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Piercing Aftercare

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Cleaning your oral piercing

Cleaning Instructions:

To clean your new oral piercing, find a gentle antibacterial or antimicrobial ALCOHOL FREE mouthwashes (read the labels).
Also recommended is any pre-packaged saline-based rinses such as H2Ocean Mouthwash.
Or make your own with 1/4-1/8 tsp non-iodized sea salt to 1 cup of warm, distilled water.
Every body is different and different products may affect people in different ways. If a product dries out your piercing or otherwise irritates you, consult your piercer and discontinue use.
Use one of the above products 3-5x a day, in the morning, evening, and after meals. Rinse for 30 seconds each time to ensure debris and bacteria is removed. More cleaning is not better. Do not exceed 5x a day with the mouthwash.
Gentle rinses with a mild saline solution or plain distilled water can be done in between cleanings (for instance, after snacking) to keep the piercing clean.
Lip and Labret piercings require you to clean both the inside and outside of the piercing in different ways. Failing to clean one side can result in healing issues, even if you take good care of the other side. Please see 717’s Body Piercing Aftercare pamphlet for instructions on caring for the outside of your oral piercing.

What to Expect

For the first 3-5 days, significant swelling, light bleeding, and bruising is totally normal
Following that there may be some lighter swelling, along with whitish or pale yellow fluid (not pus).
A piercing may seem healed before it is completely done healing. This is because it heals from the outside in, and while the outside may seem done the inside is still fragile. BE PATIENT and give it time.
Even healed piercings can shrink or close quickly when jewelry is removed. For this reason, we recommend that you leave jewelry in for as long as you desire to keep the piercing.

What to Do

To reduce swelling:

  • allow small pieces of ice to dissolve in your mouth.
  • take an over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen or naproxen sodium.
  • do not move jewelry more than necessary.
  • sleep with your head elevated above your heart.

To maintain hygiene:

  • Use a new, soft-bristled tooth brush and store it away from other toothbrushes in your bathroom.
  • During healing, floss daily and gently brush your tongue, teeth, and jewelry.
  • Brush and use alcohol-free mouthwash after every meal (not exceeding 5x a day)

Tips:

  • Once the swelling has subsided, it is very important to replace the initial healing jewelry with something shorter. Initial jewelry is long to allow for swelling, but this length can cause undue stress after the initial healing time.
  • Regularly check threaded jewelry for tightness. Threaded ends may come unscrewed otherwise.
  • Spare jewelry, such as a clean spare ball in the event of loss, is always a good thing to keep around, especially when traveling.
  • 717 sells non-metal retainers. In the event you undergo a medical procedure requiring the removal of metal jewelry, please consult your piercer for the best non-metal option.
  • Consult a piercer for help in changing or removing jewelry if you are uncomfortable in doing so yourself.

Eating

  • Slowly eat small bites of food, chewing with the back of your mouth.
  • Regularly check threaded jewelry for tightness. Threaded ends may come unscrewed otherwise.
  • Avoid overly salty, spicy, citrus, or high-temperature food for the first few days.
  • Cold foods and beverages will soothe discomfort and reduce swelling.
  • Consult a piercer for help in changing or removing jewelry if you are uncomfortable in doing so yourself.
  • Be cautious when eating or speaking; healing jewelry can snag on teeth and cause pain or irritation.
  • Consult your piercer with any concerns, questions, or for advice on your specific piercing.

Things to AVOID

  • Do not play with your jewelry. This can cause damage to teeth and gums, as well as other oral structures.
  • Avoid mouthwash containing alcohol. This can cause damage and excessive scarring.
  • Avoid undue trauma by limiting excessive talking or playing with the jewelry during the healing time.
  • Avoid spicy, or citrus foods for the first few days.
  • Avoid oral sexual contact, including French kissing and oral sex, during initial healing time, even with a long-term partner.
  • Do not share plates, cups, or eating utensils
  • Limit smoking. Use of tobacco or other combustibles can extend healing time and lead to irritation or the formation of unsightly or uncomfortable scar tissue.
  • Do not chew gum, chewing tobacco, or other foreign objects (pens, pencils, etc), during the healing time.
  • Avoid submerging piercing in unhygienic bodies of water such as lakes, public pools, oceans, etc.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and aspirin while you are still experiencing swelling. These will exacerbate it.

Cleaning Solutions

Plain, mild antibacterial or antimicrobial liquid soaps that are free from dyes or fragrance, or piercing-specific cleaning solutions such as X-Pressions.
Pre-packaged saline solutions such as:
H2Ocean
Blue Wave piercing Spray
Or make your own with 1/4-1/8 tsp non-iodized sea salt to 1 cup of warm, distilled water.
Every body is different and different products may affect people in different ways. If a product dries out your piercing or otherwise irritates you, consult your piercer and discontinue use.

Cleaning Instructions

Always wash your hands before touching a piercing for any reason
Saline soaks can be done for up to five minutes 2-4x a day. Invert a small cup of saline solution over the piercing, or soak a clean cotton ball or some toilet paper in the solution and apply it as a compress to the area.
Soap can be used up to twice a day. More cleaning is not better. Use a small amount of soap with a q-tip or clean fingertip, working the soap very gently around the outsides of the piercing. Do not work the soap to the inside of the piercing channel. Rinse thoroughly
Dry gently with disposable paper products. Cloth towels can harbor harmful bacteria.

What to Expect

Redness, soreness, and irritation are all normal parts of the healing process, especially in the first two weeks. Some swelling or bruising may also occur.
Once healed, it is important to still continue cleaning your piercing; otherwise, normal but smelly bodily secretions may occur.
A piercing may seem healed before healing is complete. Be patient.
If anything concerns you about your healing process, please contact your piercer.

Things to AVOID

  • Avoid the use alcohol, peroxide, ear care solutions from mall vendors, anything containing Benzalkonium Chloride (BZK), Hibiclens, Bactine, Dial, or any harsh products.
  • Avoid Neosporin or any petroleum based creams or ointments. These can suffocate your piercing and prevent oxygen from reaching the healing tissue
  • Do not rotate the piercing. Your jewelry is implant-grade surgical steel; rotating it only irritates the piercing and may harm delicate healing tissue.
  • Do not over clean. Soap should only be used 1-2 times a day. More often is not better and may lead to over-drying.
  • Avoid oral sexual contact during healing time
  • Avoid undue stress or trauma
  • AVOID UNHYGENIC BODIES OF WATER SUCH AS: Public pools, lakes, oceans, creeks, hot tubs, etc. Waterproof bandages can help, but are not fool-proof.
  • Avoid the use of body-care products, hairsprays, or any other contaminants.

General Tips

  • Avoid the use alcohol, peroxide, ear care solutions from mall vendors, anything containing Benzalkonium Chloride (BZK), Hibiclens, Bactine, Dial, or any harsh products.
  • Unless there is a problem with the size or style of your healing jewelry that is causing serious issues in the healing process, leave the initial jewelry in for the entire recommended time given by your piercer. Switching early can lead to healing issues.
  • Regularly check threaded jewelry for tightness. Threaded ends may come unscrewed otherwise.
  • Even healed piercings may close quickly when jewelry is removed. For this reason, it is recommended that you always keep jewelry in. Retainers and other alternatives are available for jobs/medical procedures

Piercing Specific Instructions

Navel

A hard vented eye-patch can be secured over the jewelry to provide a protective shield during sports or other activity and to prevent irritation from restrictive clothing.

Ear/Face

  • Ensure that sheets/pillow cases are clean. Do not allow pets to sleep with you during healing time
  • Use caution when brushing or styling your hair; inform hair stylists and barbers of a new piercing to avoid snags or bumps.
  • Ensure cleanliness of phones, hats, headgear, and anything that may come in contact with the healing piercing.

Nipples

Wearing a sports bra or tight cotton shirt may be more comfortable and provide additional protection, especially for sleeping.

Genitals

  • Male genital piercings in particular may bleed freely on and off for the first few days. Be prepared.
  • Wash hands before touching on or near any piercing
  • In most cases, sexual activity may be resumed as soon as you feel ready. Sexual activity should be gentle during the healing time to avoid trauma.
  • Practice safe sex. Any oral or sexual contact during the healing time can lead to transmission of STI’s or unwanted bacteria. Use condoms, dental dams, or disposable barriers when engaging in any activity, including with toys.
  • Warm water soaks to remove crusting prior to sexual contact will increase comfort and decrease risk of trauma.
  • Use new, clean water-based lubricant. Do not use salves or any container that requires you to dip your hands in (as in Vaseline)