Smiley Piercing: Infection, Pain, Healing, Risks, Jewelry

Body piercing, a form of body modification, has been practiced since historic times. Traditionally, it used to be a part of tribal customs and culture.

Ear and nose piercings adorned with ornaments are common in all cultures worldwide.

Currently, piercing of the eyebrows, frenulum, lip, or tongue is done by many as an extreme fashion and style that involves pain and rarity. Numerous other interesting body piercings are done for the sake of painful pleasures and beauty.

At the moment, smiley piercings are one of the most popular oral piercings. It is a fashion trend that gained popularity in the 1990s. The risks associated with piercing in the mouth are much higher than those of the skin.

Many people, especially in the fashion and music industry, consider oral piercing as an exotic style with X-factor beauty.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about scrumper piercing: the cost, care, healing, pain, risks, infection, and the type of jewelry worn in this type of piercing.

Types of oral piercing

A person’s smile is made beautiful with the appearance of pierced jewelry in the frenum or tongue. The jewelry in your mouth just complements your teeth and lips to add an aura to your personal appearance.

There are four different types:

Tongue piercings: Wearing studs or rings on the tongue through the deep piercing. It makes the person appear sexy and stylish. But it can cause speech impediments.

Lingual piercing (tongue web): It involves the piercing of loose tissue that links the tongue to the floor of the mouth; usually, a curved barbell or CBR jewelry is worn in a lingual frenulum piercing.

Frowny piercing involves piercing the thin connective tissue that connects the bottom lip to the gums. Frowny frenum piercing is not visible in most cases, even if the person frowns. It can damage the gums and teeth.

Smiley or scrumper fang piercing: It involves piercing the frenum inside your upper lip.

What is smiley piercing?

A small smiley piercing is done by piercing the frenulum or frenum (a thin layer of skin that connects the upper lip to the gum).

The name “smiley” metaphorically means that the piercing with the jewelry becomes visible when the wearer smiles.

Whenever the wearer gives a wide grin on their face, the beautiful jewelry adorning the upper lip frenum is naturally exposed. It gives added beauty and charm to the smile.

The ‘frowny piercing’ on the frenum of the lower lip is an ‘anti-smiley’ piercing because it becomes visible only when the wearer is angry and frowns with wide-open lips.

Among all the oral piercings, scrumper and tongue piercings are the most commonly done. Lingual frenum and frowny frenum piercings are rarely worn with very few takers.

How to do a smiley piercing?

It requires great attention and care to get a smiley piercing.

Most people have a thin strip of frenulum connecting the lip to the gum. So, a well-trained and experienced expert must do the frenum piercing at a studio.

A Smiley piercing isn’t for everyone. This piercing won’t work if you don’t have a sufficiently large frenum that can comfortably hold the jewelry.

A weak and thin frenum will not be able to sustain its pressure, or, later on, the jewelry might tear it away.

A professional piercer at the studio uses the right needle and anesthetic options.

The piercer can also provide post-care solutions like sea salt mouth rinse, non-alcoholic mouthwash, and purified saline mouthwash for faster wound healing.

The piercer can also teach you proper aftercare methods to help reduce the risk of infection and rejection.

The cost of a smiley piercing by a professional piercer in the United States could be $30-$80, depending on your city.

How to do self-piercing of scrumper frenulum?

Most young people prefer to get this piercing done at home without the help of a professional piercer.

You might also like to do self-piercing if your parents are not available to sign the legal consent paper or you cannot afford the cost of piercing by a professional piercer.

However, the risk of frenum piercing is very high. A high degree of precision and accuracy is needed to pierce the frenum in the right area.

You might also require local anesthesia before the procedure if you have highly sensitive skin.

You should also use the right type of sterilized needle for this.

It is highly recommended that you not do it yourself.

If you cannot afford to do the work in a studio for some reason, you must enlist the help of a friend or family member who is knowledgeable and confident about doing it.

Before the event, you should procure a suitable needle and post-care solutions.

You should gather in advance all the information necessary, understand the risks involved, and know how best to deal with them.

Extreme care should be taken to ensure that the pressure of the piercing does not tear away the frenulum or hurt the upper gum; it should not be done at the edge of the frenulum.

If you suspect an infection the following days after the procedure, you should seek medical help from a doctor.

In the case of infection, you should not remove the jewelry by yourself but let the doctor do it if necessary. Usually, removing the jewelry from the infected skin aggravates the infection.

How to Do Smiley Piercing

Does a smiley piercing pain?

Does a smiley pierce hurt? It will cause a little pain, but not unbearable pain. It causes less than a cartilage piercing.

The experience of pain from needling also varies from person to person. It is usually a very low pain on the pain scale.

The frenulum below the upper lip is very thin, and the needle passes through without exerting any pressure. It does not even hurt you as much as an ordinary injection.

The pain will be higher if the piercing gets too close to the gums or lip. If the needling is done in the middle of the frenulum, you may not even realize the needle is already through to the other side.

The pain begins if the piercing gets infected or inflamed.

Only basic remedies and treatments are needed for smiley-piercing healing.

Piercing aftercare

Good post-care is necessary to avoid infection and promote a faster healing process of new piercings done on the frenulum.

Here are some of the important after-tasks you should perform:

  • Follow the aftercare instructions given by the professional piercer;
  • A minimum of four weeks of delicate care should be given to fresh piercing;
  • Practice good oral hygiene;
  • Clean the mouth and gums 4-7 times a day with non-alcoholic mouthwash or distilled saline solution
  • Dilute the mouthwash 50:50 ratio before using;
  • Do not smoke till the cut is fully healed;
  • Do not consume heavy alcoholic drinks;
  • Avoid hot and spicy foods that can irritate the inflamed tissues;
  • Do not allow any food particles to accumulate in the pierced area;
  • Gently rinse the mouth without using force;
  • Use sea salt water to rinse the mouth; dilute ¼ teaspoon of non-iodized sea salt in 8 ounces of distilled water to prepare a saline solution.

How long does it take a smiley piercing to heal?

You can get the smiley piercing healed within 4 to 6 weeks with good aftercare steps. In case of a severe infection, it may take longer to heal.

The pain and swelling gradually decrease as the healing process continues to happen. After 2-3 weeks of healing, it will be comfortable for you to do the jewelry changing or cleaning area without pain.

During healing, it is important to clean the piercing regularly and avoid touching it with dirty hands.

Risks, mitigation, and rejection

Scrumper piercings have a high potential for rejection and mitigation, especially if the frenulum is thin and small. It is better to avoid it if your frenulum is not sufficiently large and strong.

The frenulum piercing may be mitigated at times because of its delicate nature.

Wearing the jewelry through the hole can easily slip to one side and badly hurt the frenulum if no proper care is given.

A smiley piercing is more short-term; keeping the jewelry attached to the frenulum long can cause gum recession or wear out of tooth enamel.

When you are wearing captive bead rings (CBR), the ball of the ring might rub against your teeth and gums, which leads to a gradual erosion of your teeth and gums. If the CRB jewelry hurts your teeth and gums, you should stop wearing it.

Be careful not to play with your jewelry with your tongue.

The piercing on the frenulum can become infected at any point in time. Poor mouth hygiene or careless brushing can cause infection, even in a completely healed piercing.

The complications from the body piercing process are many.

The piercing is infected if symptoms like throbbing pain, redness, swelling, discharge of pus, or extreme tenderness exist in the pierced areas. You should immediately seek medical intervention to eliminate the infection in such a situation.

Pros and Cons of Smiley Piercing

Smiley piercing infection

A smiley piercing may have more risks than your typical piercing simply because of its delicate location. Aside from the possible infection, gum, and tooth enamel damage are also possible risks, as the initial jewelry could hurt your teeth and gums.

To prevent or heal the infection,

  • Rinse your mouth with saline solution or sea salt 2-3 times a day
  • Thoroughly rinse and flush your mouth with water after eating
  • Carefully brush your teeth twice a day
  • For the first couple of days, do less talking and hard-chewing
  • Use an alcohol-free mouthwash
  • Remove the jewelry in case of severe infection
  • Use prescription topical antibiotics
  • Do not wear dental braces at the time of infection.

Smiley piercing jewelry

When it comes to jewelry, you have many options to choose from.

The most commonly used starter size is a small gauge (16-18) of the captive bead ring (CBR) or a horseshoe barbell. The diameter of the ring should not exceed half an inch. The small gauge size is ideal for initial jewelry use in fresh piercings.

Instead of the CBR, your other jewelry option is a seamless ring.

After 4 to 7 weeks, you can change the old jewelry and wear new jewelry if you wish.

While wearing the jewelry, it is important to be very attentive to the right placement of the jewelry. Moving the jewelry too much could cause piercing rejection.

The barbells of the jewelry should not rub against the gums or teeth.

Secondly, the jewelry should be the right size in proportion to your teeth and lips. Ideally, the jewelry should be visible when you smile.

Lastly, the jewelry should be made of materials that do not irritate your gums and lips; titanium or copper are the best metals. You can also wear smiley-piercing jewelry made of gold, platinum, or silver.

Barbells and studs are other types of jewelry you can wear instead of the CBR.

Smiley Piercing Jewelry

Tips for changing the jewelry

The healing process takes about 4–8 weeks for the frenulum piercing. You change the jewelry once the piercing site is fully healed.

Here are some tips for changing jewelry:

  • Do not change jewelry until the piercing is healed
  • Always wash your hands with antibacterial soap before you touch the jewelry and piercing,
  • New jewelry must be inserted immediately after you remove the old one,
  • Use the new jewelry in the same gauge as the old one,
  • Take the help of the piercer when you are changing the jewelry for the first time.

What is anti-smiley piercing?

Anti-smiley piercing is another name given to frowny piercing.

It is done on the frenulum between the gum and lower lip. The anti-smiley piercing is expected to be visible only when the wearer frowns, just the opposite of smiling.

The anti-smiley piercing is not so popular since it is discreet. Mostly, a person who loves to keep their body modification secret prefers to do the anti-smiley piercing.

This is riskier as the lower lip frenulum is more prone to infection caused by easy deposits of food particles there.

While talking or chewing, the lower lip experiences more exertion than the upper lip. Thus, wearing jewelry in the frenulum of the lower lip can erode the gums and teeth faster.

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