Shark Bites Piercing: Healing, Price, Pain, Jewelry, Aftercare, Pros and Cons
Shark bites are not a very common type of piercing. They may be perfect for you if you’re looking for some unique facial piercings. Below each side of your lip, shark bites include four piercings with two on each side.
What Is a Shark Bite Piercing?
Shark bite piercings are two pair of piercings under each side of your lip. There are two piercings below your bottom lip on the right and two below your bottom lip on the left. They’re meant to mimic sharks’ multiple rows of teeth.
Snake Bites vs Shark Bites Piercing
Snake bites are very similar to shark bites. Snake bites involve 2 piercings with one on each side below your bottom lip. The difference is shark bites involve 4 piercings with two on each side below your bottom lip.
How Much Are Shark Bites Piercing?
Shark bite piercings typically cost between $80 and $150, not including jewelry. You’ll then pay extra for the four pieces of jewelry. Your cost will vary based on where you’re located and the piercer you choose.
Ensure you go to a reputable location and book your appointment with someone experienced in facial piercings. You may pay a little bit more for higher-quality service and jewelry.
Image: Prime Goth.
Shark Bite Piercing Pain Level
Many people rank shark bites at a 5 or a 6 on a pain scale of one to ten with one offering little to no pain and ten for maximum pain. Ultimately, how much it hurts will really depend on your pain tolerance and how well you handle facial piercings.
Keep in mind that this involves four separate piercings, so you’ll need to withstand your skin getting punctured multiple times.
How Long Does It Take Shark Bite Piercings to Heal?
The typical timeline for shark bite piercings to heal is 3 to 6 months. You may heal in just a couple of months or you may notice it taking close to the full six months.
It will depend on how your body reacts and how well you take care of the piercing. If you experience an infection or other complication, it can greatly extend the healing time.
Shark Bite Piercing Jewelry
1. Types of Shark Bite Piercing Jewelry
Types of jewelry used for shark bite piercings include:
Flat back labret stud with a ball titanium $18.9, SHOP NOW.
Featuring a flat back and threaded design, labrets are inserted through the back of the lip and the front is screwed on to secure the jewelry.
This can be more comfortable inside your mouth but could end up being tighter and less mobile on your lip.
Titanium ring horseshoe barbell $17.9, SHOP NOW.
Featuring a ball on each end, one ball unscrews and the other stays on. You push the jewelry in through the back of your lip and screw the front on.
This could cause more damage to your teeth and gums because of the ball rubbing in the inside of your mouth.
Piercing hoop 6mm 8mm 10 mm simple and minimalist $15.9, SHOP NOW.
A less common option, seamless hoops can be used in shark bites.
However, they may make it more difficult to eat and drink, and could be bothersome as they rub inside your mouth on your teeth and gums. They may also be harder to remove and could tug on your lip.
2. Safe Materials
Try to avoid shark bite jewelry that contains nickel. Nickel can trigger allergies and cause problems for people who have sensitive skin. Commonly recommended materials include:
- Implant-grade titanium: Implant-grade titanium is a great option because it’s lightweight, nickel-free, and won’t tarnish. This may help you avoid an allergic reaction and the need to frequently change out the jewelry. This metal is also used in the medical field for things like joint replacements and bone pins.
- 14K Gold: Gold offers an elegant look and is a durable material, though yellow gold is often more hypoallergenic, and white gold can be more durable because it has nickel and other metal alloys.
- Surgical stainless steel: A hard, affordable metal that won’t tarnish and is extremely durable but may cause allergic reactions in some people with trace amounts of nickel.
- Sterling silver: A metal allow that is durable, affordable, and appealing to the eye with its shiny appearance. However, sterling silver is often not recommended for new piercings because it can complicate the healing process.
- Bioflex plastic: Flexible jewelry made from renewable materials that are metal-free and can come in different colors.
3. Sizing: Gauge, Length, Diameter
When choosing snake bite jewelry, you’ll commonly choose between 14-gauge or 16-gauge options. For labrets, you’ll likely want 8mm or 10mm in length. However, the best length will vary based on the thickness of your lip.
If you go with hoops, 8mm or 10mm are common sizes, though your piercer may recommend something different based on the size of your lip.
The piercing's location makes it more prone to infections. Signs include increased redness, swelling, throbbing, heat, and clear/white discharge.
Oral bacteria is often the problem, so clean your mouth three times daily with alcohol-free mouthwash, saline wash, or salt wash. Don't hesitate to see your doctor if symptoms persist.
You will experience swelling when you get your piercing. The swelling should be subsiding within a week.
Some people reduce swelling by letting ice melt in their mouth at the piercing location, while others swear by a sea salt rinse twice daily to bring down swelling. If the swelling persists or spreads, it could indicate an infection.
Tooth Damage and Gum Recession
Your gums are sensitive to irritation, and one side effect of a shark bite piercing is potential gum recession. The baking piece, ball, bar, or ring section rubs against the gum, and this can cause gums to recede at and around the point of contact.
Your best defense against the condition is practicing good oral hygiene and not playing with your jewelry.
Shark Bite Piercing Pros and Cons
There are both pros and cons to consider when getting shark bite piercings.
- Unique facial piercing
- Easy way to get multiple compatible piercings
- Different jewelry options
- Tend to fall in the middle of the pain scale
- Four separate piercings
- Risk of infection
- Risk of gum problems
- Risk of tooth damage
- Possible difficulty eating and drinking
Make sure you think through all of the possible disadvantages, in addition to the advantages, to ensure you fully understand what shark bites involve.
How to Eat With Shark Bite Piercings?
As previously mentioned, shark bites can be challenging when you eat. When you first get your piercing, try to stick to soft, bland foods. Avoid anything that is crunchy or spicy as it can irritate the piercing. Lean toward yogurt, applesauce, oatmeal, and cold foods like ice cream that will also help with swelling.
While it should get better once the piercings are fully healed, you still need to exercise caution when biting, chewing, and consuming spicy items.
Shark Bite Piercing Aftercare
You may be able to do two piercings at a time, but you must make sure all four get cleaned front and back. It’s crucial for you to properly clean your shark bite piercings at least twice a day.
- Opt for soft foods that aren’t overly spicy or acidic.
- Chew very carefully to avoid biting your lip jewelry.
- Avoid strenuous activities with your mouth until your piercings are fully healed.
- Clean the piercings at least twice a day using a sea salt or saline solution.
- Soak the outsides of your piercings for 3-5 minutes in the solution.
- Gargle with salt water, paying extra attention to the front of your mouth to clean the backs of the jewelry.
- Avoid mouthwash with alcohol.
- Avoid touching and playing with the jewelry as this can introduce contaminants that contribute to infection.
Once your piercings are fully healed, you’ll be able to resume most of your daily habits. However, you may still find it difficult to eat certain foods or drink certain beverages that irritate the wounds. Be sure to talk with your piercer about concerns you may have.
Should You Get Shark Bite Piercings?
Whether or not you should get shark bites truly depends on your personal preferences. If you don’t feel like you can complete the right aftercare, they may not be for you. But if you want multiple facial piercings that are sure to make you stand out, they could be a really rewarding choice.