Can I drink soda with a lip piercing?

Having a new lip piercing can be exciting, but it also requires some adjustments to your normal routines while the piercing heals. One question many people have is whether they can drink soda with a new lip piercing.

Quick Answers

Here are some quick answers to common questions about drinking soda with a new lip piercing:

  • It’s best to avoid drinking soda until your piercing has fully healed, which can take 4-6 weeks.
  • The carbonation and acidity in soda can irritate and prolong the healing process.
  • If you do choose to drink soda, take small sips and rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash afterwards.
  • Drink soda through a straw placed away from the piercing to minimize contact and irritation.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water to help dilute the soda’s effects.
  • Avoid sugary sodas, as the sugar can promote bacterial growth and infection.

Why Soda May Irritate a New Piercing

There are a few reasons why drinking soda can irritate and negatively impact a healing lip piercing:

  • Carbonation – The bubbles and fizziness can be abrasive and put pressure on the fresh wound channel of the piercing.
  • Acidity – Sodas have a very low pH, making them acidic. This acidity can irritate the piercing and delay healing.
  • Sugar – Sugary sodas provide an environment for bacteria to grow, increasing the risk of infection.
  • Citric acid – Ingredients like citric acid and phosphoric acid add to the acidic environment.
  • Foreign objects – Small particles from the soda can get lodged in the piercing wound.
  • Drying effect – Soda can dehydrate cells and dry out the piercing hole.

All of these factors make drinking soda less than ideal when you’re trying to heal a new lip piercing as quickly and safely as possible.

Healing Stages of Lip Piercings

To understand why soda isn’t recommended, it helps to know the stages of the piercing healing process:

  1. Initial healing: The first 3-6 weeks. The wound is open and vulnerable to irritation, swelling, and infection. It’s crucial to avoid contact, movement, and irritation during this time.
  2. Re-epithelialization stage: From 2 weeks to 4 months. The pierced area starts closing up, forming a fistula (a tunnel of scar tissue). Soda can slow down this healing stage.
  3. Maturation stage: From 4 months to a full year. Scar tissue continues stabilizing and strengthening. The piercing can withstand more contact, but soda can still irritate it.
  4. Fully healed: After a full year. The piercing has formed a strong fistula and is much less prone to irritation, infection, and closure. Soda is less of a risk at this point.

As you can see, soda is most problematic during those initial sensitive healing stages. Even when the piercing may seem healed, the process takes a full year to completely stabilize and toughen up.

Risks of Drinking Soda with a New Piercing

Drinking soda too soon with a lip piercing specifically puts you at risk for:

  • Inflammation
  • Swelling
  • Prolonged healing
  • Scarring
  • Granulomas (small bumps of scar tissue)
  • Migration or rejection
  • Infection
  • Closure or collapse of the piercing

Infections are a top concern, as the high sugar content coupled with a fresh wound create the perfect environment for bacteria. Signs of infection include pain, swelling, redness, heat, yellow or green discharge, and fever.

Any of these complications can result in the piercing failing to heal properly. This may require you to remove the jewelry and let the piercing close up before trying again.

Tips for Drinking Soda with a Healing Piercing

If you cannot give up soda entirely during the healing period, here are some tips to reduce risks:

  • Drink slowly and take small sips rather than gulping it down.
  • Use a straw and place it toward the back of your mouth, away from the piercing.
  • Dilute the soda with water, ice, or milk.
  • Rinse your mouth with an alcohol-free mouthwash after drinking soda.
  • Clean the area twice daily with a saline solution.
  • Pat dry gently with gauze or paper towels rather than rubbing with a towel.
  • Take over-the-counter pain medicine as needed to reduce swelling and tenderness.

Avoid very sweet, very acidic, or dark-colored sodas, as these tend to be more aggravating. Clear sodas like Sprite or ginger ale are gentler options. But again, avoiding all sodas until fully healed is safest.

Aftercare for a Healing Lip Piercing

In addition to being cautious with soda, follow your piercer’s recommendations for cleaning and aftercare of your new lip piercing. General guidelines include:

  • Clean twice daily – use a saline spray or make a solution of warm water and sea salt. Gently rinse away crusties.
  • Dry carefully after cleaning by gently patting with clean gauze or paper towels.
  • Avoid makeup, lotions, balms, etc around the piercing.
  • Don’t play with the jewelry or move it around unnecessarily.
  • Avoid sharing drinks or kissing others.
  • Rinse mouth after eating and drinking.
  • Take ibuprofen if needed for swelling and pain.
  • Sleep on a clean towel and avoid irritating the piercing.
  • Wear a mask if possible to protect the piercing.

Let the shower water run over it, but don’t deliberately soak the piercing. Avoid swimming pools, hot tubs, lakes, etc until healed.

The Healing Diet

Your diet choices can also optimize piercing healing. Follow these guidelines:

  • Drink plenty of water – stay hydrated.
  • Eat a balanced diet with lean protein, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains.
  • Avoid spicy, greasy, salty, and acidic foods that may irritate.
  • Limit alcohol, which dehydrates and slows healing.
  • Reduce sugars and simple carbs that feed bacteria.
  • Take a daily multivitamin to support immune system function.
  • Increase vitamin C intake to boost collagen formation.
  • Eat yogurt with live cultures to prevent infection.
  • Drink green tea to reduce inflammation.

By keeping your body healthy and supported with the right diet, you’ll optimize your piercing’s healing ability.

Talk to Your Piercer

If you experience persistent swelling, pain, bleeding, discharge, or other signs of complication with your lip piercing, contact your piercer right away. They can assess if you need a longer post to accommodate swelling, if the angle or placement is irritated, or whether you may need to take out the jewelry temporarily.

Early intervention for any problems improves the chances of healing without further complications. Your piercer can advise if you need oral antibiotics or other medical treatment.

The Waiting Game

Lip piercings take patience and care during the long healing process. While it may be tempting to enjoy your favorite soda, milkshake, or alcoholic beverage, it’s best to wait until your piercing has stabilized, usually around the 12-month mark.

The short-term sacrifice leads to long-term success and enjoyment of your new piercing. Take measures to reduce irritation and stay healthy. Before you know it, your lip will be fully healed and able to tolerate periodic soda with no problem.


Drinking soda before a lip piercing has fully healed can irritate the piercing, hinder the healing process, and increase the risk of complications. The carbonation, acidity, and sugar content of soda create an environment conducive to inflammation and infection of a fresh piercing.

Ideally, soda should be avoided for the first year after getting pierced. If you do drink soda, sip slowly, use a straw properly positioned, dilute the soda, rinse your mouth afterwards, and follow good aftercare practices. Be patient during the long healing timeframe and see your piercer promptly for any concerns.

While soda may need to be sidelined for a while, your diligent care will pay off with a beautifully healed lip piercing you can show off for years to come.

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