Lip Piercing Aftercare

This aftercare information is from our years of experience as professional piercers, as well as the Suggested Aftercare Guidelines for Oral Piercings brochure - courtesy of the APP. Please contact us if you require any further information.

What to clean your piercing with

  • A sea salt mixture: Dissolve 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 teaspoon of non-iodized, fine-grain sea salt into one cup (250mL) of boiled water (don't burn yourself! Let it cool to a warm temperature before use). A stronger mixture is not better; saline solution that is too strong can irritate the piercing.

Cleaning Instructions for Cleaning Inside the Mouth

  • Rinse your mouth with your sea salt solution twice per day.
  • Rinse mouth with warm water after meals.
  • Cleaning too often or with too strong a rinse can cause discoloration and irritation of your mouth and piercing.

Cleaning Instructions for the Exterior of Lip Piercings

  • Wash your hands thoroughly prior to cleaning or touching your piercing.
  • Sea salt soak for 2-5 minutes once or more per day. Simply soak directly in a cup of warm sea salt solution. For certain placements it may be easier to apply using clean gauze saturated with your sea salt solution. A brief rinse afterward will remove any residue.
  • Rinse your mouth thoroughly. It is not necessary to rotate the jewellery through the piercing.
  • Dry by gently patting with clean, disposable paper products. Cloth towels can harbor bacteria and snag on jewellery causing injury.

What Is Normal?

  • For the first three to five days or so: significant swelling, light bleeding, bruising, and/or tenderness.
  • After that: some swelling, light secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid (not pus).
  • A piercing might seem healed before the healing process is complete. This is because they heal from the outside in, and although it feels fine, the tissue remains fragile on the inside. Be patient, and keep cleaning throughout the entire healing period.
  • Even healed piercings that you have had for years can shrink or close in minutes! This varies from person to person; if you like your piercing, keep jewellery in—do not leave the hole empty.

To Help Reduce Swelling

  • Allow small pieces of ice to dissolve in the mouth.
  • Don’t speak or move your jewellery more than necessary.
  • Sleep with your head elevated above your heart during the first few nights.

To Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

  • Use a new soft-bristled toothbrush and store it in a clean area away from other toothbrushes.
  • Brush your teeth and use your saline rinse after every meal.
  • During healing, floss daily, and gently brush your teeth, tongue, and jewellery. Once healed, brush the jewellery more thoroughly to avoid plaque build up.

To Stay Healthy

  • The healthier your lifestyle, the easier it will be for your piercing to heal.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • To help healing and bolster your ability to fight infection eat a nutritious diet. If you don’t, consider taking nutritional supplements daily.
  • Avoid emotional stress, which can increase healing times by up to 40%.

What To Avoid

  • Do not play with your jewellery. Long term effects include permanent damage to teeth, gums, and other oral structures. See the APP’s Brochure: Oral Piercing Risks and Safety Measures for more information.
  • Avoid undue trauma; excessive talking or playing with the jewellery during healing can cause the formation of unsightly and uncomfortable scar tissue, migration, and other complications.
  • Avoid using any mouthwash. It can irritate the piercing and delay healing.
  • Avoid oral sexual contact including French (wet) kissing or oral sex during healing (even with a long-term monogamous partner).
  • Avoid chewing on tobacco, gum, fingernails, pencils, sunglasses, and other foreign objects that could harbor bacteria.
  • Avoid sharing plates, cups, and eating utensils.
  • Avoid smoking. It increases risks and lengthens healing time.
  • Avoid recreational drug use.
  • Avoid aspirin, alcohol, and large amounts of caffeine.
  • Avoid submerging healing piercings in bodies of water such as lakes, pools, etc.

Oral Piercing Hints & Tips


  • Once the swelling has subsided, it is vital to replace the original, longer jewelry with a shorter post to avoid intra-oral damage.
  • Because this necessary jewellery change often occurs during healing, it should be done by a qualified piercer.
  • With clean hands or paper product, be sure to regularly check threaded ends on your jewellery for tightness (“righty-tighty, leftyloosey”).
  • Carry a clean spare ball in case of loss or breakage.
  • Contact your piercer for a non-metallic jewellery alternative if your metal jewellery must be temporarily removed (such as for a medical procedure). See the APP brochure Preparing for Medical and Dental Procedures for more information.
  • Should you decide you no longer want the piercing, simply remove the jewellery (or have a professional piercer remove it) and continue cleaning the piercing until the hole closes. In most cases only a small mark will remain.
  • In the event an infection is suspected, quality jewellery or an inert alternative should be left in place to allow for drainage. Should the jewellery be removed, the surface cells can close up sealing the infection inside the piercing channel, resulting in an abscess. Until an infection is cleared up, leave in quality jewellery or an appropriate substitute.


  • Slowly eat small bites of food placed directly onto your molars.
  • Avoid eating spicy, salty, acidic, or hot temperature foods or beverages for a few days.
  • Cold foods and beverages can be soothing and help reduce swelling.
  • Foods like mashed potatoes and oatmeal are hard to eat because they stick to your mouth and jewellery.
  • For labret (cheek and lip) piercings: be cautious about opening your mouth too wide as this can result in the jewelry catching on your teeth.