Have you ever run across a piercing on the internet that you liked and ran to get it pierced without second thought? I have! With body and ear piercings, that is something that you can do without any issues but you probably don't want to get any oral piercings without doing your research first! So, here we go:
First you should be sure that you have a basic understanding of lip piercings and the different types of lip piercings available to you. Here is a diagram showing you some of the possibilities:
Next, you'll want to decide what gauge you want your lip piercing to be. The standard sizes range from 16 gauge to 14 gauge, but most lip-specific labrets are made at 16 gauge. If you desire to wear anything large, like a labret plug, you will need to be pierced with a larger needle, or you can stretch your initial piercing gauge by gauge once the initial piercing has fully healed. Another option is using a punch.
Now that you know where you want you lip piercing and what size you want it to be, you can look at jewelry. Lip piercings, with the exception of the vertical labret piercing, have an oral size and a surface side. Since you will have one side of the jewelry in your mouth, there is risk of damage to your teeth and gums. This is an issue particularly in the beginning when you have just been pierced with a longer labret to allow for swelling. This extra length is essential, so to protect your teeth and gums you should leave the extra length pushed out to the external side even though it may look a bit funny. When the piercing is fully healed, you can put in a shorter labret, or even a captive bead ring or horseshoe barbell. Some piercers even recommend a niobium or bioplast lip ring that is softer than steel or titianium for the initial healing of the piercing.
HEALING: Lip piercings can take up to 3 months to fully heal, depending on how well you care for it. Since the piercing is in your mouth, it is important to take care of your mouth in general. Good habits such as brushing your teeth regularly and drinking lots of water will help reduce your risk of infection. It is good to clean the outside of your lip piercing with an antibacterial soap, and to use a alcohol-free sea salt mouthwash daily. NEVER use alcohol on a healing piercing, as it dries out the skin and makes the healing process take even longer! Be very careful eating and chew your food slowly, as you could chip a tooth on the jewelry if you were to chomp down on it full force!
In the event that a problem occurs, such as excessive swelling, infection, or hypertrophic scars, you can always contact your piercer for advice. Sometimes all that is needed is a change of jewelry!
With that being said, don't be afraid to get a lip piercing! Enjoy this photo for inspiration - and head to your favorite piercing shop!