A labret piercing is any piercing below a person's bottom lip. Normal labret piercings are located right below the bottom lip directly in the center, right above the area known as the mentolabial sulcus. However, there are some variations to the normal labret piercing.
Labret Piercing Variations
The first variation is known as the side labret piercing and is still beneath the lower lip, but it is usually off-center to one side or the other. Sometimes, in the case of someone with multiple piercings, there will be a side labret on both sides of the lower lip. These are known as snake bite piercings. Other people put two side labret piercings on one side of the lip, also known as spider bite piercings.
Another variation is known as the lowbret piercing. Like the original labret, this one is located in the center of the lower lip, but it is placed as far down into the mentolabial sulcus area as is possible. This allows for the labret hole to be stretched later if desired, but it also has the added problem of rubbing against your gum line, so consider this carefully if you're considering a lowbret piercing.
Multiple other looks can be achieved by getting multiple labret piercings at various areas around the lower lip. In addition to those mentioned above, there is also the dolphin bite labret – two labret piercings placed slightly to either side of the center of the lower lip – and quite a few others.
Who Does Labret Piercings?
Unlike more common piercings in the earlobes and the cartilage of the ear, labret piercings aren't something you can walk into any retail or jewelry store to get. If you want to have any part of your lips pierced, you will have to get that done at a tattoo/piercing parlor.
Labret piercings cannot be performed with a piercing gun, nor would you want them to be. These piercings require a licensed piercer to use a straight needle to swiftly puncture the lower lip before inserting the jewelry. As with all other piercings, make sure you do your research and find a clean, safe and reputable piercer. Check out the shop beforehand. Make sure everything looks clean and sanitary. If something doesn't look or feel right, find a new place to go.
How Much Will Labret Piercing Cost?
Labret piercings aren't standard piercings, so the price for getting one will vary from shop to shop. The placement of your labret can also affect the price. There really is no “average price” for this piercing, but prices can range from around $30 to over $100. Always remember to choose quality and safety over lower prices, though.
Does It Hurt?
As is true for any piercing, your own personal pain threshold will be a major factor in determining how much a labret piercing will hurt you. However, it is a simple fact that the lips and the area around them are saturated with nerve endings, which means lip piercings are likely going to be more painful than several other types of piercings.
The standard labret piercing is in one of the best spots for lip piercings, though, so it will hurt less than other places on the lips you could get pierced. The process, though, is very fast, so by the time you feel the pain, it will already be over.
You should expect some discomfort in the days following the piercing. Your lip will likely be sore. You should also be prepared for it to swell, which will make talking and eating a bit painful. Most people describe the pain as dull and throbbing. This time period is the most critical for healing, so be sure to keep a close eye on what is going on during this time frame.
If the pain and swelling don't go away after several days or you see an odd-colored discharge, you should go back and see your piercer or a doctor, as these can be signs of a serious infection.
Labret Piercing Healing Time
If you take good care of the piercing, it should typically take between two and three months to heal. However, the healing process is different for everyone, so if your labret isn't healed in three months, but it isn't painful and there are no signs of infection, don't panic. You might just take a little longer to heal than other people.
The Aftercare Process
We've all had someone tell us at some point that the mouth is the nastiest part of the human body, right? Well, that happens to be true. The human mouth contains more bacteria in it than the anus, the intestines and the bottom of your feet. One single human mouth can be home to over 6 million bacteria.
For that reason alone, it is incredibly important that you adhere to all the steps of the piercing aftercare process for as long as necessary.
In addition to the normal aftercare routine for any piercing – keep it clean, don't touch it with your dirty hands, sanitize it regularly and dry it with clean, fresh paper towels – there are some extra steps for labret piercings.
First of all, be careful of what you put on your lips and on your face, particularly around the mouth area. Lotions, moisturizers, makeup, lipstick and Chapstick can all get into the healing piercing and cause a nasty infection. Avoid using these things if you can. If not, be sure you don't put them anywhere near the piercing.
Keep other things away from the piercing, as well. Don't touch it with your hands, and refrain from kissing while the labret is healing. You should not put any pressure on your mouth during this time. Also, avoid sleeping on your stomach, as your lip does not need to touch anything, not even your pillow.
Be careful of the food you eat, especially during the first week or so when your lip is swollen. If you accidentally bite down on your labret, you can crack your teeth. You're going to have to learn to eat with this new piece of metal in your mouth. Take your time and eat very carefully. Avoid eating hard or tough foods in the first week or so.
Furthermore, you might not want to eat spicy or acidic foods for a couple weeks either, because all that burn is going to find its way right into that open piercing. It will set your mouth on fire.
Finally, take better care of your mouth and teeth than you ever have. Brush your teeth after every meal, floss at least once a day and use copious amounts of bacteria-killing mouthwash.
Should I Get One?
No one can tell you whether or not you should get a labret ring. However, if you are lax about keeping up with your dental hygiene, you might not want to take the risk. Also, if you already have gum, enamel or other teeth problems, the labret might not be the best option for you.
Remember, it will scrape against your teeth and gums. There is simply no avoiding that, so if you are prone to dental problems anyway, this could exacerbate those problems.
What Kind of Jewelry Can I Wear?
Once your labret heals, there are tons of options for the types of jewelry you can wear. In addition to the normal labret studs, which can be as varied and unique as you want them, you can also wear hoops or rings or curved barbells in the piercing. The jewelry you choose is up to you and will depend upon your own personal tastes.