Smiley Piercing: A Complete Guide To The Chic And Subtle Trend!

Adding extra shine to the Smile zone – Smiley piercing is the in thing!

Written by Rani Premkumar

On Mar 11, 2024 – 12 minutes read

Smiley Piercing

If you’re feeling bold and adventurous, consider getting a smiley piercing. It’s a great way to express your attitude and showcase your daring spirit. We’re all about embracing our wild side and letting our inner wild cat shine!

While dental hygiene is crucial, there’s no harm in adding a bit of oral ornamentation. Instead of opting for gemstones glued to your teeth by a dentist, why not try a less permanent, more fun option like smiley piercings?

If you have any doubts or concerns about getting a smiley piercing, such as how painful it might be or how to properly clean it, don’t worry! We’ll address all your questions and help you prepare for this exciting journey. Get ready for some fun!

What Are Smiley Piercings? 

Body piercings are a creative way to add more jewelry to your body apart from traditional jewelry like earrings, Bangles, Bracelets, anklets, chains, etc, and that too in strategic locations, say belly button and many more. Smiley piercing is the latest trend in body piercings. It aims to add that extra sparkle to your smile and a focal point that will make you look cool! The smiley piercing is named so for this reason that it will not be visible unless you smile. 

Smiley Piercings Jewelry

It is done by piercing the frenulum or the ‘Labial brake’, which is the flap of tissue that connects the upper lip to your upper gum. You can feel the frenulum when you push the tongue up your closed lips, as a thin tissue or fragment of skin, joins the lip and the gum. If your frenulum is thin, you cannot get a smiley piercing. 

Types Of Smiley Piercing 

Types Of Smiley Piercing 
  • Ordinary Smiley Piercing: This is done to accommodate a round-shaped barbell ring with a captive bead or seamless ring to adorn your smile. 
  • Vampire Smiley Piercing: It is a curved barbell with fangs at the ends. Choosing the right position is important for this piercing, as the piercing should show when you are smiling wide and not when you are giving a tight smile with fewer teeth. Here, the piercing position should be a bit higher than the other ones. 
  • Septum Smiley Piercing: The space between your nostrils is called the septum. There are combination piercings that go through the septum of your nose and smiley piercings. As you are aligning two piercings, it will look symmetrical and unique. 

Cost of Smiley Piercing 

Smiley piercings cost around thirty to ninety pounds. You should not choose the piercer blindly following cheaper offers. Do enough research and choose a place that gives priority to safety. You should ensure that the place uses hygienic, sanitized tools and procedures. 

The Procedure Of Smiley Piercing 

You will be asked to rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouth rinse before piercing. The piercer will then pull up the upper lip in order to expose the frenulum for piercing. The frenulum is then pierced with a sterile needle, after which they will thread the jewelry through the hole and then screw any beads in to hold the ring in position. 

Smiley Piercing Procedure

How Painful Is A Smiley Piercing? 

It depends on the pain tolerance level of each person. But do bear in mind that it is testified by those who have done this that it is like a sharp pain that won’t last long. It cannot be in comparison with the pain we get when we pierce our lips as the frenulum is extremely thin. When the tissue is extremely thin, we tend to underestimate the pain, while in actuality it will be shrill.

Good thing is that it only takes a few seconds and whoosh!- the pain is gone. In the case of ear piercing the pain indication chart will help you identify the most and least painful areas and determine which type of ear piercing you want to get.

The smiley piercing typically ranks at a four out of ten on the pain scale for most individuals, according to statistics. However, your pain tolerance may vary, so it’s best to gauge your own threshold. If you’re particularly sensitive to pain, even minor discomfort can feel excruciating during the smiley-piercing process.

Smiley Piercing Healing Time 

Mouth generally heals faster as the spices in our food as well as the saliva will hasten the smiley piercing healing time.

But given that the mouth houses a cornucopia of bacteria, it takes at least 4 to 12 weeks for the piercing to heal completely. But systematic aftercare can hasten the healing process. 

How to care for the smiley piercing to ensure safe and speedy healing? 

Aftercare for smiley piercings is not a herculean task. Keeping the mouth clean and avoiding snags to the jewelry is the key. 

Hygiene: You should also rinse your mouth with a good mouthwash after you dilute it with water swish it around the mouth for a minute or so and spit it out. You should be repeating this daily two to three times to avoid complications. There are specific mouth rinses for the aftercare of those who have done smiley piercings. 

Smiley Piercing Healing Time

Saline rinse: Use saline solution or a sea salt rinse, as the location does not allow for a saline soak. So you should do the saline rinse, taking extra time to soak the frenulum area with the saline solution to cut short the smiley-piercing healing time. 

Kiss: Proper oral hygiene is a must during the healing time period. Make sure you do air kissing and innocent kissing with the mouth closed, as the mouth harbors a lot from the bacterial population. So French kisses are strictly a no-no during the healing period

Avoid playing with the jewelry: In fact, you should not touch the healing piercing. Your fingers will have a lot of bacteria, which will get transferred to the pierced site and create havoc. Hence refrain from touching the jewelry too often. Moving the jewelry also may cause piercing rejection. And do not be tempted to play with the piercing with the tongue

Mind what you put into your mouth: Ensure that you do not irritate your piercing with extra spicy food. Try to stick to food that is soft and doesn’t need much chewing. Do not smoke or drink alcohol. Use alcohol-free mouthwash. Also, make sure you avoid acidic foods like tomatoes and lime. 

How Long Do Smiley Piercings Last? 

Smiley piercings are not permanent; they’re temporary adornments. Placed on the frenulum, a small and thin area that experiences a lot of movement during activities like talking and chewing, these piercings typically don’t last very long.

While some people may enjoy their smiley piercing for a few years, for others, it may only last around a year. However, if you’re seeking something fun and trendy, a smiley piercing is a great choice. It’s essential to note that since smiley piercings are ultimately rejected by the body after a few years, they’re not suitable for those seeking a permanent modification.

Pros Of Smiley Piercing

✔️ Trendy: Smiley piercing will definitely up your trendiness factor and style quotient. 

✔️ Subtlety: Smiley piercing is in a subtle location and is not a tacky one, given that it will be visible only when we smile and talk. This is in strong comparison to the other piercings like snake bite piercing, which are out for others to see. 

✔️ Simple procedure: It is not a complicated piercing, and it pains only for a shorter period during the piercing, unlike the other ones. 

✔️ Time-saving procedure: we can do smiley piercing within a short period and there are no elaborate formalities before, during, or after the piercing, other than the aftercare. 

✔️ Non- permanence: The great plus to this piercing is that it is non-permanent and when the trend or enthusiasm ebbs off, you need not make any effort to hide it. It is a temporary fixture, as the frenulum will ultimately reject it in a matter of a few years or less. 

✔️ Cosmetic: It will enhance the glitter of your smile and, yes, you will have one more reason to smile and laugh out! Smiling is said to make you look younger. The smiley piercing will ensure that you smile, thus making you shed a few years off you. 

Cons Of Smiley Piercing 

Impossibility: Even when you have the spirit to pierce, you can only do a smiley piercing if the frenulum allows it. If your piercer is of the opinion that the frenulum is not the right size for piercing, then that is the end of the story. 

Temporary: This is a temporary piercing and if you feel that all the trouble is for a temporary piercing, then a smiley piercing is not the thing for you. 

Complicated Aftercare: You may have to take care of your mouth with extra care, after the piercing, with mouth rinses twice a day. You won’t be able to eat hard and crisp food for some time till the piercing settles in. 

Inconvenience: A smiley piercing brings in a lot of inconvenience as with brushing your teeth, having to leave out certain food types, and being careful about mouth movements. To top it off, your lips will swell after the procedure, adding to your inconvenience. 

Watchfulness: Smiley piercing demands our care and vigilance, especially during the initial days of healing as there could be mild pain and swelling. But you should take care that no yellow or green pus is oozing out, showing signs of infection that need immediate medical attention. 

Changing the piercing: You can only change the jewelry after you have healed completely. Trying to remove it and swapping it with a better choice should be done only when the piercer approves that you have been healed completely or you may run the risk of infections, rejection, or piercing closure. 

Sports: If you are into any active sports, it may not be a good idea to do smiley piercing as it could potentially damage the teeth. 

Risks Associated With Smiley Piercing 

Smiley piercing also comes with its set of risks. Infected smiley piercing is just one of them.

  • Are you currently wearing braces? If you are, it’s advisable to wait until they are removed before getting a piercing. Braces can potentially catch on the jewelry, leading to discomfort or even causing the piercing to be rejected sooner. Additionally, certain metals like surgical stainless steel or gold-plated jewelry may cause irritation for individuals with sensitive mouths.
  • Smiley piercing risks rejection. When the body perceives the jewelry as an intruder, it may respond by building up more skin tissues to push out the piercing from the location. 
  • Smiley piercings carry various health risks, including dental issues, infections, and headaches. The constant presence of headaches is a common concern with body piercings, especially when the piercing site is narrow and thin, potentially intensifying the pain and triggering headaches, particularly for individuals prone to headaches and migraines.
Smiley Piercing Healing Time 
  • Smiley piercing teeth damage is a possibility for those who suffer from enamel wear, gum disease, receding gum lines, and other oral complications. In case of enamel wear, the jewelry can rub against the teeth and worsen the situation. If you have gum disease, the jewelry can cause friction and micro-tears and cause inflammation and infections. 
  • Gum damage: If the piercing is not placed properly, it may cause receding gums over time. Smiley piercing jewelry that constantly rubs against your gums also can cause gum damage. 
  • Infection: With eating, kissing, and other oral actions, there is a high possibility for the bacteria to get lodged in the pierced region, risking numerous infections that could cause damage to teeth due to smiley piercing in the long run. 
  • Teeth chipping: The jewelry can keep knocking on your teeth, hence you may risk teeth chipping. 

How To Clean A Smiley Piercing? 

There is no greater care that is necessary than the basic oral hygiene regimen, once the piercing is healed. You can brush your teeth as normal, but when it comes nearer to the piercing, you should not brush rigorously. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, to be on the safer side. You can brush the smiley piercing jewelry with your brush in light strokes. You can also move the jewelry with a finger and brush underneath it, to ensure that you are brushing, leaving no spot uncovered. You should ideally brush twice a day. 

  • It is important to know exactly how to clean a smiley piercing during the healing period.
  • It is advised you clean your mouth with sea salt or saline solution twice a day.
  • Rinse your mouth thoroughly after eating.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day with an alcohol-free mouthwash.

To keep your smiley piercing clean, stay away from the following:

  • Smoking or drinking alcohol.
  • Alcohol-containing rinses or toothpastes.
  • Hot and spicy foods.
  • Highly acidic foods such as tomatoes.
  • Too hard or crunchy foods.
  • Touch or play with the jewelry

You can use diluted mouthwash and floss afterward to ensure that your mouth does not harbour any unnecessary bacteria. 

Smiley Piercing Jewelry 

You pierce for the jewelry, right? 

Immediately after you pierce, you will be fitted with a captive bead ring, which shows a tiny bead below your upper lips when you smile. These are easily insertable, which makes them the go-to jewelry choice for beginners.

Smiley Piercing Jewelry 
  • Many opt for a jeweled captive bead ring for the double x sparkle! 
  • A seamless ring is another option chosen by those who do not want extra drama in their mouth. 
  • The third option would be circular barbell jewelry, where the two beads at the end will make the piercing noticeable when you smile. 
  • The options for non-corrosive metal for jewelry are surgical titanium, especially if you have sensitivities, surgical stainless steel, niobium, and gold. You may have to stick to 14-karat gold or white gold during the healing phase. But gold-plated jewelry is not an option as it can lead to infections and allergies. 
1. Is a smiley piercing safe?

Smiley piercing is safe if you get it done from a certified studio and follow the aftercare routine given in this article.

2. How long can you keep a smiley piercing?

Smiley piercings can last from a few months to years after they are healed. The lip frenulum being thin, for some people, their body will start to reject the piercing.

3. How much does a smiley piercing hurt?

Smiley piercing is relatively less painful than other piercings thanks to the lip membrane being very thin and has very few nerve endings.

4. Are smiley piercings dangerous?

Smiley piercings are not dangerous if done by a professional in the right position, that is, without affecting your teeth or gums.


The smiley piercing has emerged as a significant trend in the world of piercings, right up there with Pierce Brosnan! winks. Now that you’re informed about the preparations, aftercare, and potential side effects of smiley piercing, why wait to join the trend? It’s a subtle yet stylish piercing that complements the modern, classy woman, and you know what sets a lady apart from a woman! Embrace your classy self! ❤️

  1. MGA Dental. (2022). Frenulum in the mouth – possible problems, treatments, and frenectomy. (Online). Available at

  2. American Association for the Advancement of Science. (2023). Kisses transfer 80 million bacteria. (Online). Available at


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Rani is a women’s lifestyle coach with a knack for translating high fashion into accessible, everyday looks. She has helped countless women embrace their personal style, fostering confidence and self-expression.

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