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Tongue Piercing in Nairobi, Kenya

(Cost, Pain Threshold, Aftercare Tips, and Jewelry Guide)

Tongue piercing is a type of oral piercing that involves making a hole through the tongue, usually near the center. It’s a popular form of body modification known for its aesthetic appeal.

Despite the tongue’s complexity, tongue piercing is a relatively low-risk procedure. Before having your tongue pierced, you should think about dental hygiene, the safety of your teeth, and the fact that your speech will probably be affected for at least the first few weeks while you adjust to your new piercing.

Tongue Piercings

Types of Tongue Piercings

Tongue piercings come in several variations, each offering a unique look and style. Here are some common types of tongue piercings:

  • Standard Tongue Piercing: This is the most traditional and common type of tongue piercing. It involves piercing the midline of the tongue, usually horizontally from the underside to the top. A straight barbell is often used as the initial jewelry.
  • Snake Eyes Piercing (Venom Piercing): A venom piercing consists of two separate piercings placed side by side on the midline of the tongue. This creates the appearance of two piercings resembling snake fangs or venomous snakebites when viewed from the front.
  • Tongue Tip Piercing: In this piercing, a needle goes through the tip or apex of the tongue, creating a vertical piercing. One end of the jewelry exits through the top of the tongue, while the other exits through the bottom.
  • Frenulum Piercing (Tongue Web Piercing): This piercing is done horizontally through the webbing of tissue underneath the tongue, known as the frenulum. It’s a less common but distinctive variation.
  • Horizontal Tongue Piercing (Side Tongue Piercing): Horizontal tongue piercings involve piercing through the sides of the tongue horizontally, creating an exit point on each side. This type of piercing can be done with a single barbell or multiple piercings for a ladder-like effect.
  • Tongue Surface Piercing: Surface piercings on the tongue are done on the surface of the tongue itself, typically using barbells. Keep in mind that surface piercings have a higher risk of rejection and may require extra care during healing.

Tongue Piercing Procedure

The tongue piercing procedure involves creating a small hole through the center of the tongue and inserting a piece of jewelry, usually in the form of a straight barbell. This piercing is typically done by a professional piercer at a reputable piercing studio. Here’s a step-by-step guide to what you can expect during the tongue piercing procedure:

Preparation and Consultation

  • At Rebel Inks, Tattoos, Tattoo Removal, and Body Piercings Parlour before your piercing, you’ll schedule a consultation with one of our expert body piercer. During this discussion, you can express your preferences for the jewelry and placement of the piercing.
  • Your piercer will evaluate your tongue to ensure it’s suitable for piercing. They may also discuss any potential risks and complications.

Cleaning and Marking

  • You’ll be asked to rinse your mouth with an antimicrobial mouthwash to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Your piercer will use a sterile marker or pen to mark the entry and exit points for the piercing. They’ll ensure that the placement is centered and aligns with your preferences.


  • With the markings in place, your piercer will use a sterilized, hollow needle to create the hole through your tongue.
  • The needle is typically inserted from the bottom of the tongue upwards to minimize tissue damage.
  • As the needle goes through, the jewelry (usually a straight barbell) will be inserted into the hole. The jewelry has two balls on the ends that secure it in place.

Final Adjustments

  • Your piercer will make sure the jewelry is secure and properly positioned.
  • You’ll be provided with instructions on how to care for your new piercing, including aftercare guidelines.

Aftercare Instructions

  • After the piercing, your piercer will provide detailed aftercare instructions, which are essential for a successful healing process.
  • These instructions often include rinsing your mouth with a saline solution after eating and drinking, avoiding certain foods and drinks, and refraining from smoking or alcohol during the healing period.

Healing Process

  • The healing process for a tongue piercing typically takes about 4 to 6 weeks.
  • However, individual healing times can vary based on factors like your overall health and how well you follow the aftercare instructions.
Tips for a Smooth Healing Process:
  • Follow Aftercare Instructions: At Rebel Inks Tattoo Removal and Piercings Parlour we will provide you with detailed aftercare instructions. Pay close attention to our advice and follow it diligently. Typically, you’ll be advised to rinse your mouth with an alcohol-free, non-iodized saline solution or a prescribed mouthwash.
  • Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene: Good oral hygiene is crucial during the healing process. Gently brush your teeth and rinse your mouth after every meal or snack using a soft-bristle toothbrush. Be careful not to brush the jewelry directly. Also, avoid smoking and drinking alcohol during this time.
  • Avoid Touching or Playing with the Piercing: Refrain from touching the piercing with your hands, and avoid playing with it using your tongue. This can introduce bacteria and irritate the area, slowing down the healing process.
  • Be Mindful of What You Eat and Drink: Stick to soft, non-spicy, non-acidic foods during the initial healing period, which typically lasts about 4-6 weeks. Avoid hot and cold foods or beverages that can cause discomfort. Drinking through a straw should also be avoided as it can disturb the piercing.
  • Manage Swelling: Swelling is common after a tongue piercing. You can manage it by sucking on ice chips or ice pops and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication as recommended by your piercer or a healthcare professional.
  • Stay Hydrated: It’s essential to stay hydrated, even if you’re avoiding certain foods and drinks. Drink plenty of water to promote healing and reduce the risk of infection.
  • Sleep with Your Head Elevated: Elevating your head while sleeping can help reduce swelling and minimize discomfort.
  • Avoid Oral Sexual Activity: Engaging in oral sexual activity can introduce bacteria and irritate the piercing. It’s best to abstain from these activities during the healing period.
  • Keep an Eye Out for Signs of Infection: Watch for signs of infection, such as excessive redness, swelling, pus, or a fever. If you suspect an infection, contact your piercer or a healthcare professional promptly.
  • Be Patient: Healing times can vary, but generally, it takes 4-6 weeks for the initial healing. Complete healing may take several months. Be patient and avoid changing the jewelry until the piercing is fully healed.
  • Follow-Up with Your Piercer: Attend any scheduled follow-up appointments with your piercer, and consult them if you have any concerns or complications.

Tongue Piercings FAQ’s

How Much Will a Tongue Piercing Cost?

The cost of a tongue piercing will vary, just like the cost of any other piercing, depending on your individual circumstances, which may include your location, the shop or piercer you choose, the specific piercing, and more.

Depending on the type of piercing you get, prices will vary, depending on whether you want standard titanium or Teflon coated titanium.

Remember that getting a piercing involves two costs: the actual piercing and the jewellery. You should not skimp on quality jewellery, so be prepared to spend a premium for it.

How Painful Is a Tongue Piercing?

Despite the tongue’s apparent sensitivity, most people only experience mild piercing discomfort. You will experience a pinch when having a skilled piercer perform the procedure, but it will go swiftly.

The days immediately following are when the true pain occurs. It’s practically impossible to give your tongue a day off because it plays such an important role in your daily life. Your tongue will move quite a bit during the healing process, which will cause further pain and swelling. the positive news Tongues heal incredibly quickly, so this stage of recovery won’t last long.

Don’t panic if your tongue piercing swells in the first few days after getting one; this is a normal sign that the wound is healing. You should see a doctor, though, if your tongue is swollen for an extended period of time or if it does so again after recovering.

Tongue Piercing Healing Process

The healing process for a tongue piercing typically follows a specific timeline, but it can vary from person to person. Proper aftercare is crucial to ensure a smooth and successful healing process. Here’s an overview of what you can expect during the healing journey of a tongue piercing:

Immediate Post-Piercing (Days 1-2)
  • You may experience some swelling, tenderness, and mild bleeding immediately after getting a tongue piercing. These symptoms are common and should subside within a few days.
  • It’s normal for the tongue to feel warm and tender.
  • Your piercer will provide aftercare instructions, which you should follow diligently.
Week 1-2:
  • Swelling and tenderness should start to decrease during this time.
  • You may continue to experience some redness and heightened sensitivity.
  • Continue to clean the piercing with a saline solution as instructed by your piercer.
  • Avoid touching the jewelry or piercing with dirty hands.
Week 3-6:
  • By this point, the initial healing phase is usually well underway.
  • Swelling should have subsided significantly.
  • The redness should continue to fade, and the area should look less irritated.
  • You may still experience some mild discomfort or sensitivity.
  • Continue cleaning the piercing, but the frequency may decrease.
Week 6-12:
  • Most tongue piercings will be fully healed within this time frame. However, individual healing times can vary.
  • Swelling and tenderness should be completely gone.
  • The piercing may still be somewhat sensitive to pressure, so be gentle when changing jewelry or handling the area.
  • Continue cleaning the piercing regularly until it is fully healed.
After 3-6 Months:
  • After the initial healing period, you can consider changing your tongue jewelry if desired.
  • It’s crucial to wait until the piercing is fully healed before switching to different jewelry. Consult with your piercer if you have any doubts.
Full Healing (6 Months to a Year):
  • Tongue piercings may take anywhere from six months to a year to heal fully, depending on individual factors and aftercare practices.
  • Once fully healed, the piercing should feel comfortable, and you should be able to wear a wide variety of tongue jewelry styles without issues.
  • Even after complete healing, continue to practice good oral hygiene and clean your tongue jewelry regularly.

Tongue Piercing Aftercare

It’s crucial to follow the recommended aftercare steps because a tongue piercing is easily infected since the tongue is used frequently on a daily basis. You need to take extra precautions to keep things out of your mouth that shouldn’t be there in addition to rinsing every day.

Start your healing process by eating soft foods. You might even be unable to handle anything that needs chewing since your tongue will be quite uncomfortable. Nevertheless, you should choose soft foods. Since your initial jewellery will be larger to account for swelling, you run the danger of nibbling on it before you become used to it and fracturing your teeth. Start with soft foods as you get accustomed to the new piercing and relearn how to chew. Additionally, stay away from foods that are sour or spicy. This kind of food will hurt your piercing severely in addition to irritating it.

Two to three times a day, rinse your mouth with sea salt. Simply combine one cup of warm filtered water with one-fourth of a teaspoon of non-iodized salt, and swish the mixture around in your mouth for a few minutes to completely cleanse the tongue piercing jewellery. Saline piercing aftercare solutions are ok if that’s what you choose. Just make sure that the only ingredients in the solution are sodium chloride and sterile water.

Avoid using tobacco or alcohol. You need to stay away from things that will aggravate your tongue piercing as it heals. Cigarettes and alcohol are included in this. If you must consume alcohol, stick to soft drinks like beer and wine instead of hard liquor, which will irritate your piercing more. While your piercing is healing, try your best to limit your cigarette use. If you must smoke, be sure to rinse your mouth out after each puff and watch out for any negative side effects.

No french kissing or oral sex. During the healing process, you must keep your tongue piercing free of any foreign objects, including your spouse. Keep your lips sealed when kissing or engaging in other activities for the first 4 to 6 weeks while you heal, and rinse your mouth afterward to get rid of any leftover bacteria.

Always carry a toothbrush and some sea salt mouthwash. You must be careful to clear the piercing of any leftover food every time you eat. To rapidly brush your teeth after meals, bring a toothbrush, toothpaste, and alcohol-free mouthwash with you. In later healing days, a short rinse will do since brushing your teeth in public can be unpleasant. However, it’s best to be cautious in the early days and thoroughly brush your teeth after every meal. Avoid brushing the piercing itself; use saltwater mouthwash to keep it clean instead.

When Can I Change My Tongue Piercing?

You must wait until your tongue piercing has fully healed before attempting to change the jewelry on your own, as is the case with every piercing. It’s best to get a piercer to certify that the healing process is over. Your piercing may seem to be healed on the exterior but require additional healing on the inside. You run the risk of injuring the piercing and delaying healing if you change the jewelry on your own before the piercing has fully healed.

Visit your piercer if you want to replace your jewelry but your piercing hasn’t completely healed. They might be able to replace it for you properly.

What Kind of Jewelry Is Used to Pierce the Tongue?

Ball-shaped jewelry is most frequently used; cylindrical and cone jewelry is far less prevalent.

Although some people might call the jewelry for tongue piercing “tongue rings,” that terminology is inaccurate. A straight barbell—a piece of jewelry with a long bar and two beads at either end—is what is used for tongue piercing. The jewelry is inserted by unscrewing one of the ends, slipping the bar through the piercing hole, and then screwing the bead end back into place.

Your anatomical structure will determine the barbell’s length. It must be both long and short enough so that you don’t unintentionally chomp on it and the bead ends don’t rub up against the piercing holes. You can determine the ideal length with the assistance of your piercer.

The size of the gauge will depend on the size of the needle used to penetrate you. Most people choose a 14G piercing, although other people prefer the bigger 12G.

Also acceptable are flat-back studs. These resemble straight barbells in appearance, but instead of having a bead end, they have a flat back.

What Jewelry Material Is Used for a Tongue Piercing?

Depending on what our clients choose, we can use surgical quality titanium barbells or surgical grade stainless steel barbells.

Stainless steel, notably implant-grade stainless steel, is the most popular metal used to create jewellery for body piercings. Because stainless steel is so versatile and has so few drawbacks, most people can endure its use. However, people who are allergic to nickel should stay away from this metal because it could harm their skin.

Titanium: Since titanium is nickel-free, it won’t irritate the piercing site or create any other allergic reactions. Additionally, titanium is lightweight, non-corrosive, and available in a variety of hues and styles.

Tongue Piercing Side Effect

When the area is not properly cared for, pain, soreness, and drainage may be present. There are both immediate and long-term effects in terms of problems.

Swelling around the region of your tongue piercing and doesn’t shrink back down, Due to the amount of daily activity the tongue undergoes, whether newly pierced or not, this is a very common adverse effect of a tongue piercing. Swelling is quite simple to produce if you don’t take the appropriate aftercare precautions.

Infection: An infection occurs when germs enter the piercing site and multiply; it is a sign that necessary aftercare was not provided. Normal infection signs for tongue piercings include discomfort, swelling, sensitivity, and bleeding. Although there may be some minor swelling during the first week and some initial redness, anything out of the ordinary on a tongue piercing is likely an indication of something more serious. Infections, such as yeast infections, often known as thrush, can result from not taking care of it.

Dental erosion: Dental erosion is the process by which the tongue piercing gradually wears away the tooth. Because a piece of metal regularly rubs against the inside of your teeth, you might easily harm them.


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