Diary of a Pierced Girl Part 2: Tongue Piercings

I was 16 and I really wanted a piercing.  But I had to get one that I could hide from my mom so I opted for a tongue ring.  My friend and I went together to get them done and I was pretty nervous, especially since I was only 16 and not technically allowed to […]

I was 16 and I really wanted a piercing.  But I had to get one that I could hide from my mom so I opted for a tongue ring.  My friend and I went together to get them done and I was pretty nervous, especially since I was only 16 and not technically allowed to get a piercing in New York.  We went into the shop where they discussed with us what they were going to do; we filled out the forms. They weren’t the greatest shop because they never checked my ID.  However, I really wanted to get a piercing so I went for it anyway.  I hopped up on the table, stuck my tongue out and they put on the triangle clamp to hold it still.  The needle they used to pierce our tongues was hollow so the barbell could just be dropped through it and then the needle was slipped out the bottom and the jewelry was already in place. Then they (with the clamp still on) turn your tongue to the side and screw on the ball.  It only takes about a minute from start to finish. I was amazed at how quickly it was over.  It hurt a little getting it done but it wasn’t bad. The whole first day wasn’t bad but it was hard to talk and eat.  I kind of had to relearn how to do a lot of things.

The second day was not so great.  My tongue swelled a lot and it was really hurting.  I brought Listerine to school to swish with and used that to keep it clean.  My tongue had swelled so much that the other people at school didn’t think it was really pierced, they thought it was one of the fake magnetic tongue rings.  It was swelled up enough that a small amount of scar tissue formed around the top of the piercing.  I took some ibuprofen and sucked (gently) on ice cubes and the swelling eventually went down.  It took about two whole weeks before it was really healing up and I could eat freely without it hurting.  Mouth piercings usually heal faster than other piercings but it is very hard not to touch them and play with them.

When I had had the tongue ring for about two weeks, I was out prom dress shopping with my mom.  I had been successful at hiding it from her to this point which was amazing considering how hard it is not to play with it.  I was trying on a very expensive dress and I accidentally flipped it out of my mouth and she saw it!! Man, did she get mad! She said “TAKE OFF THE DRESS RIGHT NOW! WE’RE LEAVING!”   She tried to make me take out the tongue ring but I told her that it wasn’t completely healed and if you take out a fresh piercing that the outside of the piercing heals first and can seal bacteria inside and cause an infection (which is true, not just a clever way to get your mom to let you keep your tongue ring).  So she didn’t make me take it out, but I didn’t get the awesome dress.  Needless to say, I was in trouble for a while.

I did end up keeping my tongue ring.  It healed up after about a month and I played with it….a lot! I probably should have gotten a barbell with acrylic balls because if you play with it a lot or if you accidentally bite down on the steel balls you can chip your teeth.  If you don’t play with it a lot, steel is fine.  There were definitely some foods that were very hard to eat with a tongue ring.  The first one was spaghetti.  The long noodles wind around the barbell and you end up swallowing some of the noodle and the rest is still in your mouth and it’s pretty gross.  Also, deep-fried mozzarella sticks are very tricky with a tongue ring.  The stringy cheese gets wrapped around the tongue ring and it makes it very easy to choke.  If you’re going to eat either of these things, you should cut them into small pieces and try to only chew them far back on the sides so they don’t get caught.  It is also pretty tricky to blow bubbles with gum.  Another thing that I found out after I got a tongue ring is that it is a very strange feeling to eat something that is really hot or really cold because the metal conducts the temperature through your tongue much faster than it would if you didn’t have a piercing. So eating ice cream gives you a brain-freeze a lot quicker and more often.  Also, if you thought burning the roof of your mouth was bad, try drinking really hot coffee with a tongue piercing! It can burn the inside of your piercing and that is not fun.   But for the most part, having a tongue ring was fun and I really liked it.

I ended up taking it out when I was 19 for a job that I had because they didn’t allow tongue piercings. There wasn’t as much public acceptance of piercings and tattoos then as there is now and the job I have now (working for BodyCandy!) is great and they obviously allow (and encourage) piercings.  Even though my job now allows piercings, I probably wouldn’t get it re-pierced because I did have problems with swelling and I still have a scar from my previous tongue ring, not to mention that it hurt a lot while it was healing and now I’m kind of a pain-wuss.  However, there are loads of cool tongue rings that I see that would be fun to wear if I still had my piercing.  I guess I’ll just have to shop around in the eyebrow ring section instead.