Today, more and more teenagers choose to pierce their tongues as a form of self-expression, as it is not as visually apparent as an eyebrow piercing, or as permanent as a tattoo.
If your teen is interested in getting their tongue pierced, you need to know the age limit and other requirements.
This post will discuss the age requirements for getting your tongue pierced and answer important tongue piercing questions.
At What Age Can You Get A Tongue Piercing?
In the US, minors (those under 18) can get a tongue piercing with parental consent, with some states requiring the parent’s physical presence during the act. There are exceptions: Idaho, where children must be 14 or older; Wisconsin, where a child must be 16 or older; and North Carolina & Mississippi, where it is illegal to body pierce a minor. Piercing shops may enforce their own rules, including refusing to pierce minors under a certain age, even if their parents or guardians consent.
Anyone wanting a piercing must provide valid identification such as a state-issued ID, passport, driver’s license, or military ID. In addition, a minor’s parent or guardian needs to provide written consent and, in some states, will need to be present during the procedure.
Here are the rules by state:
States that do not currently have laws on age limits for body piercing:
Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nevada, Washington, and West Virginia.
States where minors need the written consent of a parent or legal guardian to receive a body piercing:
Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maine, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont,
States where minors need written parental permission for body piercing and a parent or legal guardian must be present during the procedure:
Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming.
In Idaho, a child must be 14 or older and needs written parental permission, and they must be present during the procedure.
In Wisconsin, the child must be 16 or older and needs written parental permission, and they must be present during the procedure.
In addition to researching your state’s laws, you should also check the regulations for the shop where you intend to get pierced. Each studio will have its own restrictions regarding the types of piercings and the age at which they can be performed.
Even if the parent or legal guardian consents, a piercing shop can enforce its own policies, which include refusing to pierce minors under a certain age.
It is essential to check with your piercer about their paperwork requirements regardless of whether local legislation is more lenient. These will depend on local laws and regulations, requirements for liability insurance, and studio policy.
Remember that a minor must provide valid identification, such as a passport or state ID.
A parent or legal guardian must give notarized consent and should be present.
Notarized consent means your parent or legal guardian must provide proof of signature. This could include coming to the shop and signing there to avoid forgeries. Documentation and proof are also required for legal guardianship.
Can You Get A Tongue Piercing At 13?
Most piercing shops will probably choose not to give a 13-year-old a tongue piercing.
At 13, your tongue and mouth are still growing, so a tongue piercing could migrate (move) into a different position as you age.
In addition, a 13-year-old may not be mature enough to follow the aftercare instructions till the piercing heals completely.
Can You Get A Tongue Piercing At 14?
Piercing studios in some states may allow the piercing of minors who are at least 14. However, many piercers will only do tongue piercings on minors who are 16 years and older.
You will need to provide proof of identity like a state-issued ID, and you will need parental permission to undergo the procedure. Many piercing facilities require the presence of a parent or legal guardian.
Note: If you live in Idaho, you must be 14 or older; in Wisconsin, you must be 16 or older; and in North Carolina & Mississippi, it is illegal to body pierce a minor.
Many piercing establishments have their own guidelines and may refuse a tongue piercing to a minor, so it’s best to determine if they will pierce a 14-year-old before making an appointment.
Can You Get A Tongue Piercing At 15?
You can get a tongue piercing at 15 in several states, but many piercers will only do tongue piercings on minors who are 16 years and older.
You will need to provide valid identification, such as a passport or state-issued ID. In most states and facilities, a parent or legal guardian will be required to provide notarized consent.
Note: If you live in Wisconsin, you must be 16 or older; and in North Carolina & Mississippi, it is illegal to body pierce a minor.
According to the Association of Professional Piercers, many piercing establishments have their own guidelines and may refuse a tongue piercing to a minor. So it’s best to find out if they will pierce a 15-year-old before making an appointment.
These regulations are put in place to protect the minor, so it’s better to wait until you are older and not try to find a piercer who will ignore these rules.
What Is The Appropriate Age For A Tongue Piercing?
The appropriate age to get a tongue piercing depends on the person and the local laws/regulations where they live.
Some teens are responsible enough to handle this type of piercing, while others may not be mature enough to manage the aftercare.
Even with parental consent, many piercing shops will not offer tongue piercing services to minors below 16 years.
Tongue Piercing Questions
Here are answers to the most common tongue piercing questions:
How Long Does It Take A Tongue Piercing To Close?
The longer you’ve had your tongue piercing, the longer it will take to close.
If you’ve just had your tongue pierced, the hole will start closing up almost immediately when you remove the barbell, and it may be difficult to put back the ring a few days later.
If you’ve had your tongue piercing for longer than six months, it can take a few days or weeks to close.
In some people, the hole doesn’t close up fast, and they can put it back without much difficulty even after one or two weeks.
How Much Does It Cost To Get A Tongue Piercing?
A tongue piercing usually costs anywhere between $35 and $100.
The actual charges depend on the piercing shop or body piercer you choose and your location.
You can expect to pay more than the average price if you plan to use top-quality jewelry material like titanium instead of stainless steel.
Does A Tongue Piercing Hurt?
A tongue piercing is more painful than a regular ear piercing that simply goes through the skin. However, an experienced, professional piercer will conduct the procedure quickly, and it should feel like a pinch.
It is the days following the procedure that are the most uncomfortable. You will feel some mild pain and soreness for a couple of days mainly because of the irritation caused when doing activities such as eating and speaking.
Be sure to follow the aftercare instructions like rinsing your mouth with alcohol-free mouthwash and maintaining oral hygiene to heal as quickly as possible.
Can You Chew Gum With A Tongue Piercing?
Chewing gum with a new tongue piercing is not advisable as it is likely to increase pain, swelling, and bleeding, especially if you do it carelessly.
It usually takes about four to six weeks for a tongue piercing to heal completely, so during that period, avoid chewing gum.
Do Tongue Piercings Give You A Lisp?
A tongue piercing can give you a lisp that will last a couple of days as it heals.
This is because the first few days or even weeks after the procedure, your tongue will be very swollen and sensitive.
Use a shorter tongue bar if you don’t want to have a lisp for an extended period.
What Can I Eat With A New Tongue Piercing?
In the first few days, when the piercing is still sore, start with liquids like broth-based soups, smoothies, and yogurt. After a few days, you can add soft, bland foods such as mashed potatoes, ice cream, bananas, avocado, moistened pancakes, and scrambled eggs.
Avoid eating hard or crunchy foods or anything salty or spicy, hot foods, or acidic food as they cause irritation and increase swelling and bleeding.
You can resume your regular diet after the swelling has gone down and the jewelry has been downsized.
Which Tongue Piercing Is The Safest?
The safest type of tongue piercing is a midline tongue piercing at the center of your tongue. It is the most common and more standard tongue piercings, typically performed with a hollow 14 or 16 gauge piercing needle.
The healing time is about 4-6 weeks.
Others, like a double tongue piercing,g can cause tongue mobility issues, leading to speech or eating problems. They could also lead to sensation loss, especially if not done correctly.
Will A Tongue Piercing Affect My Speech?
You will probably have a lisp for the first few days after getting a tongue piercing due to the tongue being very swollen.
When the swelling begins to reduce, your mouth will adapt to having the piercing, and any changes in speech will be unnoticeable to anyone you speak to.
How Can I Hide My Tongue Piercing?
To hide your tongue piercing, the ends of your bar should be covered by flesh-colored or clear plastic balls. Using a shorter barbell can also keep your piercing hidden.
You can also learn to eat, speak or smile in a way that makes the piercing invisible to a person looking at you.
Why Do Teens Get Their Tongue Pierced?
Teens usually get their tongues pierced as a way of expressing themselves or wanting to add an additional piece of jewelry that would suit a specific style.
An oral piercing is less visually obvious than an eyebrow piercing or a tattoo, which may not be allowed in school.
Some teens may do it due to peer pressure and may not be aware of the oral health risks that a tongue piercing poses.
Can A Tongue Piercing Paralyze You?
A tongue piercing is a delicate process that can cause temporary or permanent numbness and/or paralyze the tongue if a nerve is damaged.
Some symptoms of nerve trauma include loss of taste, numbness, and tongue mobility issues.
Nerve damage is usually temporary but can be permanent in some cases.
How Long Will My Tongue Hurt After Piercing?
A tongue piercing will hurt more than a standard ear lobe piercing but doesn’t hurt as much where the cartilage is pierced as in certain nose piercings, or other body piercings.
When the piercing is made, you will feel a little pain (less pain than a tongue bite), and the area will be sore for several days.
The tongue is exposed to a lot of bacteria, so a tongue piercing is more likely to get infected and be painful if you don’t take care of it properly.
Most swelling should go down within a week, and complete healing takes around 4 – 6 weeks.
I hope that you’ve found the answers to your oral piercing questions in this post. If you do choose to get a piercing, please be sure to get get your parent’s permission and call your local piercing shop to check at what age you can get a tongue piercing. Remember to always follow all the aftercare instructions to avoid getting an infection.