Smiley / Frenulum Piercing Info Aftercare

Smiley piercings, also known as frenulum or scrumper piercing, puncture the thin tissue web that connects the top lip to the gums. This piercing earned its nickname the easy way because it’s usually only obvious and visible when you smile. A smiley piercing is also one of the least painful oral piercings you can get, since the tissue being pierced is super thin.

While we can’t blame you for being excited for your new smiley piercing, it’s smart to do your research first. Your piercer and your jewelry are the most important parts of your smiley piercing process, and you want to make sure you have a good experience.

Start your search by heading over to the Association of Professional Piercers website and using their ‘Find a Piercer’ tool to see verified piercers in your area. Your chosen piercer will start you in the right direction as far as which jewelry options are best for smiley piercings. Readers with allergy concerns should consider titanium jewelry since it poses almost no reactivity risk during healing and beyond.

Unique Jewelry Options for Smiley Piercings

The standard jewelry size for smiley piercings is either 18g or 16g. No matter which jewelry type you start with, you can always change out your smiley piercing jewelry once it’s healed and ready. All of the options below come in a variety of materials to fit any personal needs or wants:

Types of Smiley Piercing Jewelry

  • Circular barbells: This round jewelry style is often referred to as a ‘horseshoe’ since it has two screw-off ends on the same barbell.
  • Captive bead rings: These common rings usually have a middle ball or decorative piece that snaps into the ring to hold it securely in place.
  • Seamless rings: Compared to captive rings, seamless rings usually snap or bend into place so that the ring is completely smooth.

Smiley Piercing Process

While surface skin piercings require marking first, the frenulum piercing is a bit different. After picking out your jewelry, your piercer will put gloves on to keep things sanitary and prepare your jewelry so it’s ready to go.

In order to best place your piercing, your piercer will dry off and sanitize the area before fitting a clamp on the thin flap of skin to be pierced. Once you’re ready, your piercer will puncture the clamped area and swiftly insert the jewelry afterwards.

How Long does a Smiley Piercing Take to Heal?

Healing a smiley piercing normally takes 1-2 months as long as proper aftercare is followed. Since every body heals at their own pace, pay attention to what your body requires.

Swelling is common over the first few days, but it should taper off gradually as the piercing begins to heal. It’s important to remember that your piercing is like a scab, and any movement only disrupts the scab from healing, so you should avoid moving it (even with your tongue!). Touching the piercing, especially with your hands, can introduce new bacteria to the area and poses a risk of infection. If you must touch your piercing for any reason, be sure to thoroughly wash your hands first.

Frenulum Piercing

Aftercare Tips for a Quick Healing Process

As a general rule, if your piercing is no longer sore and experiences movement easily after at least a month, your piercing may be fully healed. However, it’s important to remember that healing is different from person to person, so it’s best to pay attention to your own body and give it more time if necessary.

When Can I Change My Smiley Piercing?

You must wait until your smiley piercing is fully healed before changing your jewelry. Once you’re sure the piercing is ready, remove the ends and pull out the jewelry. It may help to hold the skin in place while you maneuver your new jewelry into the piercing. If at any point you feel resistance or pain while changing your jewelry, do not hesitate to contact your piercer and ask for assistance in this process.

Cleaning Your Smiley Piercing

You have two choices for keeping your smiley piercing clean: picking up alcohol-free mouth wash, or using your own salt water rinse. Biotene, a popular alcohol-free mouth wash, can be found at most pharmacies nationwide.

If making your own salt water rinse is more your speed, simply mix 4 teaspoons with a gallon of distilled water and you’re good to go.

As your smiley piercing heals, be sure to clean it by holding mouth wash or salt water inside your lip and lightly swishing at least twice per day. You’ll have an even shorter healing time if you can manage to do this after every meal, but that may not be realistic every day.

Scrumper Piercing Aftercare

Recognizing Signs of Infection

During and after healing, do not use any bottle cleaners like rubbing alcohol, antibacterial soap or hydrogen peroxide. These products will only irritate your piercing.

Use extra care while brushing your teeth and flossing, as this can further tug on your new smiley piercing. You may also want to avoid or cut back on spicy foods, alcohol and smoking to encourage faster healing.

Always wash your hands before touching your piercing, and please contact your piercer or medical professional if you have any health concerns or questions.