What is a smiley piercing? A smiley is more appropriately called a lip frenulum piercing as it pierces the flap of tissue that connects the gums and upper lip. That sounds pretty gross but it’s actually a really cute peekaboo sort of piercing that’s only visible when the person with it smiles. Thus, the name smiley for this style of piercing.
If you’re curious about smiley piercings, we have compiled some important information about who is eligible for one, how the piercing is created, the risks associated with smilies, what types of jewelry are appropriate, and the right aftercare. We will pair this information with images of smiley piercings taken from social media to give the best idea of how these piercings often turn out and their limits. Let’s talk smiley!
Discover Playful Smiley Piercings Below!
A circular barbell piece of jewelry is one of the most common types to wear as your smiley piercing heals. In the above image, you can see that type of jewelry installed.
Another type of jewelry for your smiley is called a captive bead ring. This is another common piece of jewelry to wear as your piercing heals. It’s simply a ring that connects to a bead.
Seamless rings connect without the use of a bead. It makes for the perfect ring shape and can be switched with something fancier (like the studded ring above).
Here’s another seamless ring. This time, we find the ring adorned with a cute little butterfly shape. You can experiment with jewelry like this after your smiley piercing heals.
In addition to the style and shape of the jewelry, the material of the ring or barbell is also a factor you will need to consider with your piercer. For those with sensitive skin, surgical titanium is advised because it is least likely to cause an allergic reaction.
In addition to titanium, surgical stainless steel is also a great (mostly) hypoallergenic material. In fact, it’s probably the most common material used following a piercing.
Gold is a great material to wear as you heal. But, quality really matters! 14-karat yellow or white gold will serve you well. 18-karat will not hold up properly and any kind of gold-plated material can give you an allergic reaction.
How much do smiley piercings cost? Pricing varies by location and reputation of the piercing studio. For the piercing itself, expect to pay $30 to $100. This sometimes includes stainless steel jewelry but you might have to purchase the jewelry separately.
Who Is Eligible for a Smiley Piercing?
Not everyone has a frenulum that’s thick enough or shaped in a way that’s conducive for a smiley piercing. The piercer will need to take a look to determine if your one-of-a-kind frenulum is going to work out.
The Piercing Process
The piercing itself is very fast that’s complete in a few minutes or less. To start, you will be given a mouth wash. Then, the piercer will fold the upper lip back to expose the frenulum. The piercing is done with a sterile needle. It gets followed up with a piece of jewelry that’s installed.
Does It Hurt?
Each person has a different pain tolerance and the thickness of each frenulum is different. The thicker the flap of tissue the more pain you should expect. However, most people compare this with the pain of getting a lip ring or an earlobe piercing.
How Long Does the Pain Last?
The actual needle piercing the tissue lasts a matter of seconds. It’s done in the time it takes you to inhale and exhale. Slight irritation should be expected after that as you would expect in any other type of piercing.
The Risks to Consider Before Piercing
As with any piercing, smiley piercings can possibly become infected. However, because it’s your mouth, there is a heightened chance of infection especially if proper oral hygiene is not maintained or if you smoke. Rejection is always possible with or without the presence of an infection.
There’s a chance that the smiley piercing can cause gum recession. That’s if the piercing is placed too close to the gums. Further, too much rubbing of the gums can also cause damage.
Big beads and adornments might look cute but they can cause enamel damage to your teeth if the jewelry rubs against them too much.
In general, it takes a month or up to three months for your smiley piercing to heal. Barring an infection, slight swelling the first couple of weeks is normal and the discomfort should fade week over week.
Always listen to your piercing expert’s aftercare steps. In general, they will include a saline or sea salt rinse twice a day, rinsing with water after you eat, switching to a mild toothpaste, brushing your teeth twice a day, and using an alcohol-free mouthwash.
What to Avoid After Your Smiley Piercing
There are some behaviors that you will need to avoid until your piercing has healed. Try to limit talking the first couple of days after getting pierced. Don’t touch your piercing. Don’t drink alcohol. Don’t smoke. Avoid spicy, acidic, or crunchy foods. No kissing! It can introduce bacteria which may lead to infection.
Smiley Piercings Are Not Forever
Because the frenulum is such a delicate piece of tissue, most smiley piercings don’t last longer than a year. Further, there’s a lot of movement due to talking, eating, and other activities that cause these piercings to be rejected often.
Proper Care for the Win
If you want your smiley piercing to last longer than a year, continue proper care that’s outlined by your piercer. You might be able to keep it in for years if you’re careful.
After your smiley piercing has healed, you might want a change of jewelry. To do so, rinse your mouth with a sea salt or saline solution. Thoroughly wash your hands with an antibacterial soap. Unscrew the component that’s keeping your piercing in and carefully slide it out. As quickly and carefully as possible, push your new jewelry through and secure it. Rinse your mouth again.
Putting It to Bed
If your smiley piercing is uncomfortable or you have changed your mind, you might need to keep the jewelry in until it’s healed to avoid infection.
Talk to an Expert
Ask a piercing expert when and if it’s okay to remove your piercing. Even if you get the go-ahead to take out the jewelry, you should still perform the aftercare until the sight of the piercing has healed.
Is It Worth It?
Because the lifetime of a smiley piercing can be short, you might decide it’s not the right fit for you. Because these piercings take so long to heal it might not be worth the few pain-free months you get with it. But, that’s totally your call.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 25 Crazy Nose Piercings You Need to See to Believe
Just Keep Smiling
Smiley piercings are so big right now because they are so cute and cheerful. We hope you have a better understanding of how cute smiley piercings can be as well as the behind-the-scenes care involved.
There you go! We hope you learned some things about this style of piercings and that you will take them into account if you do go through with it. As you’ve seen, there’s no. right or wrong way to go about this type of piercing, just make sure you’re choosing a piercing expert that you trust. Now, put a smile on and get to piercing!
Andrew is an Assistant Editor for Mamas Uncut with over ten years of experience as a writer in the creative, marketing, and blogging spaces. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a passion for telling stories in a variety of mediums. Obsessively making lists, reporting celebrity news, and diving into emerging pop cultural topics are a few of his interests.
- 1 Discover Playful Smiley Piercings Below!
- 1.1 The Standard
- 1.2 Captive Bead
- 1.3 Seamless Ring
- 1.4 With Adornments
- 1.5 Materials
- 1.6 Stainless Steel
- 1.7 Gold Standard
- 1.8 Cost
- 1.9 Who Is Eligible for a Smiley Piercing?
- 1.10 The Piercing Process
- 1.11 Does It Hurt?
- 1.12 How Long Does the Pain Last?
- 1.13 The Risks to Consider Before Piercing
- 1.14 Gum Health
- 1.15 Enamel
- 1.16 Healing
- 1.17 Aftercare
- 1.18 What to Avoid After Your Smiley Piercing
- 1.19 Smiley Piercings Are Not Forever
- 1.20 Proper Care for the Win
- 1.21 Changing Jewelry
- 1.22 Putting It to Bed
- 1.23 Talk to an Expert
- 1.24 Is It Worth It?
- 1.25 Just Keep Smiling
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