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Tongue-Tie Treatment: What to Expect Before, During, and After

February 23, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — happyteethpa @ 2:10 pm
Happy mother smiling and holding a laughing baby

Does your child have trouble breastfeeding or pronouncing certain words? It could mean that the band of tissue (known as a frenulum) that tethers their tongue to their mouth is too thick and doesn’t allow for a free range of motion. This condition is known as a tongue-tie, and it’s often best to have it treated by a pediatric dentist as early in life as possible. But what exactly will the procedure look like? Here’s what you can typically expect before, during, and after your child’s tongue-tie treatment.

Before Tongue-Tie Treatment

Obviously, the first step is to determine whether or not your child is truly suffering from a tongue-tie. There are a number of common symptoms that parents can watch out for, such as:

  • Having trouble latching on when nursing, repeatedly resulting in unsuccessful feedings.
  • Being unable to stick out the tongue past the lower front teeth.
  • Having difficulty lifting the tongue or moving it from side to side.
  • Having trouble making specific sounds, such as the “t”, “s”, and “z” sounds.

If you have any reason to think your child has a tongue-tie, you should contact your pediatric dentist immediately. They can diagnose the problem and give you a detailed explanation of how it can be treated. Feel free to ask any questions you might have about how tongue-tie treatment works and what you might need to do to prepare for it.

During Tongue-Tie Treatment

The treatment for tongue-tie is known as a frenectomy. Simply put, the frenulum is released so that the tongue can move properly. While in the past this involved the use of a scalpel and sutures, today pediatric dentists prefer to perform frenectomies with a soft tissue laser. This approach causes little to no bleeding and virtually no discomfort; in many cases, it won’t even be necessary to numb your child’s mouth.   

After Tongue-Tie Treatment

It will usually take about two weeks for your child’s mouth to fully heal after a frenectomy. While the procedure itself is typically painless, your little one may still experience a bit of soreness afterward; you can use age-appropriate over-the-counter medication to help keep them comfortable.

Infants are able to breastfeed immediately following a frenectomy. For older children, you may want to have them stick to a soft food diet for at least the initial stages of recovery.

Your pediatric dentist might give you a list of small stretches that you can help your child perform while their mouth is healing. These simple exercises help ensure that the tongue-tie won’t reform, and it can go a long way toward teaching your little one how to properly use their now-unrestricted tongue.

A tongue-tie can cause a lot of difficulty and inconvenience, but luckily there’s a simple way to address the problem. Don’t waste any time calling your pediatric dentist if you think your child could benefit from a frenectomy.

About the Author

Dr. Amar Singh graduated from the Howard University College of Dentistry and completed his pediatric residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago. As a Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist, he’s proud to be able to offer children high-quality care with a gentle touch. He uses a Light Scalpel CO2 dental laser to perform quick, comfortable frenectomies. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Amar Singh at Happy Teeth of Levittown, visit his website or call (267) 580-9657.

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