For some, breastfeeding can be a wonderful time to bond with your child. For others, it can be a painful, frustrating experience that leaves you feeling drained. If you’re wondering if there’s a better way, the answer is yes. Frenectomies can help keep you comfortable and ensure your child is getting proper nutrition while feeding.
Being told that your infant needs a surgical procedure can sound scary, but frenectomies are simple, safe, and effective with minimal aftercare. Plus, with a conservative approach to pediatric dentistry, Dr. Hanna will only recommend frenectomies when they deem them necessary. If you’ve been struggling with breastfeeding or noticing popping or clicking sounds while your child is feeding, it may be time to come in for a frenectomy consultation.
Tongue ties occur in 4-11% of newborns.
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Our gentle, yet effective Lightscalpel CO2 laser can correct tongue and lip ties with no pain or scarring and promotes faster healing. In most cases, numbing is not even required, and the entire procedure takes less than 15 minutes from start to finish.
Rest assured that your child is receiving top-notch, specialized care with our Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist. To be recognized by The American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, doctors must undergo extensive training in the pediatric field in addition to their standard dental degrees.
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Tongue/lip ties can make breastfeeding difficult for both baby and mom. Frenectomies ensure your infant can feed properly and help prevent low weight gain.
Early treatment with a frenectomy helps prevent speech impediments due to restricted tongue movement.
Releasing restrictive tissues can also help older children enjoy their favorite foods with ease.
First, a consultation is necessary to determine if your child requires a frenectomy. You’ll discuss your concerns and experiences with the doctor and your child will receive an oral exam. The dentist will examine their mouth for signs of tongue and lip ties, and determine whether or not a frenectomy is the best option. To begin the surgery, the area will be numbed using local anesthesia to ensure your child feels absolutely no pain or discomfort throughout the procedure.
CO2 laser will be used to release the frenulum and it will only takes seconds. Using this modern technology laser minimizes bleeding, post-op discomfort, and encourages faster healing.
With a laser frenectomy, there is rarely a need for stitches or sutures. Proper aftercare includes tongue exercise. Houston pediatric dentist Dr. Hanna and her team recommend tongue or lip stretches to ensure that the frenulum heals properly and does not reattach.
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Frenectomies are usually identified in infants and young children before they grow older, so the treatment is primarily done on younger children. However, it’s not exclusively provided to infants and young children. Older kids, teenagers, or even adults who have tongue or lip ties may be able to benefit from treatment with a frenectomy if they have serious tongue or lip ties.
To care for the surgical site, you will need to clean the treatment area twice a day to prevent infection and keep it healthy. Your child’s dentist may also recommend some stretches for the tongue and/or lips. These stretches will help ensure that when the frenulum heals, it will not reattach and restrict your child’s oral range of motion. Follow the instructions given to you and make sure you regularly perform all stretches recommended to you by your child’s dentist.
A frenectomy will typically be covered by dental insurance, so you can get your child the care they need without worrying about high out-of-pocket expenses. Even if you do not have insurance, the cost of a frenectomy is quite low. Insurance plans vary, so make sure you consult with your dental insurance company to make sure your child is covered for their treatment.
Not at all. Your child’s mouth will be completely numb throughout the procedure, and we use special tools at our office to eliminate pain and discomfort. With laser dentistry, your child will experience minimal bleeding, and they will be able to recover from tongue or lip tie treatment quickly and with low levels of post-operative discomfort.
Feeding problems are the most common signs of tongue and lip ties. Your child’s lips and tongue need to be able to move properly to latch onto the nipple and stimulate it for proper feeding. If they seem to be having trouble making a proper seal, milk dribbles out from their mouth while feeding, or they frequently stop and start feeding, they may be having latching issues due to tongue or lip ties.
You can also look for visual signs of tongue and lip ties. For the lips, you can fold back your child’s upper lip and look at the frenulum. If it is difficult to lift the lip or it seems like your baby is unable to move their upper lip on their own, they may have a lip tie.
Signs of tongue ties include an inability for your child to stick their tongue out past their front teeth, or problems moving the tongue from side to side. Tongue ties can also be identified visually. A common sign of tongue ties is a “heart-shaped” tongue. When your child sticks their tongue out, the restriction caused by the tongue tie may cause it to look “notched” or heart-shaped, instead of appearing as a smooth “U” shape.
Tongue and lip ties are collectively known as “tethered oral tissues” or TOTs. They occur when the bands of tissue that connect the tongue or the lips to the mouth become overdeveloped to the point that proper mouth movement is restricted.
They are uncommon in infants and toddlers, and sometimes do not need treatment. Minor tongue and lip ties may not cause any feeding problems, or contribute to speech impediments.
However, serious tongue and lip ties can make it hard for your child to breastfeed or use a bottle properly, resulting in poor feeding and inadequate nutrition. If you think that your child is having trouble feeding because of tongue or lip ties, you should get help from a pediatric dentist right away.