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Labret, Beauty Marks, Cheeks, etc.. Piercing Jewelry

This section covers the choice of jewelry which is best for Labret, Beauty Marks, Cheek and countless other names a Labret piercing or group of Labret piercings are called. Often there is a great deal of confusion between a Labet and a lip piercing. A Labret piercing is done horizontally from the mouth outward. It is usually placed above or below the gum line and the jewelry is often either a Labret Stud or Fishtail Labret. Though placement varies greatly they are basically all the same piercing with the same concerns and needs when it comes to jewelry.

Jewelry Style:

When it comes to Labret piercings it's important to consider that the jewelry and piercing will be in contact with clothes and bedding during and after the healing. So the jewelry needs to be simple, without points or edges that will get caught on things but still allows rooms for swelling, discharge and cleaning. 

When it comes to Jewelry style placement and the number of piercings  the piercee plans to have in the future dictate the choice between Labret Studs and Fishtail Labrets. If the piercing is below the lips and far down in the traditional Labret placement than a Fishtail is the best choice. Otherwise the workhorse is the Labret or Flatback Labret Stud.

  • Labret Stud or Flat Back Labret:
    • The Advantages:
    1. The flat disc has a low profile in the mouth to reduce risks of teeth, gum and bone damage.
    2. Lower profile than rings which makes speaking and eating easier. 
    3. Piercings can be grouped together in small areas.
    • The Disadvantages:
    1. The hard metal disc is often in contact with gums and teeth which can lead to damage.
    2. Length can not be adjusted and the jewelry will need to be completely replaced after healing to reduce risks to damage to teeth, gums and bones in the mouth. 
  • Fishtail Labret:
    • ​The Advantages:
    1. No sharp edges in contact with gums and teeth. Thus reduces risk to teeth and gums.
    2. Can be adjusted once the piercing is healed to fit the piercing and the piercee's mouth.
    • The Disadvantages:
    1. ​Since it is a piece of wire with a ball on one end there is nothing holding the jewelry in and it can fall out on it's own when it is not in the correct position.
    2. The wire takes up more room in the mouth which limits placement and can effect eating and speech. 
    3. Since it has a larger profile, piercings can not be grouped together.
  • Jewelry that should be avoided during Healing:
    • ​Rings and other circular jewelry:
      • ​Due to the location of the piercing and the angle in which the piercing is done, a large width has to be used to clear the edges of the mouth. This increase the profile of the jewelry making eating and talking more difficult and increasing the risk of damage to teeth, gums and the bones in your mouth.
      • Rings that are too tight can cause the piercing to migrate or tear. Also can cause scaring or other problems in a healed piercing.
    • Ear Piercing Studs and other traditional jewelry:
      • ​The jewelry is often too short to allow for the thickness of piercing area. Which doesn't allow for swelling and can cause the jewelry to be impacted into the piercing. Also if the jewelry is too tight it can block both discharge and the flow of oxygen that can increase healing time and/or increase risk to infection or other problems.
      • The backs or locks are lose and can tighten with normal wear.
      • Often the jewelry material is not body friendly. Even those that are marketed to those with sensitivity to metal are only plated.
      • In most cases can not be sterilized correctly.

​Size of the Jewelry and Weight:

  • ​Gauge:

As a refresher gauge is the thickness of the wire that the jewelry is made out of. Body piercing jewelry generally starts at 18 gauge jewelry and goes up to 0000 gauge jewelry. The smaller the number the thicker the jewelry will be. As I'm sure you know, the thicker the jewelry is the more weight and thus the more stress on the piercing during the healing period. Also the thicker the jewelry the more tissue that needs to be produce and thus the longer the healing period. Though in most cases a 18 gauge piercing will heal out in about the same time as a 12 gauge piercing will.

When choosing the gauge of the jewelry, the jewelry needs to be thick enough to reduce rejection or migration and have resistance to tearing but light enough that it will not cause added stress during healing. Due to the softness of the tissue and the fact that they are more prone to migration than other piercings are, I don't suggest piercing with jewelry thinner than 14g. 

  • Width:

​Swelling is a huge factor with oral piercings. Often the tissue will swell as much as a 1/4 of an inch depending on the piercee's health, diet and habits. When choosing the length of the jewelry, I always ask questions about the person's diet. If they smoke then additional length must be added to the jewelry to allow for the additional swelling they may see. With Labret piercings it is always best to give the piercing extra room during the healing period and avoid the very painful experience of the piercing area swelling beyond the length of the jewelry and impacting. This could lead to scarring and the body producing tissue over and around the jewelry. If the jewelry is too short there is an increased risk of blocking the discharge and increasing the risk to infection and other problems.

Even with a healed piercing the jewelry should not be tight to the body. Jewelry that is too tight increases the risks of tearing, migration, scarring and other problems.

In conclusion, nothing replaces the first hand knowledge of a professional piercer when it comes to choosing the correct jewelry. There is vast differences in shape and size and often what works for 99.99% of the public is not the best choice for you. The goal of this is to give you a working understand of jewelry selection, so that you can have an educated discussion with your piercer on what will work best. Every piercer  understands that one of the motivations of you getting the piercing is fashion but jewelry that will produce the best out come should always rule out fashion. Think of the jewelry that the piercing is done with as trainer jewelry that will be replaced with what you like after the piercing is healed. 

Choosing Jewelry Series