One of the earliest dental issues our kid’s dentist (Brighton) sees in infants and young children is a “tongue tie”.
What is a tongue tie? “Ankyloglossia” is the technical term that pediatricians, lactation consultants, and dentists use to describe tongue ties. This condition affects a newborn or infant’s tongue where it’s restricted by a tight piece of tissue underneath the tip of the tongue.
If you notice that your baby’s tongue doesn’t lift up very high whenever they cry, there’s a visibly tight, thick strip of skin underneath it, or the tip of their tongue is starting to cleft, they may have a tongue tie.
Why is a Tongue Tie Bad?
Tongue ties affect the way your baby sucks, which impacts breastfeeding and bottle feeding. It can also interfere with your child’s speech development. Thankfully, early tongue tie treatment (Brighton) provides safe, fast, same-day relief for babies and their families.
Treating a tongue tie is relatively straightforward and can be performed by a licensed pediatric dentist, family dentist, pediatrician, or even an ENT. Most tongue tie procedures are minimally invasive, requiring either an extremely small incision or the use of a soft tissue laser.
When to Consider Tongue Tie Treatment | Brighton
Many parents discover that their baby’s tongue is tied when they experience feeding difficulties. Perhaps their baby is colicky or has difficulty latching on when it’s time to nurse. It might even be painful for a breastfeeding mom. It’s possible that you need to visit your pediatrician or consult a lactation specialist to determine the cause, but our Brighton dentist can also assess your baby’s tongue to see if a tongue tie is to blame.
Having your baby’s tongue tie treatment completed usually provides immediate relief and improved latching during feeding.
How to Treat a Tongue Tie
The most common treatment for a tongue tie is called a “frenectomy.” Frenectomies involve clipping, trimming, or reducing the “lingual frenum,” which is the taught strip of skin under your baby’s tongue. The procedure is quick and minimally invasive and can be performed with or without numbing medications, depending on the method used and the age of the child.
There is practically no recovery time for a child after a frenectomy due to the minimally invasive nature of the procedure. Most babies do well taking a bottle or pacifier immediately after their tongue tie treatment, which is more than enough to soothe them. There’s rarely any bleeding or inflammation, but Motrin or Tylenol can be given as directed by your pediatrician. Older kids may be given special “tongue exercises” to help improve their range of motion, such as licking a popsicle or ice-cream cone; the cold will also help their tongue feel better!
What Happens if a Tongue Tie Isn’t Treated?
Even if your infant is able to feed comfortably with a tongue tie, their condition will eventually impact their speech development. Issues such as lisps or similar speech impediments are fairly normal in children with tongue ties.
If you didn’t realize your child had a tongue tie until toddlerhood or their preschool years, it’s nothing to be worried about. Our Brighton kid’s dentists can provide safe, gentle treatment to help.
When to See a Dentist or Doctor for a Tongue Tie
It’s best to see someone about your child’s suspected tongue tie as early as possible. Typically, your pediatrician or a lactation consultant will notice if your baby has a tongue tie in the first days after your child is born. Or if you want to have someone affirm your suspicions, you can also call Kids City Dental and request a quick consultation. During your baby’s exam, we’ll determine if there is a notable tongue tie and recommend whether treatment is needed.
Otherwise, our Brighton dentists will usually catch infant tongue ties during your child’s first dental exam. Always plan to request a dental checkup for your child by their first birthday or when their earliest teeth begin to erupt.
Tongue Tie Treatment in Brighton
Call Kids City Dental today to get the answers and peace of mind your family needs!