Labret Piercing 101: The Ins & Outs of Aftercare

For those who don’t have as many piercings or those who are afraid of needles, it may seem like going and getting the piercing is the most difficult part. But for those of us who are piercing addicted, we all know that aftercare is the most difficult part of the piercing process. Heck, it makes getting the piercing appear to be a breeze. This isn’t to say that healing a piercing is difficult; there are just many things you have to be aware of. Fortunately, a labret piercing is an oral piercing, which means it has a relatively shorter healing time than other piercings.

So, if you’re curious what the best practices are when it comes to aftercare for a labret piercing, keep reading on.

The First Rule of Any New Piercing: Do Not Touch It!

So, you’ve got a brand-new labret piercing. Congrats! Whether you’re new to the world of facial piercings or you’re an experienced vet, the number one rule is worth repeating: do not touch your fresh piercing. There are multiple reasons why you shouldn’t touch a healing labret piercing, including:

  • You can introduce bacteria into the healing piercing, which can lead to an infection.
  • Twisting, turning, or rotating the jewelry in the piercing can cause trauma to the healing piercing, irritating it and making it take longer to heal (the irritation can also cause redness, additional swelling, etc.). Additionally, any unnecessary movement can cause more scar tissue to build up.

Do Not Touch New Piecing

Do Not Use Harsh Cleansers

Another thing you don’t want to do is use any harsh chemicals or put any harsh cleansers on the healing piercing. This means that you should not use any of the following on your fresh labret piercing:

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Neosporin
  • Bactine

You also want to be careful to not get any facewash or harsh soap in the piercing when you wash your face. They can be extremely drying and can irritate your fresh lip accessory.

Regular Sea Salt Soaks

Ideally, the only time you’ll actually be cleaning your piercing is when you do a sea salt soak. To do this, you will first want to buy a gallon of distilled water from your local grocery store. It’s important that it is distilled water and not just tap water because tap water can also contain harsh chemicals (like chlorine) that will irritate your piercing.

Next, you’ll want to pick up either all-natural sea salt or non-iodized salt. At home, you’ll mix 4 teaspoons of salt for every 1 gallon of distilled water. Next, you’ll want to pour the solution you’ve made into either a porcelain coffee mug or a shot glass. It’s important that you avoid anything paper or plastic, as these materials can contain certain coatings that can contaminate your solution.

Microwave your solution for a few seconds so it’s lukewarm (not hot!) and then place it up to your lip and submerge your labret piercing in it. You’re going to want to let it soak for anywhere between 7 to 15 minutes. When you’re done, rinse the area with water and then swish some of the saltwater solution around your mouth for about 30 seconds. You shouldn’t do this more than twice a day.

If you want to be extra careful, rinse your mouth out with the sea salt solution after you eat, drink, and/or smoke.

Be Extra Cautious When Eating

When you get a labret piercing, your piercer should install jewelry that is longer to account for any swelling that occurs in the healing process. However, because the jewelry is longer, you’ll have to be careful when you eat.

Take smaller bites and chew slowly. Not only will this help protect your piercing, but it will also help you prevent chipping your teeth on the jewelry.

Don’t Use Mouthwash With Alcohol

When you’re healing a new labret piercing, you are definitely going to want to keep up with your oral hygiene routine. This means brushing your teeth, flossing, and using mouthwash. However, you’re going to want to make sure that the mouthwash you use doesn’t have any alcohol in it. This is because alcohol is extremely drying and can irritate your new piercing.

This is why you should also avoid drinking any alcohol as well.

No Smoking!

Smoking cigarettes can also be extremely drying on the mouth—this is why you get so thirsty after you finish a cigarette. To avoid irritating your fresh piercing due to dryness, you’ll want to avoid smoking cigarettes. If you’re in dire need of nicotine, try switching to a vape pen; the vapor is much less drying than an actual cigarette.

Minimize Oral Contact

The fewer possible germs that come into contact with your fresh piercing, the better. This means you’ll have to go a bit without French kissing and/or oral sex. First, these activities encourage a lot of movement, and you don’t want your new piercing to snag on someone else’s lip or teeth. Additionally, you don’t want any movement during oral sex to irritate your piercing. Secondly, these activities can introduce bacteria that could potentially infect your piercing, so making sure you take the precautions to avoid these activities is going to reduce the risk of infection.

No Public Bodies of Water

With the weather starting to warm up, we know how tempting it may be to jump into a pool or take a trip to the beach. However, if you’re trying to heal a fresh labret piercing, it may be best for you to either stay back or stick to lounging poolside.

No Swimming

Public bodies of water, like pools, beaches, and Jacuzzis, are basically breeding grounds for all sorts of bacteria. Anytime you submerge your piercing in any of these, you run the risk of that bacteria getting into your piercing and causing an infection.

Don’t Downsize Your Jewelry Prematurely

You are originally pierced with longer jewelry than you need to account for any swelling. Additionally, swelling can be on and off throughout the healing process. It’s important that you don’t switch out your jewelry for a shorter post or smaller diameter ring too soon; doing so prematurely can cause your piercing to become irritated. It can also cause your lip to grow over the flat back of the stud.

Labret Stud

The Main Point

Although it seems like a lot to worry about, healing a new labret piercing is actually quite simple. All you have to remember is to wash your hands any time you must touch your new piercing, continue doing sea salt soaks until it is healed, and avoid doing things that will dry out or irritate the new piercing.

And when your piercing is all healed and you’re ready to swap out your jewelry, we have tons of labret studs for you to pick from.

Written by Jackie Rachel

Jackie Rachel

Jackie Rachel is a poet and Content Account Manager. She has been getting pierced for over 16 years, while taking the time to learn proper aftercare techniques from the Association of Professional Piercers (APP) members. Always enamored by the jewelry options that exist for body modifications, she one day hopes to assist clientele with picking out jewelry and styling ears.