A tongue piercing takes about three to four weeks to heal. During that time, it’s important to watch what you eat and how you eat it. You’ll have to stick to softer, blander foods and chew slowly. Even with proper precautions, however, complications can occur. If you notice signs of an infection, contact your piercer right away.
Choosing Piercing Friendly Foods
- Stick to liquids at first. Your tongue may be very sore after the initial piercing. It’s a good idea to stick to an exclusively liquid diet at this point. Aim for foods like broths and apple sauce. You can also try things like smoothies and yogurt if you find solid foods bother you.
- Introduce soft, bland foods. Once some of the initial pain passes, you can transition back into eating soft, bland foods. Stick to things like Jell-O, ice cream, and even baby foods. Warmer soft foods, like mashed potatoes, can be safe if they don’t bother you. Some people have a limited tolerance for warm foods while their tongue piercing is healing.
- Keep your beverages cold. Hot coffees and teas can aggravate a tongue piercing, so stick to cool beverages during the healing process. If you’re a coffee drinker, try swapping out your hot coffee for iced coffee while pain persists.
- Avoid spicy or acidic foods. Very spicy or acidic foods should be generally avoided. They can cause pain if they get into an open wound. Stay away from spicy dishes and avoid acidic foods like citrus fruits.
- If your pain starts to subside, introduce these kinds of foods back into your diet very slowly.
- Stay away from foods that are difficult to chew. Anything that’s hard to chew is best to avoid while you’re healing from a tongue piercing, as such foods can get lodged in your wound and damage the piercing. Hard foods and chewy foods, like nuts or things like caramel, should be strictly avoided while you heal from a piercing.
- Resume normal eating habits after three to four weeks. Tongue piercings usually heal within three to four weeks with proper care. Within this timeframe, pain should begin to subside. At this point, you can start transitioning back into your normal eating habits.Advertisement
- Eat only when you’re not rushed. If you’re in a hurry to eat, you’re more likely to aggravate your piercing. While your piercing is healing, eat small meals only when you have the time to sit down and eat slowly.
- Tighten the beads first. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and water. Then, reach into your mouth and tighten the beads on your piercing. Beads can become dislodged when you chew, so tightening them is necessary to keep your piercing from becoming undone.
- Chew slowly. Chewing too fast increases the risk of complications. Make slow, deliberate chewing motions when eating with your piercing. Make sure to feel where the food is in your mouth and work to keep it away from your piercing.
- Use disposable silverware. Disposable silverware, when taken directly out of the package, is less likely to harbor bacteria than regular silverware. If you use silverware, go for disposable varieties to reduce the risk of an infection. Use new disposable silverware every time you eat.
Dealing with Complications
- See a doctor if you swallow part of your piercing. People sometimes accidentally swallow a bead or other part of their piercing when eating. Usually, the beads are small enough that they pass without complication. However, it’s always a good idea to contact a doctor just in case.
- Recognize the sign of an infection. Even with proper precautions, infections do happen. The following are common signs of an infection:
- White, yellow, or brown discharge.
- Intense pain.
- Talk to your piercer if you develop an infection. A piercer may be able to help you out by recommending ointments. Call your piercer right away as soon as you notice signs of an infection so they can help you clear it up. If the infection is serious, the piercer may recommend you see a doctor to get it treated.
Always remember that if you have any discomfort while eating, it is best to go to a professional hole punch or medical specialist.
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