Tayler getting pierced by Rachel at Ink Link Tattoos & Piercings.

What is a frowny piercing?

Also known as an anti-smiley, the frowny is the piercing in your lower frenulum, the webbing that connects your lip to your gums. It can occasionally peek out from your lower lip when you smile but largely remains a private piercing. This piercing may or may not work depending on your anatomy. In Tayler’s case, she initially wanted an upper frenulum piercing (smiley); however, she did not have enough webbing to accommodate it.

Frowny piercings are known for having a high rejection/migration rate. Placement and the amount of tissue available is the most important factor that can contribute to rejection. The less tissue you have to keep your piercing secure, the more likely your body is to attack the piercing and heal over the wound, pushing the new jewelry out. If you notice that your frowny piercing is starting to reject, do not remove the jewelry – go directly to your piercer so they can remove the jewelry.

  

  
What kind of jewelry is used?

Frowny piercings are typically pierced with a 16G or 18G curved barbell or captive bead ring (CBR) with a length of 5/16” to ½” depending on your anatomy and the piercers preference. Be sure to use high quality, implant-grade steel or titanium to avoid negative reactions with metal allergies.

What’s the process?

Once it has been determined that a frowny is suitable, the piercer will ask you to hold your lip back so that they can access the lower frenulum. The piercer will then mark where the jewelry will go and confirm it with the customer. Once that is settled, the piercer carefully inserts the needle and then the jewelry is transferred on and secured – it’s all over very fairly quickly. This is considered a low-pain piercing; however, everybody has a different pain tolerance.

What aftercare is involved?

The piercing usually heals within 4 to 6 weeks. Your piercing studio should provide a print-out with aftercare instructions that includes rinsing with alcohol-free mouthwash or a sea salt rinse to keep it clean. Get a new toothbrush with soft bristles to limit bacteria and reduce irritation and avoid toothpaste with peroxide in them. Don’t chew gum, smoke, consume alcohol, kiss, or perform oral sex until it’s healed to prevent infection. As with any oral piercing, eating will be a bit tricky – just go slowly and try to avoid temperature-hot, hard, or spicy foods. You want to avoid irritation as much as possible.

An important thing to be aware of when getting a frowny (or any oral piercing) is that there is a chance of damaging your tooth enamel and cause receding of the gums from the friction of the jewelry. If you notice this is happening, it is advisable to remove the jewelry to prevent further damage.

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