Smiley Piercing, Anti-Smiley Piercing : Healing, Infection, Risks, Pain & Aftercare

Smiley Piercing, Anti-Smiley Piercing : Healing, Infection, Risks, Pain & Aftercare
Smiley Piercing, Anti-Smiley Piercing : Healing, Infection, Risks, Pain & Aftercare

Smiley piercing is a kind of piercing done through the frenulum which is a small fold of tissue of the upper line.

People love to try out different and new things. Some even try daring stunts. One such stunt is piercing. Piercing is the act of making holes in any part of the body from where jewelry can be attached.

One such kind of piercing is Smiley Piercing, also known as the ‘Scrumper Piercing’ or ‘Upper Lip Frenulum Piercing’.

These piercings become visible to you only when you smile; hence the name ‘Smiley Piercing’ has been given.

People might not have heard of it because it is very uncommon. In fact, during the mid-90’s, Steve Harworth, a popular body modification artist, had his picture taken of himself sporting a smiley piercing in a German Magazine. Since then, smiley piercings became a thing.

Not only that, there is another kind of piercing known as ‘Anti-Smiley Piercing’, where the piercing is done through the small flap of tissue which connects the lower lip with the gum.

Now, it may sound interesting and you might feel like going out there and get one piercing yourself. But there also are a lot of questions and doubts that come with it. But don’t worry; today we are going to give you a complete guide to these Frenulum piercings.

First, let us begin with the introduction.

What Is Smiley Piercing, Anti-Smiley Piercing?

Smiley piercing
Smiley piercing

As earlier stated, a smiley piercing is a kind of piercing done on the inside of the upper lip, that is, on the frenulum. It is a very thin piece of tissue which is in the situated exactly in the middle of the inside of the upper lip. It connects the upper lip to the gum line.

Naturally, it is very sensitive. So, when the person grins or smiles, the piercing is clearly visible due to which it has been given its name.

The frenulum is ALSO found on the lower lip part and the piercing done on this part is often referred to as ‘Anti-Smiley Piercing’ or ‘Frowny Piercing’ because it is visible to people only if you frown.

Let us look at it in detail.

Anti-Smiley Piercing

Anti-smiley piercing done on lower jaw
Anti-smiley piercing done on lower jaw

Anti-Smiley piercing is equally simple to understand once you know what a smiley piercing is. It is, as stated above, done in the lower part of the lip that is on the lower frenulum- totally opposite of the smiley piercing.

It is not easily visible unless someone frowns or lowers the lower lip so that the lower set of teeth and the gum line are visible.

Compared to smiley piercing, it is not that popular and moreover as it is discreet; it is preferred for those people who like to keep their body modifications hidden.

Pros And Cons: Smiley Piercings

Moving on, they provide the same risks and dangers smileys do, like Migration and Rejection. Also, it is to be noted that if your lower frenulum is way too thin then it almost impossible for you to get a frowny piercing done.

Jewellery Used

Jwellery for smiley piercing
Jwellery for smiley piercing

While the type of jewelry ranges in case of a smiley piercing, the standard one in a frowny is usually a small CBR (Circular Beaded Ring) which is gauge 16 or 18 and a half an inch in diameter or more than that.  Getting the right kind of jewelry is important too.

Now, that we know what it is, next comes the part where people choose their options.
Should I do it or not?
What if hurts too much?
It’s something new. I want to try it.

It is really important to know everything about it, including the risks and problems involved and how to tackle them if they arrive.

So, we are going to present you with a list of advantages and disadvantages to help you make your decision easier.


  • It does not involve a lot of tissue.
  • Goes well with the teeth and lips.
  • It heals quickly.
  • It does not need to be hidden.

Now let us look at the disadvantages.


  • It is of course very painful.
  • Even a little movement causes pressure on the piercing.
  • There is the risk of irreversible gum and tooth damage that might take place.
  • For people who have a very small frenulum, it is not recommended for them.

Procedure Of Smiley Piercing

While it may seem easy to do this piercing on your own, it is NOT recommended. It is prevalent in the younger generation where their parents do not agree to sign papers which are in the accordance with the rules and regulations, leaving no choice to them but to carry it out on their own.

  1. It is therefore, advised to take the help from a professional or an experienced piercer.
  2. It is easy for you to make a lip piercing or any other kind of piercing but SMILEY PIERCING requires a professional to carry out the procedure.
  3. They will see whether your frenulum web is large enough for this piercing and what kind of jewellery would be apt depending on your frenulum.
  4. Not only that, they will also teach you how to take care of your mouth after the piercing is done in order to help reduce the dangers and risks of getting infected or rejected.

Changing Of A Smiley Piercing

This type of piercing will take a considerably smaller time to heal and it would be best if the person waits for at least 2 weeks to make his or her very first jewelry change because doing it too soon is dangerous. It may result in irritation, swelling, and infection.

So, go through these steps and see for yourself how you can change a smiley piercing safely and conveniently:

i. Always and always wash your hands with a mild antibacterial soap or liquid with running water before and after you change your jewelry.

ii. Unscrew your ball depending on the type of jewelry you have.

iii. Follow the new jewellery with the old one so that you don’t lose your hole.

iv. Now, screw the balls back and make sure they are secured in their place.

v. Remember to use the same gauge as you did before.

Even if it may worry you, you can always go back to the piercer who gave you the piercing and have it changed for free of cost.

JEWELERRY USED: CIRCULAR BEADED RINGS are the most common or popular jewellery used in smiley piercing.

Hiding A Smiley Piercing

It is all very easy to hide a smiley piercing. As mentioned before, as long as you do not smile, it is hidden well enough. It is only visible when you smile widely.

However, to completely hide it, it recommended using a bar in comparison to a ring (even when the mouth is open). Or another option is to use a smaller ring or a ring with a small diameter.

Also, it is found that people who have a bigger and flexible frenulum find it easier to hide a smiley because they would have to pull back their lips in order for the smiley to be spotted.

Frownys are not likely to be seen or noticed by anyone that easily so they are not that common as smileys.


This is the question most of you like to know. How much does it cost? It all depends on a lot of things, like your place, your specific studio from where you get your piercing and your professional piercer.

In the United States, this ranges from $40 to $80 with an average of $50 in most of the states. It just depends mostly on where you get your piercing done.

For example, BLUE BANANA, one of the biggest piercing names in the United Kingdom, will do a smiley piercing for 20 to 25 pounds. And if you are lucky, you might get promotions which will cost you less.

In places like Singapore which is another known place for body modification, this costs about 30 to 40 Singapore dollars with some small changes in the specific studio.

Does It Hurt?

The question we all wonder about. Does this procedure hurt? Does getting a piercing through something as thin and sensitive as the frenulum hurt?

The answer is of course YES. Although people have a different threshold for pain everywhere.

So, you may get different kinds of answers. Some may state that it doesn’t hurt even one bit and they found it comforting even. But, that is not the case. When a hole is made in your skin, naturally it will hurt a lot.

That is to say, every kind of piercing will hurt. It just depends on the procedure and surroundings – how it is done and where it is done.

And moreover, as mentioned, frenulum is a VERY sensitive tissue and it accounts for more pain. However, it is extremely thin too.

So, the needle goes through it extremely quickly which lessens the pain as one may not even realize that the needle has already gone through the frenulum!

But, this is not the painful part. Like more oral piercings, it comes AFTER the procedure. That is, once the swelling starts, the pain does too.

It may become more and more discomforting in some cases but can be dealt with, using some basic remedies and is expected thus, to be gone in a few days.

Healing Time Of Infections In Smileys

Let us talk about the healing.
Compared with the other lip piercings, smileys heal faster.

On a general note, it can be said it may heal in around 4 to 8 weeks. However, it may take longer than that if the proper aftercare methods are not followed.

Also, the pain becomes less in intensity from the second to the fourth week around which you can have your first jewellery change and too comfortably.

The healing time of a smiley depends on other factors too, like smoking, your diet, and other general health habits.


There are of course infections as well related to lip piercings. Smileys are no exception. In fact, you may take it as one of the possibilities. Generally, the infections of a smiley include symptoms like throbbing pain, redness, fever, extreme tenderness, pus discharge etc.

If you see these signs, you should at once consult with your piercer at once.

Also, remember to NOT remove the jewelry as it may heal the piercing and the pus may get closed which will ultimately result in a discharge.

So, make sure you do not try to change the jewelry quickly once the signs of infection become evident.

However, if they do, they can easily reduce the effects of infections by following the aftercare methods properly which are described below. This will reduce the effects of the infections.

Also remember that almost anything can result in infections: right from your jewellery to the food that you eat.


What are the risks involved in a smiley piercing?
It may result in a permanent tooth or gum damage like tooth erosion, gum recession etc. Factors like the bad positioning of the jewellery in your mouth account for this. Therefore, we advise you to go to a professional piercer for this kind of thing rather than doing it on your own as it is very dangerous if not properly done.

The experienced piercer, on the other hand knows exactly where he or she should place the ball, exactly where the needle is to be applied.

Also, one thing is to be noted that the continuous rubbing between the gums and the teeth is what results in teeth or gum damage. SO, try to refrain from that.

These are not the only dangers that one should be worried about. There are other risks as well, two of which are, MIGRATION AND REJECTION. Let us look at them in brief.

Migration And Rejection:

These two occur largely due to the fact that the piercing takes place through the frenulum, which is very small, sensitive and thin.

Firstly, there is not a large amount of flesh to hold the jewellery in its place. As mentioned in the DISADVANTAGES of smiley piercings, even a slight movement of the lips can cause stress and pressure.

It may result in the fact that the piercing and jewellery will slowly start to move away from their original location. In fact, there have been cases where people say that the jewellery actually fell off from their frenulum.

It is therefore, advisable to consult with your piercer about this and also about the type of jewellery you should use which will provide you for a lesser risk.

But please remember that, if you are told that your frenulum is too small or thin, then you should NOT go for this piercing at all.

So, one should do things like brushing of teeth or proper chewing so that these injuries do not take place. One may get used to chewing from the side rather than from the front. So, be careful and follow the proper oral hygiene.

Take care of your teeth and gums and always follow the aftercare methods of smileys. Tooth and gum damage may take weeks or months or years to vanish.

N. Aftercare: How To Clean A Smiley Piercing?

It is very important to have a proper oral hygiene to take care of a smiley. Any professional piercer will hand you a set of printed instructions which will tell you to follow some rules and regulations, like using a cleaning solution such as H20cean and alcoholic mouthwash. (They may be a part of the products which are offered).

Mostly, these instructions to be followed are more or less the same which are mentioned in any other lip piercing.

Now in the initial healing stages, one should note that smoking, drinking alcohol, eating spicy food can cause the irritation and swelling and may hamper the healing process.

So it is advisable to not do any of those.

Let us see how to clean a smiley piercing.

How To Properly Clean A Smiley Piercing?

a. Whenever you clean your piercing, always wash your hands before and after that.

b. It is advised to gargle with a non-alcoholic antibacterial mouthwash for five minutes at least two times a day. (Even if you smoke, immediately gargle after that.)

c. Rinse your mouth with saline water for at least 5 minutes in the morning and in the evening. Saltwater solution is more preferable as it is effective in preventing infections as such. Even you can make a saline solution by mixing a small amount of salt in warm water.

d. Get yourself a new toothbrush after your piercing. This will prevent infections.

This is all about the Smileys.

We hope you went through all the topics and points carefully and would advise you to consult a professional before deciding to get a piercing yourself.