Pacific Body Jewelry and Piercing states that new tongue piercings should be cleaned once in the morning and once at night, as well as after anything besides water is ingested for at least seven days after the initial piercing. At the same time, the ball should be checked to make sure that it's firmly attached to the barbell. Hands should always be washed before touching the piercing.
The tongue is very swollen on the first morning after piercing. Cold water or ice should be on hand to soothe this swelling. Ice chips can be placed on the tongue and allowed to melt completely without sucking on them. This treatment should be continued throughout the day in conjunction with drinks of cold water to keep swelling down.
Practicing good oral hygiene helps the piercing to heal quickly. An anti-bacterial mouthwash that doesn't contain alcohol should be used to rinse the mouth. Regular mouthwash can be used, but it may be too harsh for the new piercing. If necessary, a one to one mixture of original Listerine and water may be used. Any form of topical solution or ointment on your tongue should be avoided because they are not designed to work on puncture wounds.
On the second or third day, a yellowish film may appear on the tongue. Those with a new piercing should refrain from trying to brush the film away because this is a normal part of the healing process. Brushing the tongue may also irritate the piercing. After two weeks have passed, a return to the piercing studio to have the barbell shortened is necessary. Shortening prevents damage to teeth caused by biting the barbell.