If you have recently had your tongue pierced you most likely received information from your piercer on how to keep your mouth, and your piercing, healthy and healing. This includes not taking out whatever style of tongue ring barbells that your piercer used until you are fully healed.
However, if you went to a professional piercer then he or she likely asked you to come back into about two weeks for a check-up. This allows the professional to look at the actual piercing and make sure there are no complications and that healing is progressing on schedule. At this same appointment your piercer will also switch the longer style of tongue ring barbells for a short shaft; this is an important step you should not skip.
The reason why a piercer will want to change out tongue ring barbells is because the longer shaft, which is there to allow for natural swelling after the piercing, poses additional risk of chipping the teeth. Clicking the bottom, or the top, of tongue ring barbells against the inside of the upper or lower top teeth is not just a bad habit, it can do serious damage to your teeth. Once the enamel chips off it cannot be replaced and will lead to cavities, discoloration and even tooth loss.
Choosing a length of tongue ring barbells that allows a bit of movement up and down on the tongue without too much space is important. This will also help to prevent the bottom of tongue ring barbells from catching on the bottom teeth when you speak or move your tongue, which can cause tears and build up scar tissue over time.
If you have tongue ring barbells that are too long there will also be heavy contact with the bottom of your mouth under your tongue. Over time this can create irritated areas that are painful and can become infected or build up scar tissue that prohibits your tongue from resting naturally in your mouth.
You need to have some space between the bottom of both ends of tongue ring barbells and the surface of the tongue. This allows you to clean plaque and food particles off the metal or acrylic to help prevent bad breath and bacterial growth in your mouth.