How Much Does a Smiley Piercing Cost?

If you think you know about all of the piercings out there, here’s a newer one you might not have heard of. We’re talking about the smiley piercing. many people think that this is just a piercing on your dimples or cheeks, but in fact, the smiley piercing involves piercing a part of the upper lip.

As this is a rather new type, we talked with a few dermatologists and professional piercers about these piercings and most importantly, about the cost of a smiley piercing.

How Much Does a Smiley Piercing Cost?

The cost of a smiley piercing is anywhere between $25 and $120, depending on your location, the shop you go to, as well as other factors. As a general rule, the price of jewelry will be separate from the piercing prices. This cost also doesn’t include the tipping of your piercer, which is, in general, around 20%. You will also have to consider the cost of items needed for aftercare, and depending on the healing time, these might cause a significant dent in your budget.

What is a Smiley Piercing?

Smiley piercings are a type of oral body modification. Experts say that smiley piercings are oral piercings that are inserted under the upper lip of the flap connecting the gum to the upper lip. It goes through an upper lip frenulum, which is a piece of skin running from the gum to the inside of the upper lip. When getting this piercing, a needle will go through the flap underneath your lip, just above the gum.

A smiley piercing is less visible than other types, just like other piercings that are inserted inside the mouth. It got its name because people will see it mostly when you smile. Like a tongue piercing, it’s hidden when your mouth is closed. How much you see of the piercing jewelry when your mouth is open depends on how large the jewelry is.

Key Facts Details
Healing Time 3-4 weeks for complete healing
Pricing Between $25 to $120, depending on the piercer
Placement Inside the mouth, through the flap of skin between your upper lip and gums
Pain Level 4/10
Aftercare Rinse with mouthwash after eating or drinking for 2-4 weeks; apply ice outside the lip if swelling occurs

Pain Levels and Healing Time

The smiley piercing isn’t as painful to insert as you might think, even though all piercings will come with a certain level of discomfort. The experts we interviewed argue that the pain is minimal during a smiley piercing as it will go through a membrane that is very thin and has almost no nerve endings.

The preparation, on the other hand, might be more uncomfortable than you’d expect, because the client will usually have to be pretty active during the procedure than in the case of most piercings. They will have to wear gloves, wash their hands, and hold their upper lip up with both their hands, to give the piercer access to the piercing areas.

It will take between four and twelve weeks for the smiley piercing to heal properly, as long as you don’t face any complications. Oral piercings are a type that has a faster healing process than body piercings or other types.


Oral care is very important while the piercing is healing. You will have to use a saline solution twice per day to rinse your mouth and also use mild toothpaste to brush your teeth two times per day. The mouthwash should contain no alcohol and you should always use water to rinse your mouth after eating. Moving the jewelry around or touching it should also be avoided.

You might also like our articles on the cost of a medusa piercing, tongue piercing, or tragus piercing.

As for your diet, because yes, you will have to be careful what you eat, considering that the piercing is inside the mouth, you will have to avoid crunchy, crispy, or hard foods, as well as acidic and spicy foods and alcohol, at least until the area has been properly healed. You should also avoid smoking as much as possible.

How to Change a Smiley Piercing

According to experts, you should wait at least three months if you want to change the smiley piercing without professional help. Always touch your mouth only after you have washed your hands and rinse the area with salt water first. Keep in mind that it won’t be easy to properly manipulate the lip yourself, which is why it would be better to ask for help from a professional piercer for the swap.

Side Effects of a Smiley Piercing

  • Wearing Down Your Gums or Teeth: This is one of the more common side effects of the smiley piercing. Smiley piercings almost always cause the gum to wear down in the area where the jewelry sits, especially when you wear jewelry long term. Still, this won’t happen in the first year of wear most of the time. The jewelry often does damage to the gum and the enamel as well. If you have any unrelated trauma around your mouth area or your face, the piercing can also increase the possibility of damaged or even broken teeth.
  • Swelling: Swelling isn’t something you should necessarily worry about. Still, you can use an icepack on the outside of the lip to have the swelling go away faster. Oral piercings in general will swell more than other types.
  • Infection: Among the more serious side effects are possible infection or even rejection of the piercing. You should be able to prevent this with proper care, but as soon as you think you might develop an infection you should rinse with alcohol-free or saline mouthwash as frequently as possible. If the infection moves forward regardless of how much you rinse the area, then you should get the help of a medical professional or your piercer as soon as possible. An infection might need antibiotics to stop. See your piercer if you believe the body is rejecting the jewelry to remove it as soon as possible.

Jewelry Materials Used for A Smiley Piercing

Smiley PiercingIt is recommended to wear ‘hard meta’ jewelry in this particular area for overall health and comfort reasons, even though there are some risks associated with wearing it. Soft jewelry is usually porous as it is acrylic and can seep toxic plastics directly into your bloodstream, which is why it isn’t usually recommended.

  1. Gold: Gold is the go-to jewelry material that many people go for, although it isn’t always the best option. Gold often reacts to saliva and wears unevenly or changes its color, even though it is still possible to be worn in piercings.
  2. Titanium: Usually, titanium jewelry is the best choice for people.
  3. Niobium: Niobium is one of the most common hypoallergenic materials and it is mostly recommended as it is very unlikely to corrode.

What Type of Jewelry Is Used for A Smiley Piercing?

  • Barbell: Although the most common barbell jewelry shape used for smiley piercings is a curved barbell called the circular barbell, there are several other shapes. This is the popular horseshoe shape and is also common for septum piercings. This metal has a U-shape and balls on each end. These can be threaded either internally or externally, depending on the type of jewelry. You will have to remove the ball from one side when using it, then place it in your piercing hope. The final step is to screw the ball back in.
  • Captive Bead Ring: This round piece of jewelry comes with a separate centerpiece. This is held by the tension of the jewelry metal. This is a shape also used for septum piercings as well. This jewelry will be removed by removing the bead that is in the center. It is also called a ball closure ring or a captive hoop. When you want to put it in your piercing hole, just insert the metal and then add the bead to the center.

Final words

If you want to keep up with the trends of the piercing world, then you should get a smiley piercing. This type of piercing will cost anywhere between $25 and $120 and will be inserted between the inside of the upper lip and the gum.

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