By Meghan O'Neal 07/21/2020
Tongue piercings are nothing new; piercings in the tongue started gaining traction in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. People love them because they can be more easily hidden than other piercing types—as long as you learn how to talk around the jewelry—and they offer a sensual aspect that people love.
As tongue piercings become more and more popular, people have begun to seek ways to make their tongue piercings truly unique. This has resulted in piercing types like multiple tongue piercings, surface tongue piercings, and the topic of this article, the snake eyes tongue piercing.
Due to the location of the snake eyes tongue piercing, those who are interested in this piercing type need to be aware of certain risks, and they must take extra care during healing. It can often be difficult to get used to the jewelry at the tip of the tongue, and it’s not unheard of for people to suffer from broken teeth after accidentally biting on the jewelry.
While many piercers recommend against this piercing, we understand that once you’ve gotten your heart set on a piercing, it can be hard to let it go. We want you to enjoy a safe piercing and healthy healing practices, so we’ve put together a guide highlighting the potential risks of this piercing, how to get it done safely, and proper aftercare practices. Here’s what you need to know about the snake eyes tongue piercing.
The snake eyes piercing takes place at the tip of the tongue. When you stick out your tongue, the jewelry ends will look a bit like snake eyes, and your tongue might resemble a snake peeking out of your mouth.
This piercing looks like a double piercing since the ball ends of the jewelry stick out on either side of your tongue, but it actually falls under the surface piercing category. As such, it’s one long piercing filled with a curved barbell. This makes it perfect for those who want a double pierced look without having to go through two piercings.
However, the location of the piercing also presents unique risks, which we’ll go into more detail later. Namely, the jewelry is easy to chomp upon, which could lead to broken teeth, and the jewelry pierces two independent muscles in the tongue, which could pose an issue.
The snake eyes piercing will take at least 8 weeks to heal. Keep in mind that this is the minimum healing time; even if you do everything right, it might take longer to heal. Because of this, you should always have your piercer take a look to ensure that the piercing has healed before stopping aftercare practices or changing the jewelry.
Your tongue will swell in the first days after piercing, which means that you’ll have to get a longer jewelry piece initially to account for the swelling. Especially in the first few weeks of healing, you’ll need to take extra care while getting used to the new jewelry. It’s a good idea to stick to soft foods at first so that you don’t have to chew as much. You should also refrain from talking as much as possible since moving your tongue will jolt the jewelry, which could lead to jewelry rejection.
The healing process for a snake eyes piercing is no different than other oral piercing types. Be sure to clean it with a saline piercing aftercare solution 2 – 3 times daily. (Since this piercing is located in the mouth, it’s a good idea to clean your piercing after every meal to clear any food debris.) Many piercers might recommend a piercing aftercare solution made specifically for oral piercings that’s safe to gargle.
DO NOT use mouthwash with alcohol in it. This will irritate the piercing, and it will hurt. Along those lines, you should also avoid eating any spicy or acidic foods as your tongue piercing heals. Basically, avoid anything that you wouldn’t want exposed to an open wound.
You also need to pay attention to the size of the jewelry. Your piercer will fit you with a larger initial jewelry piece in order to accommodate swelling. This will help prevent issues like embedded jewelry, but it will also mean that your jewelry will get in your way a bit more. Once swelling has gone down in a week or so, you should visit your piercer to see about getting fit with a smaller piece that will be easier to deal with.
Conversely, you should also keep an eye on your piercing in the first week to make sure that the initial jewelry that you’re fitted with is large enough. The tongue can swell substantially, and you don’t want your piercing holes pressing against the ball ends of your jewelry. If your jewelry is pressing against your skin or it feels tight, see your piercer immediately to get a piece that fits better.
As with every piercing, before you get pierced, you should ensure that your piercer is reputable and take a quick look around the studio to make sure that it’s highly hygienic. It’s a good idea to scope out the studio beforehand, too, to make sure that they adhere to safe practices, like having an autoclave sterilizer on site and all of the proper certifications.
The process for the snake eyes piercing is similar to any other surface piercing. Your piercer will take a look at your tongue to ensure that they place it in an area that won’t pierce any nerves or blood vessels, and they should have you clean your mouth with an oral rinse designed to kill bacteria. Then, they’ll mark the puncture points and have you confirm placement. Remember that placement largely depends upon your tongue’s anatomy, and your piercer will need to pierce it in a way that’s safe. While you might have some say in its placement, most of that decision will be dependent upon your tongue.
Finally, you’ll stick out your tongue as far as possible, and the piercer will use a sharp, hollow needle to simultaneously create the piercing and string the jewelry through.
Getting pierced at the tip of your tongue is generally more painful than getting pierced in the center of your tongue, so if you’ve had a standard tongue piercing done, keep in mind that you might experience slightly more pain. However, the process should be swift, and it’s usually less painful than most people anticipate.
In the piercing world, the snake eyes piercing is quite controversial. Many piercers even refuse to conduct this piercing type. Those who do will often recommend against the piercing, but they’ll perform it, anyway, because they want to ensure that you’re getting pierced in a safe manner. Before getting this piercing, it’s important for you to fully consider these risks and possibly opt for a different tongue piercing style instead.
This piercing goes through two tongue muscles that work independently of each other. Many piercers worry about the long term damage of piercing these two muscles with a horizontal piece of jewelry.
The placement of the jewelry also causes problems. Any piercing in or around the mouth poses some oral risks. You can chomp on the jewelry, potentially breaking teeth. When you talk, the jewelry might rub against your teeth and gums, leading to receding gum lines and enamel wear, which can cause tooth decay in the long run. While lip piercings and standard tongue piercings can be placed in a way to minimize this damage, snake eyes piercings will likely rub against your teeth quite often, increasing the risk of tooth damage.
It also has a high risk of jewelry rejection. When you talk, the tip of your tongue moves quite a lot, which will jostle the jewelry within your piercing—a big no-no during healing. Because of this, snake eyes piercings often see rejection, which could lead to scarring and other complications.
If you’re in search of the next hottest piercing, then you might see the snake eyes piercing as the perfect addition to your piercing repertoire. However, there are certain risks associated with the piercing. If you’re completely set on this piercing type, and you’ve decided that the risks are worth it, take the time in order to find a reputable piercer with the skills to safely and successfully conduct this piercing.
Keep in mind that your search for a reputable piercer who is willing to do this piercing might be a long one, and you shouldn’t just opt for the first piercer who says that they’ll do it. You want to find someone who has experience with this specific piercing type and can pierce you safely. (If you live in a rural area, this might mean taking a road trip to the nearest city to find a reputable piercer with this expertise.)
While you consider whether the snake eyes piercing is for you, here are some curved barbell pieces for whichever new piercing you decide on.
5 Replies to “The Snake Eyes Tongue Piercing: What You Need to Know”
Anonymous, 30 Oct 2020
Thank you this helped a lot with every bit of the information I needed 🙂
Jessica Karam, 09 Nov 2020
Great to hear!
Destinie Puckett, 20 Mar 2021
So I just got my snakebite piercing about 10 days ago and I have a 14g in right now when it heals what gauge do I need to switch to?
Anonymous, 11 Mar 2022
Hello was it painful to get
Andrea, 25 May 2022
I got mine done about 4 days ago. Hurts like hell. I’m on constant rotation of pain pills. But it’s super cute and I’m happy. I still can’t eat anything