Cheek Piercings are paired piercings done on either side of the mouth, usually where natural dimples would appear when someone smiled. These piercings have been growing in popularity as instagram celebs, youtubers, and reality TV stars are sporting them. They are cute, flattering piercings that look attractive on men and women and have lots of awesome jewelry choices. However, they are also a huge commitment to get and heal, and we often refer to them as “lifestyle” piercings (as in, you may be making some lifestyle changes to wear them). We actually steer people away from getting their cheeks pierced, and encourage clients to consider paired lip piercings or another alternative.

But I still really want them! Unfortunately, just wanting them is not enough for cheek piercings. These piercings can often take 9 months-1 year, or longer to heal. They do swell a lot initially, and must be started with long enough jewelry to allow for all the swelling. They require multiple downsizes from the initial piercing, and often experimenting with the shape on the inside to find what is comfortable. They are prone to drainage issues, irritation bumps, and even leaking, and this can happen even after it is healed. For ladies, this means 9 months-1 year of NO makeup on or around the piercings- that means no foundation, powder, or contouring. Even once these piercings have healed they can still flare up or cause problems. Some people end up changing tooth paste, mouth wash, face care, and makeup routines in order to wear these comfortably. Cheeks are highly regarded for the cute ‘dimples’ they cause, but these are uncontrollable and often dimple unevenly. Healing is not impossible, but it is hard. Once healed the scars left from retiring cheeks piercings are often large, and sometimes require a dermatologist to reduce. If you are still interested please stop by the shop or call so one of our experienced piercers can discuss this piercing further, and see if it is the right fit for you.


What do you mean by “multiple downsizes” ?

All oral piercings are prone to swelling- thus we start you with a longer barbell to allow for swelling, and in a week-3 weeks time we shorten you into a smaller barbell that you can wear for the rest of the time you have the piercing. Cheeks however swell far more then normal oral piercings. Swelling from these is often excessive, and can take many months to go away fully. Initially you will have very long barbells, and you will need to come back multiple times to have them shortened as these heal. 3-5 downsizes is normal, some people can even require more. Leaving jewelry in that is too long can cause as many issues at wearing jewelry that is too short. While we can’t tell you the exact number you will need, plan on needing to purchase a few different lengths of barbells over the course of this piercing.

Will cheek piercings paralyze your face?

No, cheek piercings won’t paralyze your face, or cause it to get stuck in any weird positions. But there are other serious side effects if these are done wrong, such as drainage issues, abscessing, leaking, and scarring. These are advanced piercings- research your piercer and these piercings before deciding to get them done!

Can cheek piercings really leak saliva or drinks?

While this doesn’t happen to everyone, or even most people with cheek piercings, it is a real risk. It happened to piercer Elayne Angel and she now declines to do cheek piercings on any of her clients.