Piercings can make you look and feel cool. But the penalty for this beauty accessory is a bit of pain and some health risks. It takes a lot of guts to have a hole made in an organ with a lot of sensory glands. However, you will get a rep that few people ever truly achieve.

But before you check in at the first tattoo parlor you see, here are a few things you should know about tongue piercings to avoid any nasty surprises.

1. Will It Hurt?

Yes, but not as much as you think. Apparently, a tongue piercing hurts a lot less than other types of piercings. Users have confessed that they only started hurting hours after getting the piercing, not during. A certain user even ranked the pain as a 2 out of 10, which is not bad at all. The process is also simple as it takes only a few moments.

However, a few hours afterwards, the pain does come. At this time, everything seems to hurt. This includes talking, eating, swallowing and anything else that involves the tongue in one way or another. But once it heals, the pain disappears completely.

2. Does It Take Long To Heal?

Although the piercing will cause your tongue to swell for about 10 to 14 days, it will take a little longer before the piercing heals. An online authority on the matter, Center for Young Women’s Health, says that tongue piercings heal in around four to six weeks. Over this time, your diet choices might be limited to things like soup.

3. Can You Know If The Piercing Will Give You An Infection?

This comes down to your choices and your conduct after you get the piercing. First of all, you have to find a good piercing or tattoo shop to ensure the risk of getting infected is reduced. Granted, this will be somewhat of a challenge, but it is still doable.

All you have to do is use a guide on finding trusted piercing shops, and the Association of Professional Piercers can help you out on this. Members of this body have to meet very high standards. So, you can rest assured they will adhere to the highest levels of hygiene, which will reduce the chances of getting an infection afterwards.

4. How Do You Take Care Of The Piercing?

The first thing you should know after getting a tongue piercing, according to the Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practices, is to get a new toothbrush. This should limit your chances of contacting bacteria from the older toothbrush.

You should go a little further and use clean fingers to put the food at the back of the mouth while eating. Every morning, you should also put some ice on your tongue to reduce your swelling. Additionally, you should rinse your mouth with warm salty water regularly.

In addition to these procedures, brush and floss your teeth.

5. Are There Risks Associated With Getting A Tongue Piercing?

Although tongue piercings are pretty cool, they carry some risks. For instance, the piercing can chip or fracture your teeth enamel. You also suffer the risk of getting tongue ulcers as the piercing rubs a certain part of your mouth.

As mentioned earlier, you have to look out for infections. That said, you should do some follow-ups with your dentist to keep your tongue and teeth healthy.

So, as you get your tongue piercing, make sure you can take proper care of it.