Lip Piercing FAQs
Thinking of adding a labret to your piercing setup? Or going for that “beauty mark” look with a Monroe or Madonna? Or maybe something a little more daring like a Jestrum, Dahlia, or canine bites? Whatever lip piercing or configuration you’re eyeing, you’re bound to have questions. (After all, you’re adding a new hole to your face, so we’d be kind of concerned if you didn’t.) So whether you’re a piercing junkie or a newbie, we’ve got answers to your most common lip piercing questions in our Lip Piercing FAQ.
Common Lip Piercing Questions
When it comes to lip piercing questions, we’ve heard it all, but these are the ones that come up the most:
HOW PAINFUL IS A LIP PIERCING?
It’s probably the most common question professional piercers get, especially from the needle-shy and pain adverse. And while we’d love to give you an exact answer, it truly depends. Most people with lip piercings put it somewhere in the “not too bad” category. As with any piercing, you can expect a brief moment of sharp pain or pinching as the needle pierces the lip, but after that, a dull soreness for a few days is all you should expect. Your own pain tolerance plays a factor, as does the type of lip piercing you get. Most “lip” piercings actually go through the skin just above the upper lip or below the lower lip. But if you’re opting for a piercing that actually goes through the lip itself, such as an Ashely or Jestrum, you can expect a bit more pain.
WHAT LIP PIERCING TYPES CAN I CHOOSE FROM IF I WANT TO GET MY LIP PIERCED?
If variety is the spice of life, the lip-piercing world is … spicy. You have a huge variety of locations and configurations to choose from – 16 to be exact:
- Side labret
- Vertical labret
- Angel Bites
- Cyber Bites
- Snake Bites
- Spider Bites
- Dolphin Bites
- Canine Bites
- Shark Bites
Upper lip piercings like Monroes and Madonnas and lower lip piercings like side labrets are the most common. For a detailed look at all 16 types, take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Lip Piercings.
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON LIP PIERCING SIZES?
16g is by far the most common, followed by 14g. Occasionally, piercers will use the smaller 18g for some clients.
WHAT CAN’T YOU DO AFTER GETTING A LIP PIERCING?
Anything that could irritate your new piercing or introduce bacteria is a no-go. That means kissing and oral sex are out for the first couple of weeks. Avoid touching the piercing as much as possible – that goes for your fingers and tongue. At least for the first few days, it’s best to avoid hard, crunchy foods that could poke, scrape, or irritate the piercing and stick to soft foods instead. Avoid very hot food and beverages for the same reason.
If you sleep on your side or stomach, you may need to change things up to avoid putting pressure on the new piercing. And above all, don’t skip your aftercare routine, and don’t take the jewelry out (unless directed to by your piercer or a doctor).
WILL THE LIP PIERCING AFFECT EATING?
Most lip piercings don’t affect eating after the initial healing phase (see above for foods to avoid), but there are some considerations to take as you get used to your piercings. Chew slowly and carefully at first and get a sense of how the posts sit in your mouth and whether they brush against your teeth or gums. If you eat “sticky foods” (think gummies or a PB&J), remember not to use your tongue to dislodge pieces of food near the piercing. Rinse your mouth and/or carefully brush instead.
Once you’ve had a few weeks to adapt to your new piercing, eating should be just as easy as it was before. Dahlia piercings can be one notable exception for some people. Depending on the size of your mouth and the placement of your dahlia bites, you might have to take extra care not to bite down on the posts.
DO LIP PIERCINGS DAMAGE YOUR TEETH?
Ideally? No. But is it possible? Yes. Although tooth damage from lip piercings is rare, it can happen. If you accidentally bite down hard enough on the post of a piercing, you could crack or chip a tooth. This is more likely to happen within the first eight weeks or so after you get pierced. During this time, you’re still adjusting to your new piercing and learning how to chew with it. You’ll also be wearing a significantly longer post than normal to accommodate the initial swelling, making it easier to accidentally chomp down on the jewelry. This is why it’s essential to take your time and chew carefully at first and switch to a properly sized post as soon as healing is complete.
Slower, less dramatic forms of damage like enamel erosion or gum irritation/ recession are also possible. This is more likely if you’re wearing a post that’s too long or have pre-existing gum disease.
WHAT DOES PROPER LIP PIERCING AFTERCARE ENTAIL?
We cover aftercare in detail in our Lip Piercing Healing and Aftercare article, but here’s the short version:
- Rinse or spray your piercing with a sterile saline solution 3-6 times per day, and soak it in the solution (using a cotton ball or a small cup) for five minutes at least twice a day.
- Rinse your mouth with a sea salt mouth rinse 3-6 times per day, especially after eating. (Do not use alcohol-based mouthwash).
- Keep up good oral hygiene by brushing twice per day and flossing once.
- Clear “crusties” (dried lymph fluid) away gently with sterile saline solution. Avoid picking at the crusties or twisting your jewelry to break them up.
- Avoid the “don’ts” like kissing, oral sex, playing with your piercing, and touching your piercing with unwashed hands.
HOW LONG DOES A LIP PIERCING TAKE TO HEAL
Most lip piercings heal completely within 6–8 weeks, but a few types, like Monroes, Medusas, and Dahlia, can sometimes take around 3 months to fully heal. Sticking to your aftercare routine, staying healthy, and getting adequate rest will help you heal as quickly as possible.
WHAT WILL IT LOOK LIKE WHEN I REMOVE MY LIP PIERCING?
In the vast majority of people, a closed-lip piercing will just look like a very small hole in the skin, sometimes easily mistaken for a small freckle. The hole may start out larger and more noticeable but will shrink over time. Typically, the newer the piercing, the faster it will shrink and heal. In rarer cases of complications like infection or piercing rejection, it’s possible to have more scarring.
WHICH SIDE OF MY LIP SHOULD I PIERCE?
That’s entirely up to you! Some people choose based on aesthetics, opting to place the piercing on their “good side.” You may also want to consider which side you sleep on and whether you have a dominant side of your mouth when you chew.
WHAT TYPES OF LIP RINGS ARE AVAILABLE?
A ton. Seriously. The two most popular are hoops and labret studs. Labret studs are the ideal starter jewelry for most lip piercings and often the only style of jewelry to wear on an ongoing basis with certain upper lip piercings like Medusa and Monroe piercings. When you need your piercing to be less noticeable, you can opt for clear or flesh-toned retainer labret studs made from acrylic or bioplastic.
Hoops encompass jewelry like captive bead rings, segment rings, and seamless rings. Circular barbells are similar but have an open circle instead of a closed one. Take it from us and save hoops and circular barbells for once your lip piercing is fully healed.
If your piercing is stretched, you can also wear plugs or tunnels.
WHAT’S THE VALUE IN WEARING A BIOPLAST LABRET IN A LIP PIERCING?
Many people with lip piercings will wear bioplast jewelry at one point or another. For some, it’s about making their piercing less noticeable for work or family events. For others, it’s a matter of comfort. They may find that they prefer bioplast to most metal jewelry or may need to avoid certain metals due to allergies. Bioplast is also an option for those who are experiencing dental issues from their lip ring. The plastics can be less irritating than metal posts, helping you avoid dental troubles or giving your gums time to heal.
FOR EVERYTHING ELSE YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LIP PIERCINGS…
We dive deep into the types of lip piercings, changing your jewelry, and more in our Ultimate Guide to Lip Piercings. For a successful aftercare routine and quick healing process, check our in-depth guide on Lip Piercing Healing and Aftercare. Also, be sure to stock up on aftercare essentials like sterile saline solution, plastic cups, and alcohol-free mouth rinse. And once you’re healed up and ready to swap out your starter labret stud for some killer lip piercing jewelry? We’ve got one of the largest selections at the best prices you’ll find online.