When Can I Change My Tongue Piercing?

To some, this might be weird, but people have been getting their tongues pierced. If you are excited about getting one, you should prepare and know what to do and what not to do. If you are asking yourself when can I change my tongue piercing, usually, you need to wait for at least 4 weeks for your tongue piercing to have healed before changing the jewelry. 

When you notice that the swelling has gone, you can proceed to change your jewelry. It would be best if you chose a small barbell as it’s comfortable when you talk. Also, it is easier to hide and doesn’t damage your teeth or gums. Compared to any other piercing area, a tongue ring has increased risks of complications.

Why Do I Need To Change MY Tongue Piercing?

The initial tongue ring is larger than the regular size. A piercer uses it to prevent any complications due to swelling of your tongue. The process creates a puncture site through the connective tissues and muscles of the body. It results in shock and has to be adjusted according to the intrusion of a foreign object. Inflammation is a part of such adjustment. 

Bigger barbells let your tongue swell without reaching the balls at the end of your jewelry. Failing to do so can pinch the tongue between the balls or might swell over the ends of the piercing. Such conditions aren’t good as they might need an incision for removal of the piercing from inside the tongue. In addition, it often leads to increased infection. 

Hence, with proper care, once your tongue has healed, you will have to switch to smaller jewelry to reduce any risk of the metal damaging the enamel of the teeth. Choosing the right jewelry is important as it has a substantial impact on mitigating potential complications. Some of them can be gum erosion, teeth fractures or damage to the tooth enamel. 

When Can I Change My Tongue Piercing

You must wait for at least four weeks to change your tongue piercing. First, get a professional to inspect your tongue and change the piercing safely and effectively. The duration may vary from one individual to another but ensure your tongue has healed entirely before changing the jewelry. 

In some cases, the healing period might be more than 4 weeks, but it’s advised to remain patient before changing the initial jewelry. 

Can I Change My Piercing In 10 Days of 2 Weeks?

Healing starts from the outside to the inner areas of the tongue. Hence, you should rely on only visual inspection of the piercing and decide if it can be changed. If you adopt proper aftercare measures, horizontal and vertical piercings will heal in 1-2 weeks. On the other hand, midline or side piercings take more time and might heal in 4-8 weeks. 

Thus, if it’s horizontal or vertical piercing, you might be in a position to change the jewelry in 10 days or 2 weeks. But for the other kinds, it’s highly recommended to wait longer and ensure it has completely healed. 

How Do I Know If My Tongue Piercing Has Healed?

After getting your tongue pierced, you would experience different stages during the healing period. They have been described below:

1-3 DaysThe wound feels very sore & irritated. 
4-10 DaysSwelling & Inflammation 
10-30 DaysEarly Healing 
4-6 WeeksScarring & Complete Healing

When Can I Start Eating Solid Food After Tongue Piercing?

Avoid eating hard food or chewy foods during the healing period. You can resume your natural eating habits after 3-4 weeks. A tongue piercing should not take more than 3-4 weeks to heal with proper care. The pain also subsides during this period. 

How Often Should I be Cleaning My Tongue Piercing? 

After a tongue piercing has healed, we recommend taking out the piercing and cleaning it every 6-8 weeks. If you are inserting new jewelry, clean it thoroughly before inserting it on your tongue. You should also take out the piercing occasionally when brushing your tongue. It keeps the tongue clean and healthy. 

Every time you touch your tongue piercing, make sure you are washing your hands. Another good practice is rinsing your tongue piercing after every food intake. You can use warm salt water or an antibacterial, alcohol-free mouthwash. Lastly, while it heals, avoid kissing anyone or contacting someone else’s saliva. 

Can I Smoke After Getting My Tongue Pierced?

No! For the first 2 weeks, you should be smoking while you are practicing the aftercare measures. Later, you may start smoking but it’s better to avoid it as much as possible. 

Do’s & Don’ts After Tongue Piercing 

To allow your tongue to heal properly, you have to follow some essential guidelines as mentioned below:


  • Brush your teeth twice daily
  • Floss every day
  • Use a soft-bristle toothbrush 
  • Use alcohol-free mouthwash
  • Inspect for complications such as an infection 


  • Use tongue scrapers 
  • Play or Touch with the Jewelry 
  • Oral sex or French kissing
  • Drink alcohol or smoke while it’s healing 

frequently asked questions

Can I smoke after tongue piercing?

Strictly no smoking after your tongue piercing session. However, if you cannot help it, make sure you gargle properly before and after smoking. If you can, as much as possible, avoid cigarette or any other nicotine product.

when can i change my tongue ring to a shorter bar?

About four weeks after the piercing session, once all the swelling is gone and you are fully healed, you should change your jewelry to something that fits more comfortable to your tongue. A smaller barbell usually makes it easier to talk, easier to hide, and makes it less likely that you will damage your gums or teeth.

can i change the jewelry myself?

Yes, you can. Each of the balls can be unscrewed from the barbell, hence, you simply need to unscrew one end, pull the entire piece of jewelry out, and then slide the new one in.

Concluding Remarks 

Thanks for reading until the end. Hopefully we’ve answered your question: when can I change my tongue piercing.

After your tongue heals, you should skip cleaning or hygiene practices. You may stop the salt rinses but you have to take adequate care of your oral health. Select high-quality jewelry, preferably made of titanium, 14-karat gold or steel. Other undesirable metals could cause allergic reactions and result in infections. 

Other than these, you should be going for regular dental checkups as tongue piercings can increase the long-term risks of tooth trauma, gum recession, or cuts. A dentist will monitor any unwanted changes inside your mouth and ensure that the piercing doesn’t result in severe damage. 

Tongue piercings can be cool, and you would surely love sporting your favorite jewelry. However, to get the best results and avoid any complications, you must abide by essential aftercare measures and wait till the piercing heals completely. 

Leave a Comment