Lip & Tongue Tie Treatment – Levittown, PA
Improve Your Child’s Comfort
and Oral Health
Is your child struggling to latch during breastfeeding, making the experience more difficult than it needs to be? Do they find it difficult to say certain words and you aren’t sure why? One of the most common issues pediatric dentists handle is enlarged frenulums, which are small portions of tissue that exist within the mouth. Dr. Amar has years of experience and specialized training to reduce these small tissues through lip and tongue tie treatment in our Levittown, PA dental office, so your child can achieve full movement of their mouth moving forward. Call Happy Teeth of Levittown to schedule their next visit!
Why Choose Happy Teeth of Levittown for Lip & Tongue Tie Treatment?
- Dentist Trained by Leading Specialist in Laser Dentistry
- Top-of-the-Line CO2 Laser Technology
- Sedation Dentistry for Nervous or Anxious Patients
What is Lip & Tongue Tie
A lip-tie or tongue-tie (depending on the location of the frenulum) is a very common issue that mostly affects young children. It occurs when the frenulum, a short tight band of tissue strongly tethers either the lip or the tongue to the gums or the floor of the mouth, respectively. In some cases, the issue can resolve itself. However, if the frenulum is too large, it can limit the lips and tongue from moving freely. Thankfully, fixing this problem is very quick and simple to do as well as virtually painless for the patient.
Indications for Lip & Tongue Tie Treatment
One of the most common signs that your child has a lip or tongue tie is difficulty nursing. If they do any of the following, bring them in for an appointment so we can help reduce the size of their frenulum. This includes:
- Struggle to latch during breastfeeding
- Make a clicking noise while suckling
- Drool excessively during nursing
- Chewing of the nipple when feeding
- Difficulty sleeping, speaking or swallowing
With an initial exam, we’ll make sure to look for these small tissues and provide recommendations ahead of time as needed.
What is a Frenectomy?
A frenectomy is a surgical procedure that is minimally invasive and uses a special laser to release the frenulum underneath the tongue or upper lip. Taking only minutes to complete, the process involves using a Light Scalpel CO2 dental laser. Dr. Singh can quickly and gently reduce the size of the frenulum, oftentimes with little to no stitches. There is virtually no bleeding or discomfort associated with the treatment and it can be done in a single appointment. Our team takes all the necessary steps to make your child feel comfortable and prepared for their tongue/lip-tie treatment. We can also provide sedation dentistry if they feel nervous or have special needs.
After your child’s lip-tie is revised, it will be important to perform various stretches to keep the band of tissue from reconnecting. To stretch this area, you will need to lay your child flat on their back either on the floor or in your lap. Using your thumbs and index fingers, place them on both sides of the upper lip and gently pull upward and roll the lip away from the nose. You will need to hold for 5-10 seconds before rubbing the surgical site gently. Repeat the process before nursing your child to calm them down.
If it is a tongue-tie that is revised, you may notice a diamond shape underneath the tongue. It is possible that during stretches, it may bleed a little. The stretches you will perform include placing your child in the same position as you would if you were stretching a lip-tip (on their back on the floor or in your lap). Taking your finger, you will gently move it under their tongue and apply light pressure to the underside before pushing the tongue back and upward. This will allow the tongue to move freely.
If the area feels tight, firmly, but gently, move your finger back and forth between the top and bottom of the revision and hold for 5-10 seconds.
Benefits of a Laser Frenectomy
By choosing to pursue a laser frenectomy to release your child’s lip and/or tongue-tie, you will experience a multitude of benefits that cannot be achieved using the traditional scalpel and suture methods. Some of these benefits include:
- A minimally invasive procedure that takes only minutes to complete
- No bleeding or stitches required
- Your baby will experience little-to-no discomfort
- Recovery and healing time is quick
- Immediate results when it comes to feeding capabilities
Frenectomy Frequently Asked Questions
Does your child need a lip and tongue tie treatment? If so, the team at Happy Teeth of Levittown is pleased to offer a safe and effective solution to give your baby the help they need to nurse, speak, and have a normal oral function. Dr. Singh and his team of professionals have compiled some frequently asked questions about frenectomies to help you determine if this type of treatment is right for your little one. If at any point you have additional questions and want to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact us or schedule an appointment.
WILL MY INFANT BE ABLE TO NURSE IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE PROCEDURE?
In most instances, babies can nurse as soon as the frenectomy is complete. This will allow your child to begin having a free range of motion, and you will notice the difference in your breastfeeding capabilities. It will be necessary to go over the detailed stretching instructions with Dr. Singh; however, once that is complete, you will be able to nurse your child in private.
CAN I EXPECT MY BABY TO HAVE PROBLEMS NURSING AFTER HAVING A FRENECTOMY?
Depending on the age of your baby and the length of time that has passed before having their lip or tongue tie addressed, your child may need to relearn how to properly latch and nurse. It sometimes takes unlearning bad habits to effectively get it right. Some infants have no problem nursing immediately following a frenectomy, but others will need some time to adjust and learn how to use various facial muscles to nurse correctly.
WHY ARE STRETCHES NECESSARY?
Although a frenectomy will allow for a significant improvement in your child’s ability to nurse, speak, and have a full range of motion when it comes to moving their tongue and/or lip, the truth is that stretches are absolutely necessary to prevent these bands of tissue from reconnecting. Your pediatric dentist will show you how to properly stretch the area and provide instructions on how long to perform these stretches at home. Typically, within a few weeks, your child’s mouth will be fully healed, and you can expect to begin to see a dramatic difference.
WHY IS LASER DENTISTRY BETTER THAN THE TRADITIONAL SCALPEL AND SUTURE METHOD?
Not only does the use of the Light Scalpel CO2 dental laser minimize bleeding and reduce the likelihood of stitches, but it makes for a much easier and painless procedure. Laser dentistry is proven to be much safer and more effective at fully releasing the frenulum, allowing your baby to enjoy a greater range of motion. Also, the procedure is much quicker and can be completed in a single dental appointment.
WILL MY BABY BE IRRITABLE IN THE DAYS FOLLOWING THE PROCEDURE?
It is normal for an infant to be a bit fussy following a frenectomy. Because you will need to perform the stretching exercises frequently, you can expect them to be more irritable. A helpful tip is to try and space out the stretches. If possible, nurse your baby on one side before burping and performing the stretches. If they become upset, you can quickly return them to the other side to continue nursing, allowing them to calm down. If your baby is bottle-fed, stop halfway through their feeding to perform the stretches before returning the bottle to your child.