Cheek piercings, like many facial piercings are becoming much more prolific as body art/modification continue to become more and more socially acceptable. While being very similar to lip and labret piercings, cheek piercings do take slightly longer to heal and need a bit more attention in regards to aftercare.
Cheeks are technically a muscle so there is a considerable amount of swelling to be expected in the first few weeks afterwards. The initial jewellery for the piercing can either be a barbell or a flat back labret stud with several millimetres at extra length to compensate for swelling. The initial jewellery will need to be downsized to the appropriate length after approximately three to four weeks, sometimes a gradual jewellery downsize process is most appropriate depending on the client, where as every two weeks the length is reduced by two millimetres until the ideal length and ball size is achieved.
The gradual downsizing of jewellery is highly recommended as throughout the healing process cheek piercings have a tendency to flare up and down due to weather changes, eating and drinking habits, smoking etc. The aftercare involved with these piercings is relatively simple however, a simple combination of saline solution, sea salt and warm water, mouthwash, and if medically viable taking Ibuprofen or any similar anti-inflammatory for the first two to four days. The sea salt is ideal for both internal and external treatment of the piercings, with the addition of a non alcoholic mouthwash internally. Mouthwash should be used two to four times per day, morning and evening as well as after meals with a sea salt rinse once or twice a day to expedite skin cell regeneration. The sea salt solution is ¼ – ½ teaspoon of sea salt in a coffee cup of warm but not overly hot water, this can also be used twice a day to clean the external part of the piercing. Over the counter saline solution can also be used in place of the sea salt solution. Average healing times for cheek piercings can vary drastically from person to person but usually range from two to four months with extreme cases taking up to six months. Always be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before cleaning your piercing.