When you get your tongue pierced, you'll be given a special starter tongue barbell that's extra long to allow for swelling and to ensure that your jewelry doesn't put too much pressure on your healing tongue piercing. After 6 weeks or so, once your tongue is fully healed, you can switch to a cool tongue ring of your choice that's either a standard 5/8" length or longer/shorter as needed to best suit your anatomy (based on the thickness of your tongue). Unless you were pierced at a different gauge, choose a 14g replacement tongue ring. Even if you plan to stretch to a larger gauge later, it's best to stick with the same gauge you were pierced at for at least the first few months after having your tongue pierced. That way the fistula (hole where you were pierced) will have time to thicken and strengthen, which will make it easier to insert a barbell in a larger size later.
Tongue Ring Sizes
Technically, you can wear a straight barbell in any gauge in a tongue piercing, but 14g is the standard size for tongue rings. Although it isn't recommended, some people prefer to wear slightly finer 16g straight barbells in their tongue piercings. However, people who opt for a size other than the standard 14g are more likely to choose a thicker 12g or 10g barbell rather than a finer 16g one. Some people eventually stretch to a much thicker gauge, such as 6g or 8g, and sometimes larger. If you decide to stretch your tongue piercing, wait a minimum of 3 months after being pierced to start stretching. Give yourself at least 9-12 weeks of healing time in between stretches, never go up more than 1 size at a time, and consider using a taper to change out your current barbell for a heavier-gauged straight barbell.
In terms of length, 5/8" is the standard size for tongue barbells. You were most likely pierced with a 1" straight barbell to allow for swelling. If you find that to be a comfortable length for you to wear even after your tongue heals, then purchase a new tongue ring of the same size. Most people want a shorter barbell once they're healed, though. Unless your piercer recommended a specific length for you based on the thickness of your tongue, try downsizing to a 5/8" straight barbell first. You can try a size longer or shorter if you find the standard 5/8" length isn't a good fit for you. Most tongue rings are available in a wide range of lengths, but it's unusual for someone to need one that's shorter than 1/2" or longer than 1".
Note: If your tongue barbell isn't long enough, you don't have to toss the whole thing. You can put the ends on a longer, shorter, thicker, or thinner gauge straight barbell shaft using the instructions on our How to Modify a Straight Barbell or Tongue Ring's Length, Gauge & Balls page.
Types of Tongue Rings
There are many different styles of tongue rings to choose from when you're ready for a new tongue barbell. If you're looking for a cool tongue ring, consider options like these:
- Acrylic tongue rings with fun-colored balls, like tongue rings with acrylic tops in cool shapes like flowers and Koosh balls
- Jeweled tongue rings
- Picture tongue rings featuring images like hearts and smiley faces or cool phrases
- Logo tongue rings with an NFL team logo or a baseball team logo on the top ball
Other tongue piercing jewelry options include:
- Standard straight barbells
- Titanium tongue barbells
- Flexible tongue rings made of PTFE
- Black tongue rings
- Acrylic tongue rings
We have a broad selection of wholesale body jewelry. You'll find tongue rings in a wide variety of styles, lengths, and gauges. Happy shopping!