A tongue ring can be a fun and stylish accessory, but keeping it clean is essential. Bacteria, plaque, and debris can build up on the piercing, leading to infection or other oral health issues if not properly cleaned.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Gently brush the piercing with a soft-bristled toothbrush and antibacterial mouthwash twice per day. Avoid using harsh chemicals or over-cleaning.

This comprehensive guide will provide detailed instructions on how to clean your tongue ring safely and effectively. You’ll learn about cleaning solutions, techniques, frequency, and other vital care tips for maintaining a healthy piercing.

Cleaning Agents for Tongue Rings

Antibacterial Mouthwash

One of the most commonly used cleaning agents for tongue rings is antibacterial mouthwash. This type of mouthwash contains ingredients that help kill bacteria and reduce the risk of infection. When using antibacterial mouthwash to clean your tongue ring, make sure to follow the instructions on the bottle and rinse your mouth thoroughly.

According to a study conducted by the American Dental Association, using an antibacterial mouthwash can help reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth by up to 99.9%. This makes it an effective option for cleaning your tongue ring and maintaining good oral hygiene.

It is important to note that not all mouthwashes are created equal. Look for a mouthwash that specifically states it is antibacterial and has been approved by dental professionals. This will ensure that you are using a product that is safe and effective for cleaning your tongue ring.


Another effective cleaning agent for tongue rings is saltwater. Saltwater has natural antiseptic properties that can help reduce inflammation and kill bacteria. To make a saltwater solution, dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water.

Using a cotton swab or clean cloth, dip it into the saltwater solution and gently clean your tongue ring. Make sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly with plain water after cleaning with saltwater to remove any residue.

A study published in the Journal of Oral Health and Dental Management found that rinsing with a saltwater solution can help reduce the risk of infection and promote healing in oral wounds. This makes it a safe and effective option for cleaning your tongue ring.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is another cleaning agent that can be used to clean tongue rings. Baking soda has natural antibacterial properties and can help remove plaque and odor-causing bacteria. To use baking soda to clean your tongue ring, make a paste by mixing baking soda with a small amount of water.

Gently rub the paste onto your tongue ring using a soft toothbrush or your fingers. Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water to remove any residue. Baking soda can also help whiten your teeth and freshen your breath.

According to the American Dental Association, baking soda is a safe and effective ingredient for cleaning and whitening teeth. It is important to note that excessive use of baking soda can be abrasive and may cause damage to tooth enamel.

Therefore, it is recommended to use baking soda in moderation when cleaning your tongue ring.

Proper Cleaning Techniques

Keeping your tongue ring clean is essential for maintaining good oral hygiene and preventing infections. Here are some proper cleaning techniques to follow:

Brushing With Toothbrush

One of the easiest and most effective ways to clean your tongue ring is by brushing it with a toothbrush. Make sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid irritating your piercing. Gently brush the front and back of the ring, as well as the surrounding area.

This will help remove any plaque or bacteria that may have accumulated on the surface.

Pro Tip: Consider using a toothbrush specifically designed for tongue cleaning, as it can reach the nooks and crannies of your tongue ring more effectively.

Rinsing After Meals

Another important step in keeping your tongue ring clean is to rinse your mouth after meals. Food particles can easily get trapped around the piercing, leading to bad breath and potential infections. Simply swish some water or mouthwash around your mouth to dislodge any debris.

This quick and easy step can make a significant difference in maintaining the cleanliness of your tongue ring.

Soaking the Piercing

For a deeper clean, you can soak your tongue ring in a saline solution or mouthwash. This can help remove stubborn buildup and kill any bacteria that may be present. To do this, fill a clean cup or container with the solution and submerge your tongue ring for a few minutes.

Remember to rinse it thoroughly afterward to remove any residues.

Pro Tip: Avoid using alcohol-based solutions or hydrogen peroxide, as they can be too harsh and irritate your piercing.

Remember, consistency is key when it comes to cleaning your tongue ring. Make it a part of your daily oral hygiene routine to ensure the longevity of your piercing and to keep your mouth healthy and fresh.

Cleaning Frequency

Keeping your tongue ring clean is crucial for maintaining good oral hygiene and preventing infections. The frequency of cleaning your tongue ring depends on different factors, such as the healing stage, your overall health, and any current illness you may have.

Let’s explore the different cleaning frequencies for various scenarios.

First Few Weeks

During the initial healing period, it is essential to clean your tongue ring more frequently to prevent infection and promote proper healing. It is recommended to clean your tongue ring at least twice a day during this time.

Use a gentle, alcohol-free mouthwash or a saltwater rinse to disinfect the area. Remember to brush your teeth and tongue properly as well, paying extra attention to the tongue ring.

After Healing

Once your tongue ring has fully healed, you can reduce the frequency of cleaning to once a day. This regular cleaning routine will help remove any plaque or bacteria buildup that may occur throughout the day.

In addition to using mouthwash or a saltwater rinse, consider using a soft-bristled toothbrush or a tongue scraper designed specifically for tongue piercings. These tools can effectively remove debris and keep your tongue ring and surrounding area clean.

When Sick

If you are feeling under the weather or have a cold, it is important to pay extra attention to your oral hygiene, including cleaning your tongue ring more frequently. Illness can weaken the immune system and make you more susceptible to infections, so maintaining a clean tongue ring becomes even more crucial during this time.

Consider increasing your cleaning frequency to twice a day or after meals to minimize the risk of bacteria buildup.

Remember, maintaining proper oral hygiene and cleaning your tongue ring regularly are essential for preventing infections and keeping your mouth healthy. If you have any concerns or notice any signs of infection, such as excessive swelling, redness, or discharge, it is best to consult with a professional piercer or your dentist for further guidance.

Other Tongue Ring Care Tips

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

When it comes to cleaning your tongue ring, it’s important to steer clear of harsh chemicals. While it may be tempting to use strong cleaning agents or alcohol-based solutions, these can actually do more harm than good.

Harsh chemicals can irritate the delicate tissues in your mouth and even damage the metal of your tongue ring. Instead, opt for gentle, non-alcoholic mouthwashes or saline solutions specifically formulated for oral piercings. These will effectively clean your tongue ring without causing any harm.

Watch What You Eat and Drink

The food and drinks you consume can have a significant impact on the cleanliness of your tongue ring. Certain foods, such as spicy or acidic ones, can cause irritation and inflammation around the piercing site.

Additionally, sugary or sticky foods can easily get stuck on your tongue ring, leading to bacterial growth and bad breath. It’s best to avoid these types of foods as much as possible to maintain the cleanliness of your tongue ring. Similarly, be cautious of the beverages you consume.

Acidic drinks like citrus juices or sodas can erode the metal of your tongue ring over time. Opt for water or non-acidic drinks to keep your tongue ring in great condition.

Be Gentle When Cleaning

While it’s important to clean your tongue ring regularly, it’s equally important to be gentle during the cleaning process. Avoid using excessive force or rough movements when brushing or rinsing your tongue ring. Instead, use a soft-bristled toothbrush or a clean cloth to gently clean the jewelry.

This will help prevent any unnecessary damage to your tongue ring and minimize the risk of injury to your tongue. Remember, a little bit of patience and gentleness can go a long way in ensuring the longevity and cleanliness of your tongue ring.

Signs of Infection

When it comes to tongue piercings, it’s important to be aware of the signs of infection. While tongue piercings are generally safe when done properly and cared for correctly, infections can still occur.

Recognizing the signs early on can help you take the necessary steps to treat the infection and prevent it from worsening.

1. Swelling and Redness

One of the first signs of an infection in a tongue piercing is swelling and redness around the area. If you notice that your tongue ring is causing your tongue to become swollen or if the area around the piercing appears red and inflamed, it could be an indication of an infection.

2. Pain and Discomfort

Another common sign of infection is pain and discomfort. If your tongue piercing is causing you constant pain or if you experience discomfort while eating or speaking, it’s important to pay attention to these symptoms.

While some discomfort is normal during the healing process, excessive pain could be a sign of an infection.

3. Pus or Discharge

Pus or discharge around the piercing site is a definite sign of infection. If you notice any yellow or greenish fluid coming from your tongue ring, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Pus is a clear indicator that there is an infection present and it needs to be treated promptly.

4. Bad Breath

Bad breath is another sign that your tongue ring may be infected. Bacteria can easily accumulate around the piercing site, leading to foul-smelling breath. If you notice that your breath has a bad odor that doesn’t go away even with proper oral hygiene, it could be a sign of an infection.

5. Fever and Chills

In severe cases, an infection in a tongue piercing can lead to systemic symptoms such as fever and chills. If you develop a fever or experience sudden chills, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately as it may indicate that the infection has spread beyond the piercing site.

It’s important to note that if you suspect you have an infection in your tongue piercing, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional or your piercer for proper diagnosis and treatment. They will be able to provide you with the necessary guidance and advice to help resolve the infection and ensure proper healing of your tongue piercing.

When to Seek Professional Help

While cleaning a tongue ring at home is usually sufficient for maintaining oral hygiene, there are certain situations in which it is best to seek professional help. These situations include:

1. Persistent Infection or Irritation

If you notice that your tongue ring is causing persistent infection or irritation, it is important to consult a professional. This could be a sign of an underlying issue that requires medical attention. A healthcare professional will be able to assess the situation and provide appropriate treatment.

2. Excessive Swelling or Pain

If your tongue ring becomes excessively swollen or painful, it is advisable to seek professional help. Swelling and pain can be indicative of an infection or an allergic reaction. A healthcare professional will be able to determine the cause and recommend the necessary steps for relief.

3. Difficulty Removing or Inserting the Tongue Ring

If you are having difficulty removing or inserting your tongue ring, it is best not to force it. Trying to forcefully remove or insert the ring can cause further damage to your tongue or the surrounding area.

Instead, seek the assistance of a professional piercer who can safely and correctly handle the situation.

4. Unusual Discoloration or Changes in Appearance

If you notice any unusual discoloration or changes in the appearance of your tongue ring, it is important to consult a professional. This could be a sign of an infection, allergic reaction, or other underlying issue that requires attention.

A healthcare professional will be able to evaluate the situation and provide appropriate guidance.

In any of these situations, it is crucial to seek professional help to ensure the health and safety of your tongue and the surrounding area. Remember, a healthcare professional has the knowledge and expertise to properly diagnose and treat any issues related to your tongue ring.


Cleaning your tongue ring properly is key to avoiding infections and keeping your piercing hole healthy. With the right solutions and techniques, cleaning your jewelry can be quick and easy. Stick to a regular cleaning routine, be gentle, use antimicrobial products, and watch for any signs of problems.

With proper aftercare, your tongue ring can look great and avoid complications.

Similar Posts