually needing just a month or two.

Caring for Your Tongue Piercing

While you’re healing, it’s important to avoid irritating foods and beverages. That includes anything overly acidic, citrussy, or spicy. Similarly, it’s also important to avoid mouthwash with alcohol in it. Not only can alcohol-based mouthwash cause further irritation to your fresh piercing, but it’s not good for your jewelry either. Be cautious of potential tooth damage. While a properly placed barbell should keep the balls away from your teeth, using low profile ends or acrylic balls can minimize damage if accidental biting occurs.

A Bit Of Info About Wearing A Tongue Retainer

Hey there! So, we've been asked this question quite a bit, and guess what? I actually have a tongue piercing myself, so I'm here to show you exactly what a retainer looks like when it's inserted. Just a quick heads-up: my tongue might look a little blue, but that's because I was enjoying some blue food earlier. Anyway, let's dive in!

Inserting the Retainer: Top Down or Vice Versa?

Okay, so there are a couple of ways to insert this retainer. You can go top down, which means you'll put the flare end on the top of your tongue and the O-ring on the bottom. Or, you can do it vice versa, with the O-ring on top and the flare on the bottom. Personally, we've found that going top down is the easiest in our experience.

Tongue Retainer Insertion Step-by-Step Guide

Here's a quick step-by-step guide to help you insert your tongue piercing retainer:

  • Make sure your hands are clean and sanitized.
  • Remove the o-ring if it's on the retainer.
  • Place the retainer on your tongue with the desired orientation (top down or vice versa).
  • If you're doing top down, align the flare with the top of your tongue.
  • If you're doing vice versa, align the o-ring end with the top of your tongue.
  • Gently push the retainer through the piercing hole.
  • If you're using an O-ring, carefully place it back onto the retainer, securing it in place.

And there you have it! Your tongue piercing retainer is comfortably in place.

Remember, everyone's experience might be slightly different, so take your time and find what works best for you. If you're unsure, don't hesitate to consult a professional piercer for guidance.

We hope you found this helpful and of course, please remember to follow us on all our socials @Bodyartforms!