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Cheek Piercings 101!

The day I had them done

Someone asked me in my FormSpring if I could make a post on my cheek piercings and all that jazz because they're quite the complicated piercing and they were looking to have theirs done. First and foremost, let me just say, this is a piercing you should REALLY think about before having it done. You should think about any and every piercing beforehand, but the common misconception with these are that you can just take them out and all will go back to normal. They won't. Cheek piercings are something that more likely than not, you will be living with for the rest of your life (much like a tattoo!) so think long and hard, and research, research, research!

I've wanted cheek piercings for years. I've always thought they were so super cute and I loved the thought of having dimples (I had one... but it was a silly little thing). So in this little entry I'm going to go through the most commonly asked questions I get and then give you a few links to read up on!



Q #1: Do those hurt?
A: No. Neither the piercings nor the aftermath (currently) hurt. I was actually shocked at how painless the actual procedure was. I was very very nervous but the needles went straight through and that was that. However, the next few hours/days following the piercings were a bit rough. Mainly because my face was swollen and it was hard to eat/smile/laugh. That soon faded but for about a week it hurt pretty bad to laugh hysterically. And I really like to laugh. But that too went away.

Q #2: Do you ever bite down on the balls on the inside?
A: Sometimes. I'll catch myself just grazing them but I've never done a full CHOMP on one. It's important to have the balls on the inside (as opposed to a flat-back labret like on monroes) because the moist tissue in your mouth regenerates so quickly... if the flat back is against your cheek, you can almost guarantee that your cheek will grow over the flat back and you'll need to cut it out. I just find it better to forgo that all together and have a ball. Right now my balls are steel but I'll be trading them out for acrylics to minimize the chances of tooth chipping in the future. [Edit 10/16/10: It's 6 months later and I currently have gem discs on the inside. They're much less cumbersome than balls, and I've never once bit down on them. They don't ding on my teeth either. I highly recommend them. They can be purchased at BodyArtForms.com]

Q #3: What size bars do you have?
A: I'm still wearing the ones I had from day one, the 3/4" bars. I could size down to 5/8" or to 1/2" but I have yet to do so. Mainly because the balls are VERY tricky and I need Mike's help to change them out. That is not fun! [Edit: 10/16/10: I now have 1/2" 14g bars in my cheeks with 3mm steel balls on the outside and 4mm gem discs on the inside. This is the perfect size for my cheeks, but it varies with each person.]

Q #4: Did you have dimples before the piercings?
A: No. I had one little dimple on the left cheek but I decided to go for the piercings because they'd give me dimples.

Q #5: How does a piercing give you an actual dimple?
A: Your cheeks have 18 muscles that run through them... When you put a hole in a muscle, this causes a dip in the tissue, therefore leaving you with a dimple.

Q #6: If you take them out, will you still have a dimple?
A: More than likely, yes. The likelihood is heightened with time.

Q #7: Will they scar?
A: YES! This is the most important thing I think everyone needs to think about before getting them. 99% of the time, you WILL have a scar as a result of these piercings! You need to make sure you can live with this for the rest of your life! Depending on how your body/skin reacts to breaks in tissue will be the defining factor to how noticeable this scar may be. I do know people whose dimples fill out but they still have little dark spots where the holes were.

Q #8: How high maintence are they?
A: VERY! These piercings generally take a very long time to heal (8-10 months usually). You need to keep them clean at all times! I'm lucky because I've always had really great reactions to piercings. I've hardly ever had to do anything to make sure they heal properly. Even with my cheeks, after a while, I did very little, if anything. Mine have been great, but I know so many who have had the exact opposite happen.

Q #9: What about those little lumps that people talk about getting?
A: Those are lymphatic lumps (and/or hypertrophic scars). Caused by trapped lymphatic fluids in your cheeks. They develop pockets around the piercings. Sometimes you can drain them (either inside your mouth or outside) and they're much like cystic pimples in a way. I've had them. Almost everyone gets them at one point or another with these piercings (but it is so very very possible to avoid them! Keep your hands clean, don't fidget with the jewelry, etc). Some are much larger than others so they're actually visible. I've been fortunate enough in the past to be able to drain mine and they go away. I've never had a full-on infection, thank goodness!

Q #10: Do all piercers do cheek piercings?
A: No. In fact, this is a relatively *new* piercing in the world of body modification (It's been around a very very very long time, yes, but not all piercers are familiar with the muscle structure of the face or how to position them correctly). My suggestion is to go to a piercer who has done this well over a few dozen times, and even better if they have theirs pierced, too! I went to Betty Ann at Icon in Nashville for mine. She had hers pierced for 7 years already so she was great.


That's not even remotely all of the questions I get but you get the idea. I figured 10 was a good number and I'm going to link you to a few great articles on what could happen (and does!) if you're not totally thorough in planning and piercing! Click the following links to read along:


Also, it's a good idea to check out the Cheek Piercing videos on YouTube to see how it's done. This can put your mind at ease when you're thinking about having them done. Hope that was the slightest bit helpful! I think they look super lovely, but at the same time I don't recommend them because they're a pain in the butt to deal with. 

xoxo

46 comments:

  1. I have never seen cheek piercings on someone that I actually liked until you came along! They look very natural on you, like they've always been there!
    I also love that last photo. :)

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  2. Great post! How about one about stretching your ears? I'm currently stretching mine and I'm at 4G. :)

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  3. Fawne: ill write that one day! ill try to post it soon! :)

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  4. Glad to read that you take piercings so seriously and encourage others to do the same! I've never had my cheeks pierced but I definitely think it's something that should be researched before being done. They do look lovely on you though :)

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  5. Wow! I've always wanted cheek piercings but never really looked into it. I never knew they were such involved piercings. Yours look amazing though!

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  6. i just got mine done today [: well one the right side..i was wondering what your opinion was on just having one until the other heals to see how it reacts..do you think it looks kinda dorkish' or cute??

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  8. and just to make it clear iam getting the other cheek if it all goes well with my right, all i know is i saw angel on tough love 2 with one so i thought itd look cute and is a smart idea so i wouldnt get 2 infections :\ do you think so?? also my other concern are those pimple like things..what can i do to prevent them at all costs?? thank you.

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  9. Hello :)
    so I've loved cheek piercings for a long time.
    then someone suggested that I get them which I loved because I think they are the most adorable piercings.
    after reading this you gave me inspiration to get them :)
    thank you so much I will definatly come back to you if I have any questions

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  10. Took me time to read the whole article, the article is great but the comments bring more brainstorm ideas, thanks.

    - Johnson

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  11. Thanks for this, it has made me decide that for the time being I don't want to get my cheeks pierced. Because while your post didn't tell me anything I hadn't heard/considered before, the "cheek piercings gone wrong" link made me worried about how mine would heal if I were to get them... And right now I'm not willing to take the risk! Bit upset, but better finding out now than when I'm oozing gree, so thanks! :)
    PS. They look really cute on you! :)

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  12. Ok so I got this done a week ago and around the hole it is really hard.. Is this normal... I read that you said sometimes it hold fluids.. So how would i drain it? My number is 1-740-727-4837.. If you could msg me I would appriciate it...

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    1. These are normal. Be sure to leave them alone as to not cause any open sores or scars.

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  13. hey, great blog! How long will it be before the swelling goes down and i can put in a smaller bar?

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    1. You should wait the recommended 2 weeks before changing out the bars

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    2. Where can I get longer bars from?????

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  14. Well I got mines dne march 6 & isn't wasn't as badd as I thought it was goin to be lol but I hve 2 ??? My 1st is my ball on the left side inside my cheek is starting to sink in wht should I do & 2nd Is this yellow stuff keep cmin outside the piercing wht could I do to stop it & is it normal

    BTW ur looks nice on ya

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  15. Well I got mines dne march 6 & isn't wasn't as badd as I thought it was goin to be lol but I hve 2 ??? My 1st is my ball on the left side inside my cheek is starting to sink in wht should I do & 2nd Is this yellow stuff keep cmin outside the piercing wht could I do to stop it & is it normal

    BTW ur looks nice on ya

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  16. hi there im angie i was wondering if i could ask ya a few questions about your cheeks?ive had mine done for about 10 to 11 weeks they have a had a few problems here an there but nothing extremely serious like cysts or absest but there an hardness around the piercing kinda is sore no sign of it on the surface just when i put on them with my tongue you can kinda see it the lump is not big so im not sure be worried or what thanks for listening

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  17. Hey I know you wrote this a while ago, hopefully you're still updating and answering comments!

    Just got my cheeks done today (well aware of the risks, heavily researched, got them anyway and happy with them).

    I was a dental technician, and my biggest concern with this is not biting down on the bars. I'm a model and I don't want to do any permanent damage to my teeth, I'm really protective of my teeth. Now I know this is a risk, I'm fine with the fact that this is a risk, and I know I can change out the bars to labret-style backs, that's brilliant, but until then, I want to make sure I avoid it as much as possible and shorten the risks if you can think of a way how. If you have any tips on how to avoid biting down (esp at night!) until I get the shorter bars with flat backs, that would be amazing, this is something that is really concerning me (and the primary reason I took my tongue ring out!)

    thanks ever much!

    sunday

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  18. I got mine like 10 weeks ago do you have to have your piercer change them first or can you do it yourself?

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  19. I got mine on July 23 and mine got really swollen n around the bar its red n it pusses sometimes is that bad or should I just continue useing salt water like gargling it to clean em.

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  20. To the anonymous poster on July 27 I have /had several piercings as long as the puss isnt yellow or stinky its ok but dont take them out just keep cleaning them. If it turns yellow or stinks you should have it checked for infection even then don't remove them because you'll trap the infection inside and it'll spread. Always make sure your hands are clean before messing with it. And to help with swelling I've always used ice and ibprof as its an anti inflammatory but if you're on other needs check with your Dr first

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  21. so no matter what you'll always end up with scars?

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  22. Okay so.i just got.my cheeks pirrced like s fsy ago and i have woken up.and my cheeks.are.very swollen and have a little puss coming from.them. I eent to.the shop were i had gotten them done and.they said it was normal. But now i am worried because they have a little brusing towards my mouth. Is that normal?

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  23. I got my cheeks pierced yesterday and I already have hardness around them. idk if they are behind my first molars or not. but it freaks me out. i don't want them to get weird lumps or infections or anything bad.. yknow? Advice!?

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  24. hey can we email eachother??? i have a few questions about cheek piercings...i've had mine for a week and need sum advice

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  25. ok soo you should have flat backs like a monroe. not balls inside. i work at a piercing shop and have had mine going on 6 years. the balls on the inside will actually cause damage to your teeth,

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    1. ok soo just because you work somewhere does not mean you're correct. having balls on the inside will not cause any damage if your bars are the correct length, and acrylic balls are an option as well. congratulations on having them for so long, but please don't give poor information due to the fact.

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  26. I was wondering how I could tell where the exact location of my piercings would be if I decided to go through with getting dimple piercings. If I have a very slight dimple on one side already, would they go with the location of that? Or, could they be placed anywhere? Thanks for your time... :)

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  27. I was wondering how I could tell where the exact location of my piercings would be if I decided to go through with getting dimple piercings. If I have a very slight dimple on one side already, would they go with the location of that? Or, could they be placed anywhere? Thanks for your time... :)

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  28. I was wondering how I'd be able to know where the exact location of my piercings would be if I went through with the procedure. I have a very slight natural dimple on one side. I don't want my dimples to be too low, but my natural dimple is too high to have pierced. Would they have to use the location of that? Or would it look good anywhere in the cheek? Thanks! :) Yours look awesome, by the way!

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  29. I was wondering where you buy the bars from becuase i can never find any

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  30. How long does it take for the piercings too close if you had them over 2 months cause I gotta get my braces removed tomorrow and there making me take off my cheeks piercings just til there done

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  31. How long does it take for the piercings to close? Because tomorrow I'm gettin my braces taking off and there making me take off my cheeks piercings I've only had for almost 2 months and there only making me take them off til there done with my teeth so can you help me out b4 tomorrow thank you

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  32. How long does it take for the piercings too close if you had them over 2 months cause I gotta get my braces removed tomorrow and there making me take off my cheeks piercings just til there done

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  33. How long does it take for the piercings too close if you had them over 2 months cause I gotta get my braces removed tomorrow and there making me take off my cheeks piercings just til there done

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  34. How long does it take for the piercings too close if you had them over 2 months cause I gotta get my braces removed tomorrow and there making me take off my cheeks piercings just til there done

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  35. I'm wanting to find a Glendale Colorado piercing shop. Do you know of anyone? I'd love to get this done.

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  36. I get those bumps on mine how long until they stop...? I only get it on one side and it always like a blood blister..

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  37. I know everyone's probably already said these things but you are so very very beautiful and the piercings look so good on you!! :) I'll probably get mine done soon! Thank you for the faq! It really helped to think this through!

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  38. hey, well I got my cheeks pierced 3 days ago and on the 2nd day it started to get swollen. The piercing feels tight. Ill clean my cheeks with warm water and salt, is it okay too ? Also yellow pus and blood coming out of it :( And has a lump around my piercing, I squeezed the lump and pus came out of it with blood idk if I should of done that. I really need your help ?? can someone tell me what to do hate my face being swollen up :(

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  39. hey, well I got my cheeks pierced 3 days ago and on the 2nd day it started to get swollen. The piercing feels tight. Ill clean my cheeks with warm water and salt, is it okay too ? Also yellow pus and blood coming out of it :( And has a lump around my piercing, I squeezed the lump and pus came out of it with blood idk if I should of done that. I really need your help ?? can someone tell me what to do hate my face being swollen up

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  40. hey, well I got my cheeks pierced 3 days ago and on the 2nd day it started to get swollen. The piercing feels tight. Ill clean my cheeks with warm water and salt, is it okay too ? Also yellow pus and blood coming out of it :( And has a lump around my piercing, I squeezed the lump and pus came out of it with blood idk if I should of done that. I really need your help ?? can someone tell me what to do hate my face being swollen up

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