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Smiley & Frowny Piercings Pros & Cons by a Piercer & Everything You Should Know - S02 EP36

In Season 2 Episode 36, DaVo, a Professional Piercer since 1994, covers the Pros and Cons of Smiley & Frowny Piercings. Also known as Scumper or Lip Frenulum Piercings. This video covers just about everything you would need to know before getting either of these piercings and include Pros & Cons, risks, what you should consider beforehand the piercing experience, healing, jewelry, living with the piercing, care, and abandoning the piercing. 

I aka DaVo have been a professional body piercer and the owner of the Axiom Body Piercing Studio in Des Moines, Iowa since 1994. My focus on education and helping clients make safe and informed decisions on getting pierced has always been a large part of my business practices and services. With my website and increasingly on youtube, I hope to expand and inform others outside of my small part of the world. I always encourage questions and comments, so if you have one, please comment. 

Show Notes:

  • Pierced Horizontally behind the frenulum tendon at the top of the gums. Smiley or Scrumper at the top and Frowny at the bottom. Usually pierced with a ring. Also known as a lip frenulum piercing.

Disclaimer- This is a high-risk piercing that is known to damage teeth and gums and rejection. For these reasons I do not do this piercing and have no interest in doing them or suggest them.


  • Completely a modern invention and I believe I first started seeing them around 95 or 96 appearing in tattoo magazines and the final issues of PFIQ.

Pros: l

  1. Quick Heal 2-4 weeks

  2. Is an established Piercing

  3. Rare and Trendy

  4. Can be hidden

  5. Adaption is not as bad


  1. Damage to teeth, gums, and bone damage

  2. Rejection

  3. STDs

  4. Swelling

  5. Very difficult to remove

  6. Closes Quickly

Things to look for:

  • Piercer be experienced

  • The piercer should be professional, informative and make you feel comfortable

  • The piercer should offer a consultation that involves aftercare, risks, etc… SHOULD FOCUS ON THE RISKS FOR DAMAGE AND REJECTION

  • The piercer should evaluate your anatomy

  • Usually pierced with circular jewelry

  • The jewelry must be oversized to allow for swelling

  • Downsizing

  • Do they provide aftercare products and written and verbal aftercare instructions?

The Piercing Experience:

  • The area is disinfected or the piercee rinses with an alcohol-free antiseptic mouthwash

  • The piercer will pull the lip upward and may or may not mark the piercing

  • This piercing is usually done freehand with a curved needle, or standard needle with Hemostats.

  • The jewelry is usually inserted using hemostats

  • The jewelry may require a little time to insert and close

  • There may be some slight to moderate bleeding

  • Usually, you will have throbbing, aching, and warmth in the area for a few minutes afterward

  • Piercing is sensitive to the touch.


  • The average healing time is 4-12 weeks or longer

  • Non-Alcohol Antiseptic mouthwash and Saline rinse twice daily

  • Must practice cross-contamination prevention and isolate and avoid any contact with the piercing.

    • Clean hands

    • no deep mouth kissing, oral contact or sexual contact for 8 weeks

    • Do not share food or utensils

    • Make sure that your own utensils are clean

  • Swelling - Cut down on smoking, vaping, spicy foods, or anything that may increase swelling.

  • Stay hydrated and suck on ice chips

  • Sleep with your head elevated higher than the heart

  • Avoid contact or trauma to the area.

  • First 3-5 days you can experience slight bleeding off and on, redness/discolor, heat, and tenderness to the touch.

Jewelry Options:

  • Can change after the piercing is healed

  • Jewelry should always be wide enough to allow for the thickness of the area

  • Barbell, rings, and circular barbells are common

Living with the piercing:

  • The jewelry should be left in at all times.

  • Avoid pressure or trauma to the piercing including sleep

  • Clean plaque off the jewelry on a regular basis.

  • If there are signs of rejection, remove the jewelry

Abandoning the piercing:

  • If during healing if there are signs of infection, see your piercer or doctor before removing

  • Will close but may appear open for a long period of time.

  • There will be a small indented circular scar on each side. This may fade in time.

  • You may need to see your piercer to have the jewelry removed.

Body Piercing & Tattooing Channels Merch Store -

All footage was filmed using a Canon EOS 80D Camera with the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens - and Canon EOS R  - with Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens -

Audio - Recorded with Shure MV7 - with a Tascam DR-40x -

For more information on DaVo and the Axiom Body Piercing Studio go to

Now on TikTok - TikTok - @SKTattoo -

Axiom Instagram -

Skin Kitchen's Instagram -

Contact DaVo at or by phone at 515-966-4814
If you would like to set up a Piercing Appointment go to

Skin Kitchen Tattoo and The Axiom Body Piercing Studio are located at 3800 Douglas Ave./Des Moines, Iowa 50311
Tattoo hours are Thursday - Monday 1-8pm
Piercing hours are Thursday - Monday 2-8pm