Smiley Piercing

Smiley piercing is an interesting type of facial piercing. It is done on inside the upper lip involving the tissue above the gums (‘frenulum’ of the upper lip). The jewellery used for this sort of piercing is usually a ring or barbell.

As the jewellery is placed right in the middle of the inside of the upper lip, it usually stays hidden and becomes visible only when you smile. It is for this reason that smiley piercings, though painful, manage to arouse interest in so many individuals.

When going for this type of facial piercing, it is generally suggested to choose non-oxidizing and non allergic materials such as surgical stainless steel or gold for smiley piercing jewelley.

Rings prepared from such materials are usually considered safer. Other complex jewellery items like studs or barbells, though good to look at, are associated with the risk of migration of jewellery as they tend to slip out of the original spot.

Do Smiley Piercings Hurt?

Smiley piercings are usually not too painful. The healing period mostly varies from 6 to 8 weeks as it involves healing of thin and sensitive skin. Smiley piercing pain can be there till about three weeks after piercing.
The discomfort can be reduced by avoiding the temptation to play with the jewellery.

Plus, do not remove a smiley piercing until it heals. Rinse the mouth with saline solution or a good mouthwash to avoid infection. Pierced smiley can cause some discomfort during eating, speaking, brushing the teeth etc for the first few days.


Although, smiley piercings are often associated with issues like plaque buildup, gum problems and tooth problems. Depending on the kind of jewellery used, smiley piercing can cause damage to the teeth because of erosion to the outer surface of teeth.

Therefore, it is advisable to opt for smaller jewellery items that do not rub against the teeth continuously. When planning to remove a smiley piercing, keep in mind that the hole tends to close up quite easily.

Risks of Piercing Own Smiley

Although smiley piercing is impressive and exciting to flaunt, it also has certain risks. However, as it involves only a tiny portion of the skin, the chances of developing any serious complications are minimal.

Nonetheless, if you plan to pierce a smiley yourself, without any professional help, then the risks tend to increase manifold. The dangers arise mainly due to the use of unsterilized equipments and jewellery.

Consequently, piercing own smiley increases the risk of contacting infections and diseases like Hepatitis, Tetanus, Meningitis, HIV, MRSA.

The key to reducing risk factors associated with smiley piercing is to use properly sterilized jewellery and equipments. However, merely sterilizing through procedures like exposing the relevant equipments to flame or using alcohol are not as effective as sterilization achieved through the high temperature and pressure of a steam Autoclave.

Besides, factors like inadequate knowledge and lack of expertise also add to the risk of damaging a nerve or a blood vessel while piercing smiley. Therefore, as far as possible, try to get your smiley piercing done by a professional.


  1. I pierced my smiley myself(: And so far I like it. I have a curved barbell so my parents wont see, but I want to change it as soon as I can. It didnt hurt at all, and just make sure you use things that are sterile. I boiled everything for a loonng while, and then dysenfected it. I just used a safety pin, but it worked wonderfully- just make sure its a thick one, and your jewlery will slide through easily. The only problem I have is screwing on the balls on the barbell. Other then that, I think its great to pierce yourself!

    • Hey!
      I think it’s awesome you pierced it yourself.I want to do it too,but I’m just so afraid to not get it infected.My case is the same as yours.I have the same time of piercing i wanna put in I just don’t know exactly what to do.Could you reply and tell me exactly what you did ? And how old are you,I’m 15 btw.
      Thanks 🙂

    • Hey it’s good you did it yourself I’m about to do mine to but I wanted to look it up, my parents don’t know about it either. I hope it works out good(:

    • i pierced my smiley yesterday and put a horseshoe type barbell in ,i did it with a safety pin at it seriously didnt hurt ,today i got a small ball closure ring so that my parents dont see and it looks quite nice ,the problem i had though was putting the ball in ,it took ages

    • I want to pierce mine tonight, does anyone know if I can put in a straight eyebrow piercing? After piercing it of course, thanks 🙂

    • FuckingSevvie says

      I pierced my smiley 2 days ago and i read NOTHING about the before i did, i didnt know shit all i saw was a picture. Dont judge i didnt know. But i used a needle to pierce it, and anbesol to numb it. Everday i spray it with seasalt piercing afterspray that i got when i got my lip pierced and listerine mouth wash. I dont have a barbell or proper jewelry and right now i have a small needle in it with a ear piercing back on it. I have a ring but its not for smiley piercings but i think itll work.

    • What kind of barbell do you have in it? What gauge?

  2. I also did my smiley myself. I’ve done a lot of my piercings myself , including my snakebites, cardilige and a few others. I now have a total of 10 piercings, out of them all, the smiley was the easiest.

    I clean it a few times every day, I’ve had it for two days now , it didn’t swell until I woke up this morning . I’m not worried because all my piercings have swelled, and then they heal quite fast.

    I also used a safety pin, and everything was clean ; etc.

  3. To the kids who self pierce with safety pins. You all sound ridiculously stupid. A safety pin is not a piercing tool you dumb idiots. Go buy yourself a pack of piercing needles at hot topic along with whatever cheap jewelry you are using.

    • 1) Were teenagers not kid’s.
      2) Just because they are not meant for piercing the body doesn’t mean that it don’t work.
      3) If you don’t like the way we are piercing ourselves (KEY WORD: OURSELVES) Than fuck of.

      • First of all, please use a spell checker. If you don’t want to be treated like a child, you should learn to spell like an adult.
        Secondly, you really should consider investing in needles that aren’t safety pins. When I was younger, I pierced myself with safety pins and it was probably the dumbest thing I ever did.

      • 1) *We’re
        2) *doesn’t work
        3) *Then (and) *off

      • Please, if you’re trying to sound intelligent then use proper grammar and spelling. Safety pins are horrible to use for piercing, it’s just common knowledge.

        • I pierced my smiley , along with snakebites , navel , 3 ear piercings on both ears , both nostrils , && from piercing my ears i now have 9/16 gauge in both ears (which is bigger than half an inch ) .
          The reason why it’s not good to do piercings with safety pins are because real piercing needles are hollow . which means they take out a chunk of skin , but safety pins push the skin around the hole . So if you heal it up && try to pierce it again , it hurts really bad .
          I’m not encouraging it . But IF you do pierce it yourself , be careful . You might end up piercing it wrong and hitting a nerve .
          I suggest you get it professionally done for only 10 dollars .
          Just make sure you clean your smiley piercing good. It gets horrible build up of plaque around the balls of the ring .
          It’s really nasty . >_>

    • lol hi . yeah , call me an idiot love , but i pierced my smileey , and it turned out finee . dont critisize the way people do things , alrighty , because thats the shit that pisses me off . let us be . okay , go ahead & get it ” profesionally ” pierced. get the 300 dollar jewlery, idgaf .

  4. I jsut pierced my smiley, like 5 minutes ago. didn’t hurt at all. I’m very happy with it. Now i’ll want to smile all the time

  5. Smiley piercing doesn’t hurt at all 😉 it’s awesome. I did it myself like a year and a half ago, and my parents haven’t found out about it yet 🙂

  6. I just pierced my smiley myself (Like 10 minutes ago) :]
    I have a very low pain tolerance, so I used some Orajel and put it on my upper frenulum. I put a needle through it and then pushed it through with a jewelery ring, it’s pretty small and it’s a loop-type thing. Didn’t hurt AT ALL!

    It looks so cool and I can’t wait to show it off :]

  7. I am DEATHLY afraid of needles,
    I love smileys.
    im not 18 and my parents wouldnt think about taking me to get it done because i have ‘huge’ gauges (9/16), that they cant stand.
    im going to try to did it myself again tonight.
    hopefully i dont poon out.
    Wish me luck. :]

  8. i really wanna pierce it myself just to see what it loooks like cos i cba to pay like £20 to just then take it out again…

  9. I got my smiley done two days ago, i usually tolerate pain wonderfully but this one hurt like hell to take! its been swollen since the day i took it, mostly swollen in the morning then goes down over the day, i use a good mouthwash without alchohol 3 times a day, and rinse my mouth with ice cold water after i eat and smoke

    • I got mine done a week ago today and it huurt soooo bad! I can get the ring in and out just fine. I am basically like you! But last night I went to bed and the ring was in (without the spikes that I have so my parents wouldn’t see it) and I woke up this morning and I thought I had swallowed it, but I ended up finding the ring right next to my pillow.

  10. How much does this cost and is “smiley” the real word you would use when asking about it at a pierce shop? Thanks.

  11. These comments made me even more excited to get my smiley. It’s the only piercing I can have baecause it’s SO easy to hide. My friend had it for 3 months without her mom noticing it. But the jewelry rejected 😛 I hope mine doesn’t!

    • The best piercing you can get to hide is your septum (the place in between your nostrils). It’s painless to have pierced and you can hide the jewelry inside your nose!

  12. LunaEchelon says

    toy you guys who are self piercing – you’re idiots. the possibility of infection after self piercing is stupid high and just because you boil something doesn’t mean that it is sterile…same for running stuff through flames that just covers it in soot!

    go to a professional or don’t get it.

    • totally agree

    • eva trueblood says

      well just because people pierce themselves doesnt mean they should be judged. maybe its the fact that they trust themselves and no their bodies more than a stranger does. im a piercer and i know that some people are uncomfortable getting came at with a needle being held by someone they dont know. and we rly shouldnt be being rude on here. let them make their own mistakes. yes…the heat from the flame will kill off bacteria, and boiling it can help, but like its been said. its better to get it professionally pierced, but, like i said, u guys who pierce urselves, no ur own body better then anyone. so just be careful. and enjoy ur piercings 🙂

  13. Hey, I did my smiley myself 3 days ago, I used professional tools and everything. I have a pink ring in it. I didn’t hurt one bit. I really enjoy my smiley. My mum saw it today, and she still doesnt know that it’s a piercing. she just thinks its something across my teeth. No one where I live has a smiley, so I’m currently the only person. But If anyone wants to do, I suggest they do it. It’s easy to hide, and painless. My didn’t swell up really badly. It’s healed really quickly.


  14. I want to pierce my smiley so bad! My mum said no but I’m going to do it myself anyway,
    Question: Is it okay to smoke after I do it? and what can I use to pierce it? Thanks.

    • eva trueblood says

      you can smoke yes. But rinse your mouth afterwards. and its smarter to use a hallow needle, but, if you dont have or cant get one, then a safety pins ok. just sterilize the crap outve it.

    • Wait, your young enough to have to listen to your mother but your old enough to smoke…? Something’s not right here ,’:/

  15. i really love smileys! i ordered the jewellery fromt he internet and i have it now, i’ve practiced piercing my smiley a few times with a safety pin. but are you sure it works with a safety pin? and where should i position the hole for the jewellery to go? thanks 🙂

  16. Sophie-marie says

    Im about to do my smiley now, self pierced. I’ve wanted one for awhile, its just another piercing that the parents wont see that looks really nice, if i dont like it i’ll take it out, if i do it will match my tongue webbing piercing which was also self pierced ^.^ <3

  17. ive had my smiley piercing for a little over 3 years took a week to heal and used mouthwash. now and then its good to give it a little brush with a toothbrush to remove plaque from the ring. it has never got in my way for anything however it was a long time before i could eat corn on the cob due to the solid corn hitting my piercing. out of all 10 piercings i have i would say it was the least painful to get done and there were no repercusions of the piercing.

    • just a note i got it done by a pro as risk of infection is quite high with this piercing with the amount of bacteria added such as food smoking ect ect. i got mine done when i turned 17. it is not good to hide things from your folks. i just walzted in and told my parents after every piercing and tattoo i got coz the more you hide it the more angry they’ll be

  18. Amanda Joy (joycrusifixion) says

    I just pierced my smiley last night with a 14g pre-sterilized hollow needle. i also used a curved barbell due to the fact i need it to be able to swell and heal without the jewelry being rejected from being to small. So, i now have my smiley pierced, on the first try i was completely off. How? I have no idea. but it was probably the most difficult piercing i have ever done on myself, but the pain was at a 0. i barely felt a thing. I Now have 13 piercings that are all DIY. My dahlias hurt the worst. I’ve been rinsing my mouth with mouthwash after eating and smoking, and i’ve mouth wash with sea salt water 2x a day. it wasent swollen until i woke up this morning, but its going down. so wish my smiley on a healthy recovery!
    9/16th lobes
    10g septum
    14g smiley
    2nd lobes
    22g nostril(both sides)
    16g tragus(both)
    14g navel
    16g dahlias

  19. I literally just did mine 3 minutes ago.
    No pain at all, really. I have a high pain tolerance though. This is my second piercing ive done myself, second being my septum, that is now, fully healed. I did mine with an 18g sewing needle. :|and i have a regular earring stud in now.

  20. I just took mine out. I didi it myself 3 days ago. I hate it! I’m scared it’s going to get infected now “/ my parents won’t let me have it so I had to take it out so there’s another reason I had to

  21. I’ve tried three times now to pierce my smiley. My needle will not go through the oposite side I’m sticking it into. I can see the tip of the needle,but it will not emerge.. VERY aggervating. Help? D;

    • You just gotta force it through. hold your upper lip all the way forward so the frenulum is taut. Then PUSH the needle through. You’ll hear a little pop when it works. Good luck! I’ve done mine myself twice. Hopefully this time it doesn’t rejectt!!!

  22. You guys that did it yourselves have balls man, I could never do it myself,, I got mine done two days ago, it didnt hurt at all although it did bleed quite a bit, its just a little sore but I love it, very happy with it 🙂

  23. I just did my Smiley acouple minutes ago, It didn’t hurt at all.
    I use a curved barbell so my parents wouldn’t see ;\
    This was the second peircing I did myslef and I used a SaftyPin everything was clean.

  24. the last two piercings i got have been infected, and like i was cleaning them and used surgical steel jewellery and had them done professionally. understandably my rents wont let me get another piercing, and like i really want my smiley done. one of my mates has pierced a few peoples ears and she’s game for doing me and another mates smiley, and like i trust her soo. im just really concerned about it getting infected; any tips? apart from getting it done professionally because tbqh £30 is a ludicrous price for what it’s worth

    • Thank you. Professionally or not there’s a chance of getting it infected and it is way to expensive, I wish people would understand that teenagers tend to be poor. And generally don’t give a fuck about “adults” who act like children on the internet.

  25. I pierced my smiley myself a few hours ago. It didnt hurt at alll! I just numbed it with ice for like 5 minutes and i didnt feel a thing. I pierced it with a safety pin and then put a barbell in. I have no discomfort so far, it just feels kinda wierd cuz nothings usually there you know? but it went very well.

  26. I had my friend do mine the other day and It was painless. But then again; I have a great pain tolerance. It’s hard not to play with it! While at the mall yesterday, I noticed I felt a dent in the middle of my tooth. I did. You can’t see it. But I can if I turn my face towards the light and when the light hits the tooth, I see a dent. I love the piercing. But thing is bothering me. I’ve always wanted perfect teeth. And now that’s ruined. Ugh. I’m keeping it anyway. Oh;well. I hope the dentist can fix it all. :]

  27. i pierced mine myself yesturday and I think I already have an infection… I don’t know if it’s normal or not. There is like this white pus like substance coming out of the one side… there isn’t loads but enough. Is it infected? I really shouldn’t have done it myself!

    • Yeah, thats NOT good. Take it out & rinse your mouth with either non-alcoholic mouthwash or saline or regular salt water, or peroxide. When it heals, you can try it again. But make SURE you’re sterilizing the needle or pin, and also the jewelry you put in, plus wash the piercing cite.

  28. Me and my friend pierced my smiley yesterday in the washroom at the mall, we used a sewing needle (cleaned up in rubbing achol) and a curved barbell ment for eyebrows. Its blue :3 I love this piercing, but it hurt a bit, because we had a couple issuse getting the needle through. The ball was really hard to put on, but it was worth it! Im really scared that its going to get infected or regect, does anybody know how to tell if its starting to regect? Also it was swollen when i woke up today but the swelling has gone down alot ! I used Antibacterial, no achool mouth wash as 4 times a day and after i eat food. It hurt a lot less then my ear piercing (done pro today)Wish me luck! I hope it doesn’t regect.

    Btw: to alll you people who say dont do self piercings, please leave us self piercers alone. We dont care what you think 😀 Its our bodys, not yours. If we die then you can come to our funeral and wave it in our faces. If we get an infecting then that sucks for us. we just want this piercing. Dont tell us what to do!

  29. I just pierced my smiley myself. i have done other self piercings and they almost always get infected. i just keep them clean and wait for the infection to go away. everything turns out fine!

  30. I pierced my smiley last night, it was hard getting the needle through (Yes I used a safety pin) And was also hard to get the bearing on but in the end it all turned out fine! I just rinse it with mouthwash or salt water after eating. If it gets infected I’ll simply take it out.

  31. Hi, well tomorrow I’m going to a piercing shop to buy jewelry and a hollow needle. I hope I can find a hollow needle, lil bit scared to get infected..wish me luck!

  32. I pierced my smiley about two weeks ago, I used a profesional pierce needle but, to be honest, I pierced with that needle other friends and since I only had 10 minutes to do it (I was already late) I didn’t clean the needle or piercing(that I used in for my septum for like 6 months) it didn’t bleed too much and it turned out just fine, now it’s healed and perfect… you might think I’m discusting but I’m telling this to show that it’s pretty much impossible that your smiley will get infected, and safety pin a perfect way to pierce it as well..

  33. Whatever you do NEVER remove an infected piercing! The infection will go away on it’s own but if you take it out it will heal and trap the infection in your body

  34. I got my smiley done professionally about 6 or 7 months ago. I love it, and it is by far one of my favorite piercings.

    It’s a wonderful conversation starter whenever I smile (I have the ring for it, not a barbell) and it only hurt for about 5 minutes after I got it pierced.

    The only thing that bothers me is that I have noticed it starting to migrate over the last 3 weeks or so. I’m only concerned that it will fall out or get ripped out if it keeps dropping.( 🙁 )

    P.S. I smoked a cigarette literally 15 minutes after I got it pierced and a blunt an hour later. As long as you rinse your mouth good with the salt solution, you’ll be fine.

  35. I’ve had my smiley for about three months now. I think that it’s the most painless piercing I’ve ever done; and I’ve experienced all sorts of pain!
    So far:
    Left ear- Scaffolding, Lobe x2
    Right ear- Cartilage, Lobe x2
    Oral- Tounge, Tounge web x2, Smiley, Snakebites
    Sacrification on right hip “OW”
    Scarification on left hand (a star)
    Navel, Left hand web, Hip MD x2
    I have done all of my scarification and piercings myself, each one went smoothly and healed beautifully.
    Just don’t do the dumb thing and pierce something while in the bathroom at the mall… *facepalm*

  36. So I’ve had my smiley done for about three weeks and i love it my teeth are my favorite feature and its funny to be smiling and watch people stare at me just to see if I’m gonna smile again.And last night my ball fell put and I’m scared it’s closed in I’m gonna die! I have my industrial,lounge,some thing for myself,cartilage,nose, and ear triple pierced. I’m terrified believe it or not of needles but my smiley hurt the least. and although its not smart to pierce things with a safety pin it get the job done that’s how i did my tongue. I smoke right after i got it done and a blunt a little later and didn’t clean it except for my normal teeth scrub down.Welp i hope i can shove mine back in 😀

  37. I just pierced mine, it didn’t really hurt but I hope I like it more now that I got it(:

  38. eva trueblood says

    those ofyo u tht are self piercing, im glad that your confident with piercing yourselves, and i love that you love your piercings. just be careful and dont listen to people calling you idiots. im a piercer and i can tell you that there is nothing wrong with you experimenting. i did everyone of my piercings myself, before i even got my piercing license. so just be smart and be careful. and enjoy ur piercings. but, if you have doubts, atleast look up some answers if you dont know how to do something. you can never be too safe.

  39. I think smileys are absolutely gorgeous and my teeth are my best feature so I’d love to get one done, two problems though
    1. I’m 14
    2. My parents will never let me get it done

    So I’m thinking about doing it myself but I’ve never self pierced, don’t know were to get the jewellery from and have a really low pain threshold (but that I can deal with). Any advice on where to get needles, jewellery and how to pierce it would be much appreciated 🙂

  40. so i just pierced my smiley with a hollow needle and put a eyebrow ring in…i absolutly love it …it didnt hurt a was a lil unconfortable when going threw the other side..but not bad..the worst part was trying to put the balls in lol

  41. i pierced mine myself but its to close and its gonna fal out so i took it out like 20mins ago and i want it to heal so i can do it again and this time higher lol how long does it take to heal complete;y?? 🙁

  42. Ok, so first I’d like to address all of these people saying self piercing is idiotic. Ok Shut up. I’ve pierced myself almost 50 times. I’ve pierced my hand-web 3 times, my tongue twice, i’ve even pierced my own crotch! And the only times i’ve ever gotten an infection was with my hand, and it wasn’t even a bad infection! Oh yeah, and i’ve used various different types of safety pins and sewing needles! Ok, piercing yourself is only dumb if you don’t know what you’re doing.
    Yes, i pierced my own smiley. I loved it, but when i was in juvie and had to take it out it closed and i lost the ring. I really want to redo it though!

  43. I want to pierce mine tonight, anyone know if I can put in a straight eyebrow piercing? After of course, (Oh and I know I accidently sent this twice) Thanks! 😀

  44. I’m 13 nd my parents HATE piercings. I’ve tried to Pierce my navel before nd it didn’t work so now I’m somehow inspired to Pierce my Smiley. On a scale of one to ten how bad does it hurt nd is it OK to put a regular earring in it? Its all i got. Help?

  45. I’m 13 nd my parents don’t want me having a piercing. The only ones I have are a lobe on both side nd both cartilages. That’s it. I usually can’t take pain with needles well so will I suffer too bad? On a scale of 1 to 10 how bad is it? Nd would it be OK to put a regular earring in it? I wanna do it tonight. Help?!

  46. Anyone know if there are any nerves that I could accidently pierce that could paralize half my face or do some serious damage?, It’s the only thing putting me off doing it even though I pierced my lip several times also I’m not using a safty-pin just a sterilized piercing needle 🙂

  47. Erm, i have the correct smiley jewellery,but where i live they don’t do smiley piercing or even no what it is. i have the sulution to clean it with afterwards, and im going to use a safety pin as im only 14 and can’t order the real piercing tools & my mum won’t let me do it, but i’m going to anyway,like i did my ears:-)
    Anyway i tried today with the safety pin after putting it in boiling salt water, anyway it didn’t go throw all the way and it hurt like a bitch…but i still want to do the other side so it grow’s all the way through…someone HELP please?

  48. I’m thinking about piercing my smiley myself, but I have a few concerns. When you wake up and it’s swollen, does your lip look sorda big? Or just the inside. And is it worth hiding from your parents?

  49. One more thing, if you’re 13 and you are piercing your smiley and hiding it from your parents, you’re an idiot.

  50. I pierced my smile 2 days ago. and then i read your article on it. When i pierced my smiley i used a safety pin and i washed it with peroxide. but that’s. i was reading that you could get HIV from it. and i haev a dry cough and neasea… which are signs of HIV. but it’s also cold season. what do i do?

    • Go to the doctor. Duh. I got my smiley done on Wednesday. It’s slightly annoying and there is slight pain. Mainly I just want to rip mine out, but I know it’s just the healing process.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.