Tongue Rings

Getting a tongue piercing

Piercings of all sorts, and especially tongue piercings, are growing in popularity. If you're one of the many who are interested in having your tongue pierced, keep reading for information about the rings ("barbells") you can use in your piercing.

What Are Tongue Rings?

Tongue ring, commonly called a barbell

Tongue rings are pieces of body jewelry that are worn in tongue piercings. Although they are often referred to as a ring, they do not resemble a typical earring but instead look like a tiny barbell. Each barbell has two balls, or bars, connected by a straight or slightly curved shaft. The ball/bar that connects to the shaft on the underside of the tongue is usually quite plain, and just large enough to prevent its passage through the piercing. The ball/bar that rests on top of the tongue is larger, and it is generally the show piece that gives each style of tongue ring its unique character and design.

The barbell used for an initial piercing has a longer than normal shaft to better accommodate the amount of swelling that goes along with a fresh tongue piercing. Once the tongue has healed, you'll want to select a normal size ring for everyday wear.

What Are They Made Of?

Tongue rings can be made from a number of materials including:

  • Surgical stainless steel, the most preferred type of metal for piercings because it seldom causes allergic reactions and added irritation at the piercing site. A particular type of stainless steel known as 316L is of especially high quality and very resistant to corroding, so many people prefer to purchase tongue rings made from this material.
  • 14K or 18K Gold, a good choice for any piercing, fresh or healed. This is another metal that seems to cause very few allergic reactions.
  • Titanium, another fine quality metal, but some people do find they have a reaction to it, so this metal is seldom used until a fresh piercing has had adequate time to heal.
  • Teflon, or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is used in the manufacture of flexible tongue rings.
  • Acrylic, a great body jewelry alternative for anyone who is allergic to metal. Acrylic tongue rings may be solid plastic, or acrylic layered over stainless steel which produces a piece that is durable without causing a reaction.

Warning: It is actually possible to damage your teeth with your jewelry, so be sure the piece you choose gives you a comfortable fit, and be very careful about chewing until you have a chance to get used to wearing it.



Tongue ring jewelry can be fairly straightforward with a simple ball/bar, figure, or jewel in the color of your choice. However, there are many adventurous and far out styles out there that make wearing this type of jewelry especially fun. Let's take a look at a few favorites.

NFL and MLB Rings

The selection isn't terribly large at this time, but if you're a fan of one of the more popular football or baseball teams, you can sport one of their rings, if you'll pardon the pun.

Ultraviolet Rings

How about a little glow-in-the-dark fun? A UV ring can be left in the light to charge up, and inserted when you're ready for it.

Magic Wish Ball

If you've ever had the chance to play with the original Magic Eight Ball, you already know how much fun it is to ask your question and see the ball's response. Now imagine how much more fun it would be to have one for your tongue. Painful Pleasures sells a Magic Wish Ball tongue ring that is sure to make you the life of any party. The ring comes in several popular colors, including black and hot pink, and retails for $15.99 plus shipping.

Magic Cuss Word Ball

A close cousin of the eight ball, these rings display a few choice phrases you can flash when you'd rather not say them aloud. Our favorite? #%$*!

Sensual Styles

While many people get a tongue piercing because they like the way it looks, some get one in hopes of adding more spice to their love life. To that end, here are two big sellers.

  • Vibrating tongue rings are somewhat hard to find in stock, but if you're persistent, they can be found. Each ring comes with a "key" that allows you to turn it on and off as you please. These units operate with watch batteries and retail around $25.00.
  • A TongueVine is actually more of an accessory than a ring. It is worn with your tongue ring, and it allows you to wear additional studs without punching more holes in your tongue. Each unit is made from surgical grade silicone, making them fairly comfortable and hypo-allergenic.


As you can see, this type of body jewelry offers a lot of variety, and there are far too many styles to be mentioned here. A trip to the mall, or an internet search, is bound to reveal a fashion that fits your own personal sense of style.

External Links

Tongue Rings