For many it is just a trend to look cool and hip but have you ever wondered how safe oral piercings are?
How do they affect your oral health and what kind of mouthwash to use? They are not as simple as ear piercings or body piercings because they can take a longer time to heal and settle. Meanwhile, you need to be particular about your mouthwash for tongue piercing and the ingredients it contains. Here is how to know which mouthwash is safer for you and other ways to take care of your oral piercing to avoid infections:
Can you use antiseptic mouthwash on piercings?
If you recently got a tongue piercing or tempted to get one, you must be aware of a few things. Since your piercing is fresh and needs to heal, it is important you use products that are gentle. If you use a mouthwash for tongue piercing daily, use one keeping the following factors in mind:
- Use an alcohol-free mouthwash
- Avoid using mouthwashes with hydrogen peroxide
- Do not use one with unnecessary additives
- Sea salt solution or mouthwash are worth a try
Scroll down for details!
Use an alcohol-free mouthwash
The first and the most important aspect of a piercing is its healing. In order to do so, use a mouthwash that’s free of harsh chemicals. To reduce the chances of any complications, we recommend you use an alcohol-free mouthwash. Alcohol is a great anti-bacterial but it can irritate your piercing and slow down the healing process. Thus, pick something that protects and soothes the piercing area.
Avoid using mouthwashes with Hydrogen peroxide
Another chemical you’d want to stay away from is Hydrogen Peroxide. It is a chemical that’s used to whiten teeth as well so it can be a bit harsh. Since after a piercing, your skin is already sensitive, we’d recommend you avoid products, especially mouthwashes with Hydrogen Peroxide. It can blister and dry out the skin around your healing piercing.
Do not use one with unnecessary additives
We live in an age where products are full of additives and artificial flavors, including mouthwashes. Artificial flavorings or parabens such as methylparaben, propylparaben can irritate the piercing wound. For a quick recovery, we advise you use an organic mouthwash with organic ingredients. Something paraben and sulfate-free and with healing ingredients such as aloe vera or tea tree oil. You can look for organic mouthwashes at your nearby organic store or sometimes they’re even available at drugstores.
Sea salt solution or mouthwashes are worth a try
The key factor for your piercing to heal is to stay away from harsh products. That does not mean you ignore your oral hygiene and remove oral rinse from your routine. You can use less harsh alternatives such as a simple sea salt water (saline solution) or a sea salt mouthwash. Both are free from alcohol and other harsh chemicals. Please check with your doctor first if you are a heart patient and about to use sea-salt.
Mouth piercing aftercare : do's and don't's
Mouth piercings can be a bit tricky when it comes to their healing. They take a bit of time to heal and are sensitive to harsh products. It is important for you to maintain a gentle oral care regime to clean your mouth and to reduce chances of infections and tongue swelling. Here are a couple of do’s and don’ts to keep in mind for your mouth piercing aftercare:
- Switch to an alcohol-free, hydrogen peroxide and preservative free mouthwash.
- Rinse your mouth after your meals or smoking with room-temperature bottled water.
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a toothbrush that has soft bristles.
- Floss twice a day and use your mouthwash once a day.
- Use saline water made of sea salt and bottled water. Rinse with it after your meals or smoking.
- Place your soft-bristled toothbrush away from other oral hygiene tools to avoid any contamination.
- Minimize smoking, vaping, alcohol, caffeine during the healing stage.
- The saline or salty water solution you use for rinsing should not be more than 0.9% water and 9mg/ml sodium chloride. (1)
- Do not use mouthwash with alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and other harsh chemicals.
- Stay away from too spicy, salty, citrusy/acidic foods and hot temperature foods for the first two weeks.
- Avoid wet kissing and other forms of oral sexual contact until the piercing heals.
- Do not poke or play with your piercing because it increases the risk of infection and inflammation.
The best mouthwash for piercings
We can’t say there is a one-size-fits-all kind of mouthwash for use after you get a piercing. We can however, tell you the ones with safer and gentler ingredients. The two most abrasive ingredients for your piercing are alcohol and hydrogen peroxide. Both can dry out the delicate skin around the wound and delay the healing process. Thus, any mouthwash without these ingredients is safe to use while your oral piercing heals.
It is best if you use a mouthwash with organic ingredients such as aloe vera, tea tree oil, cloves and cinnamon. These ingredients contain anti-bacterial properties and they accelerate the healing of a wound. At the same time, you can also rinse with a sea salt solution made of boiled water after every meal or smoking. You can also rinse with plain water to get rid of food particles that can irritate the piercing.
Can you use mouthwash to clean piercings?
Yes, you can use a gentle low PH, non-alcoholic and non-hydrogen peroxide mouthwash to clean your piercings. In addition to that, you can also use sea salt solution or mouthwash to rinse your mouth after you eat or smoke. Oral piercings often discharge and form a crusty layer on the outside. If you don’t clean it often, chances of infection are higher. So, if you recently got one, be prepared to clean it at least once a day gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Are mouth piercings bad for your teeth?
Let’s first look at the facts. ADA does not approve of oral piercings because they are no good for your oral health. (2) Not only do they cause pain and bleeding but they can cause oral infections. If you don’t regularly clean them, there is a risk of plaque accumulation. Over time you can get cavities and your gums recede too. Other complications oral piercings can cause are:
Are mouth piercings safe?
You may think “the whole world gets them so why can’t I” but authorities think otherwise! American Dental Association says oral piercings are not advisable because they are not safe for your mouth. They not only cause a lot of pain but they are hard to maintain. The healing takes a long time and you might have to deal with frequent infections as well. They pose a lot of dangers to your oral health too. You can bite down on them accidently and break your teeth or injure your lip. Apart from that, there can be oral diseases such as gingivitis, periodontitis, gum recession and cavities.
Thus, unless you know how to take care of oral piercings, we advise you to think hard before getting one. If you have further questions, you can always ask for a medical advice from a specialist.
Oral aftercare. Association of Professional Piercers. (n.d.). Retrieved January 26, 2023, from https://safepiercing.org/oral-aftercare/
Oral piercing/jewelry. American Dental Association. (n.d.). Retrieved January 26, 2023, from https://www.ada.org/resources/research/science-and-research-institute/oral-health-topics/oral-piercing-jewelry#:~:text=The%20ADA%20advises%20against%20the,that%20outweigh%20any%20potential%20benefit.