Although they’re not very common, shark bite piercings are pretty interesting! They stand out from the typical piercings you might come across. Unlike snake bite piercings, where you have one piercing on each side of your lower lip, shark bites involve two, totalling four piercings. These piercings are called “shark bites” because they’re crafted to resemble the rows of teeth seen in a shark’s mouth, not because you’ve been bitten by one.
So, if you’re looking for a distinctive and edgy style, considering shark bite piercings might be a great choice.
What is a Shark Bites Piercing?
Shark bite piercings involve having two pairs of double piercings, one on each side of your lower lip. They blend elements of viper and snake bite piercings to create a look resembling shark teeth. This results in four piercings neatly arranged in two sets on both sides.
Additionally, another lip piercing style is “angel bites,” which is quite similar, but these piercings are located on the upper lip instead of the lower one.
Should You Get a Shark Bites Piercing?
Shark bite piercings might seem intimidating because you’ll have four piercings in total. Let’s go over the good and not-so-good aspects to help you decide if this piercing is the right choice for you:
- Unisex Appeal: Shark bite piercings look fantastic on everyone, regardless of whether you’re a guy or a girl. They make your lip area stand out and give your style a unique touch.
- Trendsetter Status: These piercings are relatively new and can set you apart as a trendsetter among your friends. Mix them with septum or medusa piercings for an even more eye-catching look.
- Painful Process: Getting four separate piercings can be more painful than getting just one or two. You might also experience some swelling, which can be uncomfortable.
- Infection Risks: Like with any piercing, there’s a risk of infection with shark bites. However, following the correct aftercare instructions and consistently keeping your piercings clean can reduce this risk.
Ultimately, it’s essential to consider these pros and cons and decide if you’re willing to go for the unique style and appearance of shark bite piercings.
Before you decide to get any piercing, it’s crucial to find a piercer you can trust completely. When you arrive at the piercing shop, your piercer will walk you through the entire process and provide you with some forms to fill out while they prepare. They’ll call you in once everything is ready, and before they begin, they’ll thoroughly clean your lip.
To ensure the piercings are correct, your piercer will use a special surgical pen to mark four spots on your lip. You must be comfortable with where these marks are before they proceed!
Afterwards, your piercer will use a clamp to hold your lip still and then use a hollow needle to make the piercings. Once that’s done, they’ll insert the jewellery. This entire process will be repeated four times to give you those fantastic shark bite piercings.
Finally, your piercer will provide instructions on taking care of your new piercings before you leave. Understanding these instructions is vital, so feel free to ask questions if you need clarification.
You can also watch the videos below to get a real-time look at what getting shark bite piercings is like!
How Much Do Shark Bites Piercings Hurt?
Shark bite piercings can be somewhat painful, typically ranking 7 out of 10 on the pain scale. It’s normal for your new piercings to feel swollen and sensitive in the first few days. To make this initial discomfort more manageable, you can use cold compresses and consider taking anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen.
One way to reduce swelling and pain is by spacing out the piercings over a few days. This approach allows your body to focus on healing one pair of piercings at a time. Discussing this with your piercer is a good idea to determine the best strategy for your situation.
Additionally, you can explore which piercings are generally more or less painful to understand better what to anticipate.
Healing and Aftercare
Shark bite piercings usually require around 8 to 12 weeks to fully heal. You can help the healing process go faster by following these aftercare tips:
✔ Always ensure your hands are thoroughly clean before touching your piercing.
✔ Stick to your regular oral hygiene routine, and be extra gentle when brushing your teeth to avoid disturbing the piercing.
✔ Change your pillowcase regularly to prevent any dirt or germs from coming into contact with your piercing.
✔ Clean your piercing inside and outside twice daily to prevent potential issues.
✔ If you experience swelling, sensitivity, or bleeding during the healing period, don’t hesitate to contact your piercer or consult a doctor for guidance and assistance.
How to Clean Your Shark Bites Piercings
To maintain the cleanliness of your piercings, you can create a simple saline solution right at home. Here’s what you need to do:
✔ Mix 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt into 8 ounces of warm water until the salt is completely dissolved.
✔ Soak a clean pad or towel in this saline solution, then gently press it against your piercing for a few minutes. This helps to loosen any dried material that might be stuck there. Wipe away this debris, and clean your jewellery carefully without moving it too much.
For the inside of your mouth, use non-alcoholic mouthwash after eating or drinking. It’s also a good idea to do this step when you’re cleaning the outside of your piercings.
Make sure to follow this cleaning routine once in the morning and once at night to ensure your piercing stays clean and remains healthy.
Recommended Aftercare Products
You can utilize this sea salt blend to craft your homemade saline solution in the comfort of your home.
Piercing aftercare spray
Piercing spray is excellent for folks who are constantly on the move. Put it in your bag, and you can clean your piercing no matter where you are!
What to Avoid During Healing
It’s essential to remember that bacteria can come from various sources, especially when you have multiple piercings that are still healing. To lower the risk of getting an infection, here are some things you should avoid:
- Smoking or drinking alcohol.
- Eating spicy and acidic foods.
- Refrain from putting your mouth on objects or other people.
- Stay away from swimming in natural bodies of water or public pools.
- Avoid applying makeup or lipstick to the healing area.
- Please don’t remove your jewellery too early, as it can cause your piercings to close up completely.
Infections and those small bumps near your piercing are things you should be cautious about whenever you change your body. But, following the cleaning steps we discussed earlier can reduce the chances of getting an infection.
Now, let’s talk about lip piercings. Another thing to watch out for is when your teeth start to wear down because of the constant movement of your lip jewellery. To avoid this, make sure your jewellery fits you correctly. Initially, they might use longer jewellery to account for swelling, but once you’re all healed up, you can switch to something shorter.
Lastly, there’s a thing called “jewellery rejection,” which can happen if you use lower-quality or plated jewellery. To avoid this problem, opting for high-quality jewellery made from materials like titanium or surgical steel is a good idea. This way, you won’t have to worry about your body reacting poorly to the jewellery.
Cost of Shark Bite Piercings
Shark bite piercings are typically priced per hole, so you’ll be charged for each piercing, which means you’ll pay for four piercings. The overall cost can vary depending on a few factors, like the experience level of your piercer, the pricing policies of the piercing shop, and the location where you’re getting pierced. For instance, if you go to Johnson in Utah, he charges about $40 for each piercing, while Cabral charges approximately $60 for a set of two. So, in the end, you should budget for an expense ranging from $40 to $75 per hole.
Now, there’s something else to consider: the cost of the jewellery. It’s a good idea to have a conversation with the piercing professional before the procedure to understand how much the jewellery will cost so you’re not surprised. Some shops may include essential jewellery in the overall price, but if you opt for fancier jewellery, there may be an additional charge.
According to Johnson, “Basic jewellery is included in the price. However, there is an option to spend more to upgrade.”
How to Change Out Shark Bites
Once all four piercings have fully healed, you can start swapping out the jewellery for different styles if you want to change things up. But here’s a crucial rule: make sure your piercings are completely healed before you attempt to switch out the jewellery. If they’re not fully healed, you risk irritation or, even worse, getting an infection.
How you change your jewellery depends on the type of jewellery you were initially pierced with. If it’s a labret, you’ll need to unscrew the removable part, slide out the back piece inside your mouth, insert the new one, and then screw it back onto the front. If you have a barbell, the process is quite similar:
- Remove the threaded ball on the show.
- Slide the bar through and out from inside your mouth.
- Insert the new one.
- Secure the new ball onto the bar.
You can do this by yourself if you’re sure that you know how to do it without causing any harm to your piercings. However, if you need more clarification, it’s a wise idea to seek assistance from a professional. As Liu suggests, “Someone very experienced with piercings might be able to change it themselves.” Johnson adds, “But there’s nothing wrong with getting help.”
Best Jewelry for Shark Bites
The most common option, especially during healing, is to go for labret studs. Labrets are popular because they stay in place and come in various sizes. After your piercings have fully healed, you can change to clicker rings, captive bead rings, or circular barbells if you aim for a bold and edgy appearance.
What Jewelry Material Is Used for Shark Bite Piercings?
“I suggest selecting metals that are less likely to cause allergies,” advises Liu. “Nickel and, to a lesser extent, gold, can often trigger skin irritations.”
Titanium: If you have sensitive skin or want to play it safe, the best choice is jewellery made from titanium. Titanium doesn’t contain nickel, so you can choose any style you like without worrying about allergic reactions.
Surgical Steel: If you’re sure you’re not allergic to nickel, surgical steel is also a dependable option. Like titanium, it comes in various styles, so you can find jewellery that suits your preferences.
Gold: Gold is a popular choice for those who want to upgrade to more visually appealing jewellery. However, if you go for gold, it’s crucial to ensure it’s 14 karat or higher. Otherwise, your jewellery could become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.