How To Properly Care For Your Smiley Piercing

A smile can be one's best feature. So why not bedazzle it? The smiley is a popular oral piercing. According to Fresh Trends, it gets its name as it typically goes unseen until the wearer smiles. The skin that's actually pierced is the frenulum, a thin piece of skin that can sometimes be too thin to pierce.

Healthline warns that, because of how fragile the frenulum is, you can expect pain when receiving a smiley piercing. Usually, thick, soft skin is the least painful area to pierce, like an earlobe. The frenulum is quite the opposite. Other than a too-thin frenulum, a smiley may be unsuitable if you wear braces or have oral health conditions. 

But, if a certified piercer deems your frenulum capable of withstanding the process, you'll be able to face the needle. Most importantly, once your smiley piercing is in place, you'll need to know how to take care of it.

Smiley piercing aftercare

Your mouth is decked out with your new smiley piercing — now comes the aftercare. This is crucial for all types of body piercings because infection is likely if proper cleaning is not done. To help the healing process, Healthline recommends daily rinses with a salt-water solution and water rinses after every meal so food particles won't get trapped in the healing fold. 

Another way to care for your smiley piercing is by brushing your teeth. If you don't already brush twice a day, now is a good time to start. Healthline recommends mild toothpaste flavors and alcohol-free mouthwash to avoid irritation.

We covered the dos — now for the don'ts. According to Authority Tattoo, avoid touching your smiley piercing. It is best to avoid moving it around with your finger or tongue. This manipulation increases the chances of infection and extends the time of the healing process. 

Spicy treats are also off the table. Acidic and spicy foods can cause painful stinging in your piercing site. Speaking of spicy, you'll have to skip the steamy makeout sessions. Kissing can disrupt the smiley's healing process and make the piercing susceptible to bacteria. Along with kissing, it's best to forgo smoking and drinking alcohol, too. These indulgences will lengthen the time your smiley takes to heal. 

The longer it takes to heal, the longer you'll have to refrain from these activities.

How long does it take to heal?

A smiley piercing can take anywhere from four to 12 weeks to heal, according to Fresh Trends. Following the proper aftercare will help you stay on the earlier end of the spectrum. Piercings in the mouth are a blessing and a curse. The mouth heals fairly quickly, and the bacteria in your mouth boost immunity, which aids in natural healing. However, because the mouth is filled with bacteria, it's important that proper care is administered to avoid infection. 

Luckily, after months of avoiding spicy foods and kissing, your piercing will heal. Then you can enjoy swapping out the starter piercing for any piece your heart desires. Maybe something to keep up with the best jewelry trendsHealthline recommends speaking with your piercer before changing any jewelry to ensure it's safe to do so. If you swap out the piercing yourself, it is best to rinse before and after with salt water. And don't forget to smile. 

To learn more, check out the truth about smiley piercings.