Smiley Piercing- Things to Know Before Getting One

The term ‘Smiley piercing’ may sound strange to people who are new to the piercing world.

The Smiley piercing gets its name from where it’s located and how it looks. It’s done on a small piece of skin called the frenulum. This is the strip connecting your upper lip to your gums. It’s just inside your mouth.

This piercing becomes visible when you smile, hence the name “Smiley”. It’s a subtle yet playful piercing, often done using a small, curved barbell or a captive bead ring.

Sounds interesting? Let’s get into the details to reveal all the secrets of smiley piercing.

Inner lip piercing
Inner lip piercing

Is Smiley Piercing Too Painful?

Well, most people report that the pain is sharp but brief. It’s commonly described as less painful than other popular piercings, like the nose or ear cartilage. The initial sensation is usually a quick pinch followed by some discomfort, which fades relatively quickly.

The Smiley piercing is done on the frenulum, a thin strip of tissue inside the mouth. This area can be sensitive, but it’s also relatively small, which often makes the piercing process quick.

After the piercing, some tenderness, swelling, or a slight burning sensation can occur. This is normal and part of the healing process. It’s important to follow the aftercare instructions given by your piercer to minimize discomfort and prevent infection.

Pierced Smiley
Pierced Smiley Picture

What Jewelry to Wear for A Smiley Piercing?

There are not a lot of jewellery options for a smiley piercing. But below are the most popular ones.

1. Captive Bead Rings

Captive Bead Rings (CBRs) are a popular choice for Smiley piercings. They consist of a metal ring with a small bead that fits snugly into place. This type of jewelry is simple and elegant, making it a go-to option for many.

The general cost of CBRs for Smiley piercings ranges from $10 to $30, depending on the material and design. They are available in various metals like stainless steel, titanium, and even gold.

2. Circular Barbells

Circular barbells, often referred to as horseshoe barbells, offer a versatile look for Smiley piercings. These barbells have a curved shape with balls on each end, visible when you smile.

They’re easily customizable with different colored balls or gems. Circular barbells typically cost between $15 to $40. The variety in materials and designs, like anodized colors or gem-encrusted balls, can influence the price.

3. Seamless Rings

Seamless rings provide a clean and minimalistic look for Smiley piercings. They are essentially smooth hoops without visible balls or beads, creating a sleek appearance. Seamless rings are generally priced between $10 and $30.

They are a great option for those who prefer a subtler style and come in various materials, including hypoallergenic options like titanium.

4. Beaded Rings

Beaded rings add a decorative flair to Smiley piercings. These rings come with small beads or charms, offering a unique and personalized touch.

The cost of beaded rings can range from $15 to $40, depending on the complexity of the design and the quality of the materials used. They are perfect for those looking to add a bit of character to their piercing.

5. Spiral Barbells

Spiral barbells are a distinctive choice for Smiley piercings, featuring a spiral design that wraps around the frenulum.

This type of jewelry stands out due to its unique shape and style. Spiral barbells are generally priced from $20 to $50. They are less common but provide an eye-catching alternative to traditional piercing jewelry.

Can Everyone Get a Smiley Piercing?

No, not everyone is a suitable candidate for a Smiley piercing, as it depends on individual anatomy and oral health.

The key factor is the size and shape of the frenulum, the small fold of tissue connecting the upper lip to the gums. Some people have a prominent and thick frenulum which is ideal for a Smiley piercing.

Others might have a very thin or practically non-existent frenulum, making this type of piercing impossible or prone to quick rejection.

Moreover, oral health is another crucial consideration. If you have a history of gum disease, receding gum lines, or weak enamel, a Smiley piercing might pose a risk.

The jewelry can cause irritation or damage to the gums and teeth over time, especially if it’s not the right size or if the piercing is not well-maintained.

Pain tolerance and personal lifestyle should also be considered. Those who play contact sports, use musical instruments that involve the mouth, or have professions (that require a lot of speaking) might find a Smiley piercing inconvenient or uncomfortable.

How Can You Get A Smiley Piercing?

Getting a Smiley piercing involves a straightforward procedure.

  • First, you need to choose a reputable piercing studio. Look for a place with good reviews and high hygiene standards. Once you’re at the studio, the piercer will discuss the process with you. They will explain the risks and aftercare instructions.
  • Next, the piercer examines your frenulum. This is the small fold of skin inside your upper lip. They check if it’s suitable for piercing. If it is, they’ll proceed with the piercing process.
  • The area is then cleaned thoroughly. This is to prevent infection. The piercer marks the spot where the piercing will go. They use a special pen for this.
  • Using sterile equipment, the piercer quickly and carefully pierces the frenulum. The piercing itself is usually quick. It may cause a sharp pinch or discomfort.
  • After the piercing, the piercer inserts the jewelry. This is usually a small ring or barbell. The piercer will make sure it’s secure and comfortable.
  • Finally, the piercer will give you aftercare advice. This includes how to clean the piercing and what to avoid during healing. Following these instructions is crucial for a smooth healing process.
Inside Upper Lip Piercing
Smiley Piercings

How Does A Smiley Piercing Heal?

The healing process for a Smiley piercing goes through several stages:

  • Initial Healing: This is the first stage right after getting pierced. You might experience swelling, redness, and some bleeding. It’s normal to feel discomfort or tenderness in the pierced area. This stage typically lasts for a few days to a week. It’s important to follow the aftercare instructions provided by your piercer during this period to prevent infection and promote healing.
  • Intermediate Healing: During this stage, the swelling and redness subside. The area around the piercing begins to heal, but it’s still sensitive. This phase can last a few weeks. It’s crucial to continue with your aftercare routine, including cleaning the piercing as advised.
  • Final Healing: In the final stage, the piercing should be mostly healed. The discomfort should have significantly reduced or disappeared. This stage can take several weeks to months, depending on your body’s healing process. Even if the piercing seems healed, you must maintain good oral hygiene and keep the area clean.
  • Fully Healed: Once fully healed, the piercing shouldn’t cause any pain or discomfort. The tissue around the jewelry will have healed completely. This can take anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks, sometimes longer.

At this point, you can consider changing the jewelry, but it’s recommended to do this with the assistance of a professional piercer.

Aftercare Instructions for A Smiley Piercing

Take care of a Smiley piercing to experience a smooth healing process. Here are some essential aftercare tips:

Maintain Oral Hygiene: Keep your mouth clean to avoid infections. Use an alcohol-free, antibacterial mouthwash after eating, drinking, or smoking. Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush to maintain overall oral hygiene.

Rinse with Saline Solution: Using a saline solution to clean the piercing area is the most common practice. You can do this at home. Just take non-iodized sea salt (a quarter teaspoon) in a cup of warm distilled water and mix it. Then, rinse the wounded area two to three times a day.

Avoid Playing with the Jewelry: Don’t twist, turn, or move the jewelry unnecessarily. This can irritate the piercing and delay healing.

Be Cautious with Food and Drink: In the initial days, eat soft foods to avoid irritating the piercing. Avoid spicy, acidic, or very hot foods and drinks that can aggravate the wound.

Limit Alcohol and Smoking: Alcohol can increase swelling, and smoking can introduce harmful bacteria. It’s best to limit these, especially in the first few weeks after getting pierced.

Avoid Irritating Products: Steer clear of oral products that contain alcohol or strong chemicals, as they can irritate the piercing. Opt for gentle, alcohol-free mouthwashes instead.

Minimize Mouth Movement: In the first few days post-piercing, try to limit excessive talking, smiling, or other facial movements that might stress the pierced area. This helps reduce irritation and allows the piercing to start healing.

Cold Compresses: To reduce swelling, gently apply a cold compress or suck on ice cubes. This can provide relief and minimize discomfort, especially in the initial days following the piercing.

Watch Your Diet: Initially, it’s wise to eat soft, non-spicy foods to avoid aggravating the piercing. Foods that are too hot or contain small particles (like seeds or grains) can get stuck in the piercing and cause discomfort or infection.

Cost Breakdown for a Smiley Piercing

The total cost of getting a Smiley piercing is not the same everywhere. It varies according to several factors. Let’s look at the details below.

  • Piercing Fee: This is the cost charged by the piercer for performing the piercing. In the USA, the piercing fee for a Smiley typically ranges from $40 to $80. The price can be higher in high-end studios or urban areas with a higher cost of living.
  • Jewelry Cost: The initial jewelry used for the piercing is often included in the piercing fee. However, if you want a specific type or design (like gold or a piece with gemstones), it can cost more. Basic surgical steel or titanium jewelry might be included in the base price, but more decorative pieces can range from $10 to $50 or more.
  • Aftercare Products: You’ll need to purchase a saline solution for cleaning, which can cost around $5 to $15. If you prefer making your own saline solution, the cost will be less, only requiring non-iodized sea salt and distilled water.
  • Additionally, you might want to invest in an alcohol-free, antibacterial mouthwash, which can cost about $5 to $10.
  • Additional Costs: If you’re considering changing the jewelry once the piercing has healed, there will be additional costs for new jewelry, which can vary greatly depending on the material and design.

Also, consider potential follow-up visits to the piercer for check-ups or assistance with changing the jewelry, which may or may not incur extra charges.

Total Estimated Cost

Minimum Total: Around $50 – $65 (basic piercing service with standard jewelry and minimal aftercare products).

Average Total: About $70 – $150 (including higher-quality jewelry and a full range of aftercare products).

Maximum Total: Can exceed $200 if opting for high-end jewelry, premium aftercare products, and additional professional services.

Last Words

We are done discussing one of the most unique piercings; smiley piercing.

While not overly painful, this piercing’s suitability varies based on individual anatomy and oral health. The piercing process is straightforward, and proper aftercare is crucial for healing. Jewelry options range from captive bead rings to more decorative beaded rings, with costs varying for piercing, jewelry, and aftercare products.

Remember to maintain oral hygiene and consult with a professional piercer to ensure a safe and satisfying piercing experience.

Leave a Comment