A labret piercing is a piercing through the lower lip, right below the lip line. This can refer to a single piercing in the center, a pair of labrets can often mean one on either side (sometimes nicknames “snake bites”) or a pair on one side (sometimes nicknamed “spider bites”). You can also do a labret lower on the face, called a lowbret. There’s a seemingly endless combination of placements for this piercing, and with the unique jewelry choices out there you can play around with a lot of fun and interesting looks. Here we usually start our labret piercings off at a 14g, with a threaded barbell. We do not start these with hoops given how prone the lip is to swelling. Once you have healed, in 3-5 months, you can start wearing hoops. These can be started with a variety of unique and pretty ends, from simple gemstones to bullet cut and claw set opals, to unique gold shapes. Vertical Labrets A vertical labret piercing can be done two ways. A traditional vertical labret passes through the top of the lip, and exits at the lipline. An inverse vertical labret, sometimes called an ashley exits inside the lip. These are a totally unique look to the standard labret piercing. A vertical is nice because it doesnt enter the oral cavity, so there is no risk of gum or tooth issues. An Inverse gives the effect of a little floating gemstone on the lip, which is a unique and pretty look. Both of these are done with curved barbells, sometimes the inverse will use a straight. These should never be done with a microdermal. Both of these piercings are a little more work to heal, as they are prone to more swelling then a standard labret, and deal with more movement while healing. These piercings can also cause chapped or irritated lips while they are healing. Once healed they are very unique, pretty piercings. These dont tend to effect eating, drinking, or anything else once healed, but while healing expect to relearn some of these behaviors. We do these piercings by appointment, and suggest clients plan on a half hour-hour for their visit. Can this ruin my teeth? Any oral piercing does carry a risk of oral damage- usually chipped teeth or gum erosion. It’s important to be aware of that before you get any oral piercings. That said, there are many ways to avoid this happening. To start, make sure you have good oral hygiene- brush and rinse regularly, and make sure you floss and care for your gums. Visiting a reputable piercer for your piercing, who will be mindful of the unique structures of your mouth, and place your piercing accordingly is also important. Also, wearing implant grade titanium, getting your downsizes as you need them, and adjusting your jewelry for comfort will all make sure you don’t have any issues. Why do I need to downsize? Oral piercings are very prone to swelling, particularly lip piercings. We like to jokingly tell folks get ready to look like Angelina Jolie for a few days after this piercing. Because of that, we use a longer barbell initially to allow for that swelling. However, once the swelling has gone down, the bar will be too long again. It’s very important to come see up for a shorter bar, because you risk catching the longer one on your teeth. Some people may need more then one downsize. We suggest you come in around 2-3 weeks after your piercing for a shorter bar. Can I hide this for work/school/sports? While we offer a range of jewelry designed to help hide piercings, for labret piercings these often only work once the piercing is healed. Because you will need a longer bar for swelling, often the barbell itself is somewhat visible. Once healed and your jewelry is a tight fit, we can get you small ends that look like freckles, or clear glass pieces. This however can only be done 3-5 months after the initial piercing. Will this change how I eat? A fresh labret may make eating a little awkward the first few days, but only because your lip will be swollen. Not unlike the first time you try to eat or drink after the dentists. Go slow, and eat whatever food is comfortable for you. We really like cold foods, like icecream and waterice, as the cold will help soothe some of the swelling. How can I clean the inside once it’s healed? Once healed, brushing the back disc of the piercing when you brush your teeth is usually enough for most people. If you find you still struggle with plaque or buildup a waterpik on a low setting is a great way to keep all your jewelry looking and feeling nice and clean.