The Truth About Smiley Piercings

The Truth About Smiley Piercings

August 26, 2021


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By Adam England/Aug. 26, 2021 12:43 pm EDT

When you think of piercings in and around your mouth, your mind might go to snakebite piercings or other piercings that go through the lip. Along with tongue piercings, lip piercings have long been popular options for people who want a piercing further down their face, but they’re certainly not the only options. 

The smiley piercing, which earned its nickname because it’s most visible when you smile, is inside your mouth. The piercing goes through the frenulum, which is the thin flap of tissue connecting your upper lip with your gum. Not everybody can get this piercing, as sometimes the frenulum is too small and thin, which leads to a higher chance of the piercing being rejected or ripped out too (via FreshTrends). However, it’s one that many people like, so it might be an option for you.

For everything you need to know about the smiley piercing, from pain to the healing process to the style of jewelry available and everything in between, just keep reading. 

Everything to expect with smiley piercings

Smiley piercings are perhaps more painful than you’d think. With the frenulum being such a thin piece of tissue, you might assume that it wouldn’t be a very painful area to get pierced, but piercings through thicker skin tend to actually hurt less. You’ll probably feel a sharp pain when the tissue actually gets pierced, but the pain should subside. According to FreshTrends, the smiley piercing is considered by some to hurt more than other types of lip piercings but less than cartilage piercings, so they fall perhaps somewhere around average or slightly above on the pain scale. 

As for the cost, you can expect perhaps something in the range of $30 to $90, depending on your location (via FreshTrends). Like with any piercing or other modification, it’s best not to scrimp on cost. It’s worth paying extra if it means the experience will be more pleasant and comfortable.

When it comes to choosing the jewelry, you’ve got plenty of options! At first, you might be fitted with either a horseshoe ring or a captive bead ring, both of which will make an appearance when you smile, while seamless rings are also a popular choice – the opportunities are endless (via FreshTrends)! No matter which type you go for, they’ll always look pretty subtle, and they’re easier to hide than many piercings if you’d rather not show it when at a job interview or if your great-aunt comes to visit.

What's the healing process like for smiley piercings?

Your mouth tends to heal quite quickly, but there’s a lot of bacteria living there too, so the amount of time it takes for a smiley piercing to heal depends on how well you care for it. In some cases, they can heal in as little as four weeks, but it could also take as long as three months. 

During your recovery process, it’s important to be mindful of what you eat. Of course, you need to eat, but you also don’t want to risk irritating the piercing or catching it on anything. You might want to stick to soft foods for a few days, just until you’re used to where the jewelry is in your mouth, and any swelling has subsided a little. Stay away from smoking too (via Byrdie), as it can dry out your mouth and introduce more bacteria too (via FreshTrends). 

Some of the usual post-piercing tips apply to smiley piercings, too. For one thing, you should rinse your mouth with a saline rinse two or three times a day, but when you’re not cleaning the piercing, you should leave it alone. Additionally, try to resist the urge to play with your piercing, as tricky as it might be, and don’t touch it if you can (via FreshTrends). Are you up for sporting one of these unique piercings?

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