So, you’ve decided to make a piercing. Congratulations — it’s a decision that needs certain courage. Hope that you’ve given much thought to it, considered all the pros and cons, talked to your piercer and slept on this idea — but even if you haven’t, we have something for you here.
It’s a text that will answer all your possible questions about smiley piercing. How much does it cost to do it? What are the types of smiley piercing? How to take care about it, how to change and clean it, the pros and cons of such piercing, the problems that may happen during the procedure and after (and how to avoid them)… We’ve tried to make this text as informative as possible, in order to make it easier for you to make the choice. After reading this article, you’ll know everything about smiley piercing, so you’ll not have any surprises when you visit your piercer. Let’s go!
What is a smiley piercing?
Nice question. Actually, there are many types of piercing — almost as many as the parts of your body! What’s more, all the types are subdivided into even more sub-types, so there are literally dozens of piercing types. Thus, there are 9 types of ear piercing, 6 types of eye piercing and 4 types of nose piercing, can you imagine that? Smiley piercing isn’t as popular as other piercings, for example — more than 75% of people prefer ear, navel and nose piercing. Such piercings are more mainstream, more popular and you will most likely see people with such piercings if you walk down the street.
However, we are talking about smiley piercing here, so let’s be more detailed.
Smiley piercing is a name for the thing, that is actually called “upper lip frenulum piercing” or inner upper lip piercing, if you like. Frenulum is a small part of your body, that links your gums to lips. You can touch it right now with your tongue — move the tongue between gums and lips (above teeth) and try to find a strip of skin there. Found it? That’s what an “upper lip frenulum” is, and that’s exactly where your smiley piercing will be situated.
We love smiley piercing because it’s not as “open” as, for instance, ear or nose piercing. The thing is, this piercing is hidden most of the time — people will see it only when you smile (and thus show your upper lip frenulum). It’s like your little secret — no one will know that you have unless you want them to know. And as you’ve already understand, that’s exactly why it’s called “smiley”: because there’s no piercing if there’s no smile!
Smiley piercing jewelry: rings, barbells, studs
When it comes to choosing what kind of smiley piercing jewelry (rings? barbells? studs?) should you use, it’s all about your personal preferences, of course. You can try everything, maybe not one ring but two or three options (and then choose one of them) — it’s only your choice. However, there is one, main rule that you have to follow. All in all, it’s a piercing inside the mouth — and it’s quite a sensitive zone, so you should be very careful with it. Let’s talk about this rule.
In short words: you have to choose something small for the first time. Heavy rings and barbells are quite cool and look great, but when you only begins, you shouldn’t even look that way. It’s a very, very delicate zone, and we are sure that you don’t want to harm it, right? That’s why small gauge (16-18G, which is less than 0.5 inch in diameter) would work great. Then, in a few months, you will be able to try something heavier.
Oh, and of course, the size must be fine enough to not scrape your teeth and gums — because gums and teeth damage is not what you are looking for, I guess.
When it comes to the type of jewelry, as we’ve said, it depends on your preferences only. However, if it’s your first time, we highly recommend starting with a small ring, ball or barbell. These types of jewelry would fit best for the beginners.
We’ve collected some Amazon links to the best rings, barbells and other types of jewelry that would be great for your smiley piercing. They are small, lightweight, have positive reviews and some of them are made from surgery steel, and this metal is probably the best choice for inner top lip piercing.
Take a look:
Piercingj 2-6pcs 16g Clear Cubic Zirconia Stainless Steel
Freshtrends Stainless Steel Curved Eyebrow Ring
Covet Body Jewelry – 16g Gauge 1/2″ 12mm Horseshoe Ring
Rainbow Anodized Stainless Steel Eyebrow
Bodyjewellery 16g 16 Gauge 5/16 Inch Surgical Steel
Covet Body Jewelry – 16g Gauge 1/4″ 6mm Horseshoe Ring
Bodyjewellery 16g 16 Gauge 1/2 Inch Surgical Steel Eyebrow
Body Accentz Nipple Ring Bars
Read the reviews carefully. For some people, these pieces of jewelry, for others — waste of money. If you are interested in one of them but not sure if it’s worth its money, remember that you can always ask a question to the manufacturer or to the seller — they will gladly help you.
Well, let’s continue and talk about the price of such piercing.
How much does it cost to get your smiley pierced
As every piercing, it’s not a very expensive thing. Unless you’ve decided to install some golden ring with diamond, but such cases are very rare, of course. The price of the jewelry depends on the brand (if the manufacturer is very reputable, you will have to pay more), and on the material of the jewelry (of course, the ring will cost much more than the ring, made of stainless or surgery steel). You’ll have to choose the jewelry very carefully, and, taking into account the fact all people (and their lip frenulums) are different, it would be wise to talk to your piercer before starting the process.
By the way, the price of the process itself depends on a few factors:
- The place where you will do your piercing;
- The professional level of your piercer.
In most of cases, you will spend $30-$100 on your smiley piercing — but if your piercer says that it would cost more than that, it’s not a problem — most likely, it’s just a very good and expensive place. If a piercer says that it would cost $15-20, we highly recommend to find something else. It looks like something not very reputable.
It makes sense that the more reputable the place is, the more you will have to pay for your piercing. You can google for body piercing shop in your area, we are sure you’ll find a few. Of course, it’s not necessary to visit each of them (for many people, reviews, feedbacks and ratings are usually enough), but we recommend to make some visits. Talk to piercers, take a look, choose and make it, all in all!
That “talk to piercer” point is very important, by the way. Of course, the professionals with 10 years of work experience will take more than people with 1-2 years of experience. It’s only you who chooses, of course, but if you can visit a more experienced person, we recommend to do it.
How to care for a smiley piercing
Ok, you have done a cool scrumper piercing — all your friends are delighted by it, the pain has reduced and now it’s high time to think about one question: how to care for a smiley piercing?
Well, just as in the previous paragraph, there are some rules you have to follow. If you don’t follow them, you will most likely have certain problems: you will contaminate your piercing with bacteria and thus get an infection right under top lip (or under bottom lip, it doesn’t matter). We’ll talk about the possible problems at the end of the text, so continue reading!
But now we are talking about taking care of your new smiley piercing. Let’s get back to the rules, mentioned before.
They are quite simple: in short words, you have to do three things. The first thing is doing everything possible to minimize the pain, the second one is helping your piercing to heal as soon as possible and the third thing you have to do is to keep your new piercing clean. Let’s be more detailed.
Let’s talk about reducing the pain and about stimulating the healing. Unfortunately, smiley piercing hurts (just like any other face piercing) — and while we can’t do anything with the pain during the process itself, we still can reduce the pain after the piercing is done. To do this, you will have to follow these tips:
- Сhoose the jewelry, that is made of non-allergic materials. If you have an allergy to stainless steel, for example, you can buy a ring or a stud, made of something else (like a surgery steel). Gold would be fine, too — non-oxidizing materials would work perfect when it comes to a frenulum piercing. Just like any other piercing, of course. If you choose a non-allergic material, your piercing will heal faster which means the pain will reduce faster, too.
- Don’t touch the jewelry. We understand that it’s quite difficult, well, because you have something new under your lips and it’s almost impossible not to touch it every hour. But you must forget about it for a few days — just don’t touch it, nor with your hands neither with your tongue. In other case, cuts may appear in the area of your piercing, so touching your new piercing may lead to some problems, like infections. If you don’t do it, piercing will heal faster, too.
- Use anti-bacterial sprays that help to kill the bacteria. It’s very easy to clean your piercing from these sprays, so you will most likely not have any problems with it. These sprays are extremely helpful because they will kill the bacteria and thus will prevent the infections. But be careful with them — some of them may cause pain or allergies, so make sure you don’t have an allergy to the components of these sprays. You can buy these sprays in your piercing club (they usually sell piercing-related goods like these sprays) or on Amazon — it would be much cheaper.
Here are some links:
Easypiercing Anti-bacterial Body Piercing Aftercare
X-pressions Piercing Spray 2oz Piercing Aftercare
H2ocean 4oz Piercing Aftercare Spray
Now we’ll talk about cleaning your piercing. The rules are very simple here, too.
- Don’t chew your food with front teeth. During the first 5-7 days you have to use only back and side teeth, because chewing food with front teeth can lead to two bad things: damaging of the frenulum and bleeding. Your frenulum has already been damaged by the needle of the piercer (that’s exactly why it hurts now!), so don’t damage it one more time. This rule is even more important if you have a so called anti smiley piercing (it’s a piercing under a lower lip) — the frenulum of your lower lip is much more in danger because of food particles that can cause an infection.
- The last thing you have to do is to clean your new piercing with soft brush. It’s not only about piercing itself, of course — you will have to clean all the area around the piercing in order to avoid infection on the piercing.
If you follow these simple rules, it’s most likely that everything would be perfect with your new piercing. You can be sure that if you follow them, the pain will reduce as soon as possible and your piercing will stay clean. That’s almost everything you need to know.
How to change smiley piercing
So, you’ve done a smiley piercing, lived with it for a few months and now you want to change it. It’s a cool idea, but how to do it? There are actually two options. The first one is to visit your piercer — he will take your piercing out and put the new one without any problems, but it would be more expensive than doing it by yourself.
If you choose the second do-it-yourself option, here’s what you need to do:
- Wash your hands with any antibacterial liquid (but without alcohol, of course, because it may hurt in this case). Done? Then let’s continue.
- Unscrew the jewelry you have under your upper lip. We recommend to use a tissue to do it.
- Then, make sure that you don’t lose the hole (use the new jewelry for it).
- Put the new jewelry into the hole and check if it is secured in this place.
- Done. Congratulations, you’ve changed your smiley piercing!
Please, make sure that the gauge of your new piercing is the same as the gauge of your old one. It’s necessary in order to not to damage your gum. If you want to install bigger jewelry, please, visit your piercer instead of doing it by yourself.
How to clean a smiley piercing
We’ve already told the main rules of cleaning your smiley piercing. You have to use soft brush and antibacterial sprays, because that’s how you will destroy and remove bacteria which can lead to infection. But that’s not all.
There are two more rules you have to follow if you want to clean your smiley piercing. Well, it’s not about “if you want”, of course, it’s much more like a necessary action — because we are sure you don’t want bacteria to grow in your mouth, right? Getting a problem (like infection) because of a piercing is not your choice, we are sure.
That’s why we recommend to rinse your mouth with special liquids. You’ve probably already heard or even used them — they are called mouthwashes, and actually, they are necessary even if you don’t have a smiley piercing. Rinse your mouth with special mouthwashes, like those from Biotene or Crest-Pro:
Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection Alcohol Free Rinse 1L, Refreshing Fresh Mint – 2 Pack
Biotene Dry Mouth Oral Rinse, Fresh Mint 16 Oz
But be careful and don’t use such mouthwashes as Listere, for example — such liquids contain alcohol, so they will clean your piercing and mouth, but they will also make the process of healing much longer. And it may hurt, so avoid the mouthwashes, which don’t have “alcohol-free” at the bottles.
Another thing you can use to clean your mouth and piercing is warm sea salt. Make a salt solution: add ¼ teaspoon of salt to warm water (half of the glass would be enough), put the cotton swab inside this solution, then clean your piercing with this cotton swab. When it’s done, you can be sure that there are no bacteria on your piercing anymore and no infection will appear. You have to repeat this action several times a day in order to get the best possible result.
Interested in sea salt? We’ve collected the best of such goods here. Choose any of them:
Sherpa Pink Gourmet Himalayan Salt
Minera Natural Dead Sea Salt
Aztec Coarse Unrefined Sea Salt 100% Natural Gourmet Kosher
During the first weeks, you have to do everything in order to prevent bacteria from growth. Anti-bacterial sprays, salt water, mouthwashes — all is fair in this war.
Does a smiley piercing hurt? Is pain really severe?
Let’s now talk about a very popular myth about smiley piercing. Well, no, it’s a myth about all types of piercing — you’ve definitely heard these rumours about severe pain during piercing.
It’s not true. Well, it’s 95% not true, but many people are still sure that piercing is the most painful thing in the world, so we are going to ruin this myth. Let’s talk about it.
The thing is, pain is a very relative term, and the level of pain during a smiley piercing depends on your tolerance for pain. We mean that, if you are a person with high level of pain tolerance, you will most likely cope well with this procedure. However, you shouldn’t worry about pain even if you have a low pain tolerance, because of some features of such piercing.
What you have to know here is that smiley piercing isn’t as painful as the other types of piercing. Frenulum is a very sensitive area, of course, but it’s a very thin and small strip of skin — it means that the needle will pass through this strip in less than one second. The less time is needed for a needle to pass through skin, the less pain you will follow — so smiley piercing is probably one of the less painful piercings.
That’s why you don’t have to worry about it. Even if your pain tolerance is low, smiley piercing is one of the solutions to this problem. Another solution is to stop thinking about piercing at all, but we believe that’s not what you will choose.
Basically, you have to think about the pain that will appear after your piercing is done — during the first week, it may be a real problem. Let’s talk about the steps you have to take in order to reduce this problem.
Smiley piercing aftercare
You will feel pain during first 7-14 days, that’s a fact. You can’t do anything with it, so let’s just try to do what we can here.
We’ve already told you how to minimize the pain — don’t touch the jewelry with tongue or hands, use antibacterial sprays and mouthwashes, rinse mouth with salt water… Let’s continue this list. How to take care about your new smiley piercing and what to do in order to make the first weeks easier?
Be careful with tearing the skin. Your piercing, whether it’s a straight barbell, a ring or anything else, can tear the frenulum and thus damage it. Make sure you don’t have such a problem.
Brush teeth carefully. Don’t clean your piercing with a brush, because that’s another way to damage the wound even more. It will lead to pain and infections, so don’t do it, it’s simple.
Don’t eat spicy foods. The particles of food can get into the wound and it will 100% lead to infection, but particles of spicy food will also cause burning and pain.
Don’t touch, play with it and try to remove it. We’ve already told you not to touch your new piercing, but it’s a very important rule, so why not? If you want to remove it, visit your piercer and he will help you. In most cases, it’s free so you will not spend a dime on it.
Watch carefully for it not to migrate. It’s a very common problem for those who have smiley piercing. The thing is, your jewelry can just slip out — to avoid it, watch your piercing carefully.
If the bleeding continues for 2 or 3 days, consult a piercer and doctor. Bleeding is normal if we are talking about the first hours after the procedure, but when it’s two days since everything is over, it’s a problem. Call your doctor immediately if you see a blood!
Smiley piercing cost: price of the procedure and of the jewelry
Sometimes, piercing is very expensive. When your piercer does something special and exotic, when the jewelry is made of gold with diamonds in it — the price can be very high.
However, when we are talking about smiley piercing cost, the price isn’t a problem. In the majority of cases, you will spend $30-100 on this procedure. Such a wide range can be explained by a big number of piercing salons (and piercers) — it makes sense that the more popular and cool the salon is, the more you will pay for your smiley piercing in this salon.
The price of the jewelry can be quite various, too. Small barbell made of a surgery steel can cost about $7, or $10, but if you want something more expensive, you can even spend $150 on a ring, made of a white gold!
Scrap Metal 23316l Surgical Steel
Piercingj 2-5pcs 16g 3/8″ (10mm) Stainless Steel
Mspiercing 14k Gold Nipple Ring
As you see, you can find a cheap, good salon and buy a stainless steel ring — in this case, you’ll spend something like $50 or so. Or, you can find the most popular salon in your city, buy a golden barbell with stones and spend something like $300. Finally, it’s only up to you what to choose — a cheap piercing or something more premium and exotic.
Smiley piercing Infections
Infections are the main reason why you must follow the rules we’ve described earlier. If you don’t follow them, you will have an infection (and it will hurt) — that’s why you have to clean your piercing.
The problem here is that when the piercing is “outside” (like ear piercing, for example), you can look at your ear and notice if something is going wrong. When a piercing is inside your mouth, it’s a problem to spot the beginning of the infection — and that’s why you will most likely understand that there is a problem when this problem will become really serious.
Don’t want to get an infection? Follow cleaning and aftercare rules, examine the piercing area every single day (at least during the first week, when the would hurts). You will need to use a flashlight of your phone and mirror in order to notice the smallest details, like redness and swelling near your piercing.
If you’ve noticed any of these signs (and feel pain or fever), it’s most likely an infection. In this case, we recommend consulting a doctor as soon as possible – he will help you to treat the infection. Please, do it without delay, because if you will ignore this small problem, the complications would soon become a great problem.
Smiley piercing is an exotic and quite new type of piercing. However, it looks really cool and it would fit for both men and women – so it doesn’t matter if you are а guy or a girl and you want to have piercing, it’ll look very cool. Just follow the rules we’ve mentioned before and everything will be fine.