Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Lip piercing can refer either to the practice of piercing the lip(s) for the purpose of wearing a decorative item therein, or to a particular piercing. Lip piercing is a type of body piercing and a type of body modification.
Lip piercing has been or continues to be practiced by several peoples, the most well-known of which are certain Amazonian Indian tribes, who wear large decorative plates or discs, usually in the lower lip.
Modern Western lip piercings are normally performed with a special hollow needle, which is forced through the lip in the desired position, usually from the inside out, after which jewelry--a ring, barbell or labret stud--is inserted and fastened.
Types of Lip Piercings
Lip piercings can be placed anywhere around the mouth, but usually the surface of the lip (the red part) is not pierced.
Piercings in specific positions have specific names:
- Lip Ring
- Ring Labret
- Vertical Labret
- Horizontal Lip Piercing
- Vertical Lowbret
- Lip Plates
Oral piercings heal very quickly and resist infection if proper aftercare procedures are followed. These procedures should be followed for the duration of the initial healing period which usually takes at least 6-8 weeks.
- Always wash your hands before touching your piercing.
- Rinse your mouth out with a non-alcholic mouthwash such as Biotene or Rembrandt after you eat of drink anything other than water.
- Soak your piercing in a sea salt solution twice each day, ideally in the morning and at night before going to bed.
- Mix sea salt and warm water in a ratio of approximately 1/4 tsp salt to 1 cup water.
- Soak a cotton ball, gauze, or paper towels in the sea salt solution and apply to your piercing.
- Hold the compress there for approximately 10 minutes.
- Use a cotton swab to remove any matter from around the piercing.
- Gently dry the piercing area with paper towels or gauze.
Additional Notes and Tips
- Oral piercings generally swell more than other piercings.
- To accomodate for this swelling the initial jewelry should be longer/bigger than normal. This can be switched out for smaller jewelry after 2-4 weeks.
- Refraining for smoking or chewing tobacoo will reduce the healing time.
- Do not play with your new piercing while it is healing.
- Do not submerge your head in a pool, lake, ocean, etc. during the initial healing period.
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