Smiley Piercing Information – Everything You Need to Know

Smiley Piercing Aftercare

In case you don’t know, a Smiley piercing (also called a lip frenulum piercing) is a perforation in the web underneath the top lip.

You know, that bit of skin which connects the top lip to the gum.

Cute and quirky looking, the smiley piercing has gained popularity over the past few years.

As with all oral piercings, there are certain things you should know before getting this piercing done. This piercing comes with it’s own risks; some of them are preventable if you look after it well.

To help you out, I have made this Smiley piercing information guide.

I will show you all the main things there are to know about the frenulum piercing.

How much does it hurt?

Smiley Piercing informationDue to how thin the skin of the frenulum is, the needle can pass through very easily and quickly.

So therefore, this piercing is not too high on the pain scale. The small amount of pain you do feel will be over with very quick. It will feel like a quick pinching sensation.

Many people claim that the clamp hurts more than the needle itself!

If you want to get this piercing, please make sure to have it done by someone who knows what they are doing. You do not want to get an infection in this area.

What are the risks of the smiley piercing?

As an oral piercing, the smiley comes with it’s own set of unique risks.

Wearing certain types of jewelry, such as ball closure rings can rub on the gums and cause gum recession which can be serious and cause tooth loss.

Your jewelry my also rub against your teeth and wear down your tooth enamel.

If you notice any dental problems you should consult your dentist immediately and consider either changing your jewelry to a curved barbell.

Smiley piercings have been known to be at risk of rejection and migration. If you notice your piercing is sitting differently on your teeth or feels extra sore, you should remove it.

How do you care for a smiley piercing?

Oral-B MouthwashIt is very important to look after your smiley piercing properly.

Here are some tips for caring for your smiley piercing:

  • Rinse with non-alcoholic mouthwash or saline solution (sea salt in warm water) after meals and before bed
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid spicy, hot or acidic foods
  • Avoid kissing and oral sex
  • Always wash your hands before touching
  • Avoid swimming as the water harbours bacteria
  • Make sure you have chosen sensible jewelry

By following these steps you will reduce the risk of infection.

Get more detailed smiley piercing aftercare instructions here.

How long does it take to heal?

The smiley piercing will take about 6 to 9 weeks.

This will vary from person to person.

Look after your piercing properly and the healing process will be quicker and less painful. Follow the steps above.

You should be rinsing your mouth out at least 3 times a day for the entire duration of the healing process.

What are the signs of infection?

During the healing process of this piercing it is perfectly normal to experience a certain degree of soreness, swelling and pain.

If you notice any more severe symptoms you may have an infection.

Symptoms of an infected smiley:

  • Excretions of foul smelling or green, grey or black pus
  • Extreme pain, swelling or tenderness
  • Severe non-stop bleeding
  • Bad breath or weird taste in mouth

If you notice one or more of these symptoms do not hesitate to see your piercer or doctor as soon as possible. Infection can be dangerous so please take this seriously.

What jewelry should you wear?

Curved Barbell
Wear a curved barbell in your smiley

Since the smiley is an oral piercing, you should select your jewelry very carefully.

Do not wear a ball closure ring or similar for too long as it will erode your gums and teeth.

You could always go for a curved barbell, these do not rub on the actual tooth and gum line quite as much but are still visible when you smile.

Wear jewelry made from a high quality metal. You could get away with using 316L surgical grade stainless steel. This is fine for most people but occasionally causes reactions as it contains traces of nickel.

If you have had a reaction to your jewelry in the past, be careful and choose a different material, such as the following:

  • Titanium
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • BioPlast/BioFlex
  • Dental acrylic

Note: Always sterilize new jewelry before wearing it!


The smiley piercing needs to be cared for very well if you are going to avoid the problems I mentioned above.

It will be worth it as once you are fully healed you can enjoy your new piercing.

You will have a new sparkle in your smile, making you look unique and fun. Show off your piercing when you’re on a night out and hide it when you’re at work (if your boss doesn’t like piercings).

If you have any more tips, experiences or questions, let me know by leaving a comment below.

I hope you enjoyed this post and I look forward to your response. Don’t forget to share with your friends!


20 Comments on Smiley Piercing Information – Everything You Need to Know

  1. Great explanation and very informative for those looking for this type of piercing. From the risks associated and the solutions you can apply, people will learn a lot by reading this article. Well done and thanks for posting this!

  2. My friend loves piercings and I am always checking to make sure she gets them done properly to avoid any risks or infections. This one is very quirky and she will probably have it soon.

    I will pass on your tips to her. Thank you!

  3. Hi there. Thanks for sharing important information. I have a friend who is planning to use this piercing and i think your article will be perfect for her. It is extremely important the process of healing and everyone should take your advice very seriously . I had a transversal piercing in my right ear quite sometime ago but it was never healing.. So I had to remove it. I believe I didn’t take care the proper way…
    You have a cool site. Gonna check for more information about the healing process.

    • Hi Stefan.

      I hope you will find the information you need here on my site. If you or your friend have any questions I will be happy to answer them.

      Thanks for taking your time to read my article and leave a comment.

  4. I like all the information you give about piercing. It won’t make your lips look thicker after doing the procedure? How painful is it? Is it the same as doing a belly button or ear piercing? Because I’m doing it all by myself in belly and ear piercing without pain reliever.

    • Hey Renelyn.

      No this won’t make your lips look thicker once it has healed. Whilst it is healing it may swell up a bit which may make your lip bigger for a while but it will go down in a few days.

      Just take care if you’re doing it all yourself. There are some piercing guides on my site.


  5. Hi Hannah
    ok what the heck is this? I have never seen such piercing lol! I must have been living under a rock or something. I usually like all piercings but I have to say that this one is a bit weird. I think it would certainly take a strong person to wear one! Once again, you explain the process of piercing and cleaning so well! Well done Hannah

  6. Very informative and well layed out post, easy for anyone to get to the questions they need answered.

    Great explanation on how to stop infection and look after yourself, especially for your younger audience who may not have thought about this part, and perhaps do not want to talk to their parents about!

    Thanks, Hayley

    • Hi Hayley.

      Thanks for reading and commenting my post. I hope I can make more people aware of the dangers of not looking after their piercings by doing more posts like this!


  7. Very good information! I admire people like you who know well and proud of what they want in life. I am glad to know that people share their insights and advice about piercing. Just like tattoos, for me, piercings are very nice if not overly done. Smiley piercing is great because you can actually hide it when you know it is not acceptable. Not many people can actually appreciate this kind of thing… Great post. 🙂

    • Hi Cesma.

      I’m so glad you enjoyed my post. I aim to please. Smiley piercings are great – you can dress them up or down depending on the situation.

      Thanks very much for stopping by – much appreciated!

  8. Hey Hannah, I love your articles, I always learn something new about piercing here. I’ve never heard heard about smiley piercing and I’ve never seen it, but I like how it looks on the photos. The downside seems to be the aftercare. Do you mean it’s best to avoid kissing and spicy food forever or just for a few weeks after having it done? Also, does it ever completely heal or it stays as an open wound for as long as you wear a barbell?

    • Hi Kams.

      I’m really pleased at the fact that you feel you’ve learnt something from my article. I’m a big fan of the smiley piercing myself. Its fun and quirky. You only see it when the person smiles so it’s easy to hide from work, family or school.

      To answer your question, you only need to avoid those things (kissing, spicy food etc) during the healing period. If you was to leave your jewelry out for too long, the hole would close up completely. When you are wearing a barbell in it, the skin will heal around the hole. Once the piercing is healed up it is no longer considered an open wound.

      Hope this answered your questions. Thanks a million.

  9. Awesome article. My only question is can you flip it upside down to hide it like you can a septum? (after the healing process of course). I know it can only be seen while smiling, but can it be flipped up and not seen even when you smile just like a septum ring disappears? Thanks so much!

    • Hey Kady.

      You can’t really flip the smiley piercing up in the same way as the septum piercing, although if you do need to hide it, that can be done very easily. Just get a smaller bit of jewelry (a small barbell would be perfect) in neutral coloured BioFlex or BioPlast rather than steel or acrylic.

      I hope this helps. Thanks for your interest.

  10. I’m thinking about getting this piercing myself and this helped in my research. I always do research on every one of my piercings because I’m very cautious about them being pierced correctly and not getting infected or rejecting. So thank you for this

    • Yes, doing research is always a good idea Mikkie. If you want the Smiley piercing, go ahead and get it. Look after it well and it shall heal up up look awesome on you.

      Thanks for reading.

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