Tongue piercings can be a fun way to stand out, and snake eyes piercings are one of the most unique tongue piercings you can get. With a snake eye piercing, you have a horizontal curved barbell going through the tip of your tongue. That way, when you stick your tongue out, the round barbell ends look like the eyes of a snake!
- Placement: Through the tip of your tongue.
- Cost: $35-$100.
- Pain: 3-4 out of 10 on the pain scale.
- Healing time: 6-8 weeks. It can heal relatively quickly.
- Jewelry: Curved barbells.
- Risks: Swelling, infections, rejections, tooth decay, gum disease, and speech impediments. It is considered a very risky piercing.
What Is a Snake Eye Piercing?
A snake eye piercing is also called a horizontal tongue piercing. It’s placed at the tip of your tongue and involves going from side to side. Typically people get a barbell tongue ring with a slight curve that has some type of stud on either end.
The idea is that when you show your tongue, it looks like two snake eyes peeking out of your mouth. Popular jewelry options are a barbell with two metal balls, though you can get spikes, crystals, or other designs.
Snake Eyes Piercing Healing
A snake eye piercing usually takes 6 to 8 weeks to heal. However, this is contingent on proper aftercare. You must follow your piercer’s instructions to keep the piercing clean, which often includes multiple salt rinses per day. You’ll also need to be careful of what you eat, avoiding spicy foods, hard foods, and other items that could irritate the wound.
Snake Eye Piercing Pain
On a scale of 1 to 10, many people classify a tongue piercing at around a 3 or a 4. Compared to cartilage and skin piercings, tongue piercings are on the lower end of the pain spectrum.
Some people report at the clamp holding your tongue hurts more than the piercing itself. However, the level of pain you experience will vary based on your pain tolerance.
Source: Royal Skin.
How Much Is the Snake Eyes Piercing?
The snake eyes piercing may start at $35 or go up toward $100. That being said, tongue piercings, including the snake eyes piercing, can vary greatly based on where you go and what type of jewelry you choose. Surgical steel is a cheaper metal while something like 14K gold would shoot the price up.
Snake Eyes Piercing Pros and Cons
There are potential pros and cons to getting a snake eyes piercing. Possible pros are:
- It caters to an edgy look.
- It’s relatively low on the piercing pain scale.
- It’s easy to hide if you don’t love visible piercings.
- It’s unique.
Potential cons include:
- Oral piercings present health risks because of eating, drinking, and the bacteria in your mouth.
- You may be limited in what you eat and drink for weeks or months after getting the piercing.
- You’re a little more limited when it comes to jewelry options.
- You can’t French kiss or have oral sex within the first week or two.
If you’re looking for a unique oral piercing, the snake eyes piercing good be perfect for you. Consider what it looks like, and all of the potential pros and cons, before making your decision.
Source: Tourelles Tattoo & Piercing.
How to Eat With Snake Eye Piercing?
After you get a snake eyes piercing, tongue pain and irritation can make it hard to eat normally. For the first couple of weeks, stick to soft or blended foods. After each meal, rinse out your mouth with a sea salt solution or diluted mouthwash.
Be sure to brush your teeth twice daily to reduce the number of harmful bacteria in your mouth!
Why Is the Snake Eye Piercing Dangerous?
A snake eyes piercing can look cool, but it can also be harmful to your health.
When you speak, the front of your tongue makes contact with your teeth. Because the piercing will click against your teeth, it’s possible to chip or crack teeth with it. Constant exposure to metal can also erode your gums.
In some cases, snake eyes piercings can also cause speech impediments.
Your tongue is a whole collection of muscles, and in many cases, a snake eye tongue piercing compresses those muscles together and gets in the way of your ability to speak.
These damages are permanent, so speech impediments will often last even if you have the piercing removed.
Snake Eyes Piercing Risks
As you can see, snake eye piercing is a very risky one. Most reputable piercers consider it to be unsafe and refuse to do it. Here are some of the major risks:
1. Infected Snake Eyes Piercing
Any piercing can get infected. But since your mouth harbors so many bacteria, it’s especially easy for a snake eye tongue piercing to get infected.
If your piercing is infected, you may notice green or yellow pus leaking from the piercing site. You also might see red streaks extending outward from the site.
2. Swollen Snake Eyes Piercing
All infected piercings will have some swelling. But if your piercing is very infected, your tongue will have redness and swelling that extend far beyond the piercing itself.
In severe cases, your tongue can swell enough to partially block your airway and make breathing harder. It’s important to catch infections early, so be sure to make an appointment with your doctor if you notice signs of infection.
3. Snake Eye Piercing Rejection
Sometimes, your body may see your piercing as a foreign body and try to push it out. If your body is rejecting a piercing, you may see it shift positions or start to come closer to the surface of your tongue. You also may see the piercing holes getting larger.
If you think your snake eye tongue piercing is rejected, talk to your piercer for advice on what to do.
4. Other Risks
Many people (and piercers) steer clear of this piercing because of the severe damage to the teeth and gums it can cause. Compressing the muscles in the tongue can lead to speech issues, but it also can make it harder to eat.
Snake Eye Piercing Jewelry
For a snake eye tongue piercing, you need a curved barbell to mimic the look of snake eyes. Rings are not recommended. Regarding materials, go with safe metals like titanium and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).
Snake Eye Piercing Barbells
Curved barbells will keep the ball ends in the right place to look like snake eyes! For snake eye piercings, you would need barbells that are thinner than traditional tongue barbells. They are usually made of titanium or surgical steel.
Ashley Piercing Jewelry Snake Eyes Piercing Jewelry Curved Barbell 16G Implant Grade Titanium $18.9, SHOP NOW.
Snake Eye Piercing Rings
Rings can be used too. But you wouldn’t want to use rings for this piercing, as they won’t look like the eyes of a snake.
Recommended Materials for Snake Eye Piercing Jewelry
To minimize your risk of infections or rejections, go with high-quality, body-safe materials. Titanium, 14k or 18k gold, and implant-grade surgical steel are good ones. Dentists and medical journals also recommend polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), a material that’s easy on your teeth and less likely to cause infection.
The following materials are commonly recommended for snake eye-piercing jewelry:
- Titanium: Titanium is a popular choice for body jewelry, as it is lightweight, strong, and hypoallergenic. It is often used for people with sensitive skin or allergies to other metals.
- 14k or 18k gold: Gold is a luxurious and durable option for snake eye-piercing jewelry. However, it is more expensive than other materials and may not be suitable for people with allergies to nickel or other metals commonly used in gold alloys.
- Implant-grade surgical steel: This is one of the most commonly used materials for body jewelry, including snake eye piercing jewelry. It is durable, easy to clean, and generally hypoallergenic.
- Biocompatible plastics: Some types of biocompatible plastics, such as PTFE or Bioplast, can be used for snake eye piercing jewelry. These materials are flexible and comfortable to wear, but may not be as durable as metal jewelry.
It’s important to choose high-quality jewelry made from a reputable manufacturer to ensure the jewelry is safe and suitable for your snake eye piercing. Additionally, it’s recommended to only change your jewelry once your piercing has fully healed to avoid complications.
Snake Eye Piercing Size
The size of a snake eye piercing is typically smaller than a traditional tongue piercing. Snake eye piercings are usually done with a 16-gauge or 14-gauge needle, which is thinner than the typical 12-gauge needle used for traditional tongue piercings.
The length of the barbell used for a snake eye tongue piercing varies, usually ranging from 1/2 inch (12 mm) to 5/8 inch (16 mm) in length.
The smaller size of the jewelry is necessary to accommodate the two closely placed piercings on the tip of the tongue. It’s important to note that the size of the jewelry used for a snake eye piercing should be carefully selected by a professional piercer to ensure proper healing and prevent any complications.
Snake Eye Piercing Aftercare
If you’ve gotten piercings before, you know the right aftercare is necessary to prevent infection and minimize pain. Here are some tips to ensure a smooth healing process:
- Drink ice water or dissolve ice in your mouth to bring down swelling
- Eat soft foods until your pain starts to get better
- Rinse out your mouth with a sea salt solution or dilute mouthwash after eating, drinking alcohol, or smoking
- Avoid moving your tongue more than you have to
- Don’t chew gum or anything else that may harbor bacteria
- Avoid kissing or any other sexual activity involving your mouth
- Only touch the piercing if your hands are clean
How to Clean Snake Eye Piercing?
Cleaning a tongue piercing is a bit different from cleaning other piercings. Instead of dabbing cleaning solution onto your piercing, you just need to use a saline solution as a mouthwash. You can also use diluted mouthwash, but it’s a good idea to get one without alcohol so it won’t sting.
Piercing experts recommend doing this at least twice per day, but ideally, you should rinse your mouth out every time you eat, smoke, or drink alcohol.