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All of us have a “frenum” or “frenulum” just under our tongue and tucked behind our upper front lip. But if this narrow strip of tissue is too tight, it can lead to conditions like a lip tie or tongue tie. These conditions can be incredibly difficult and frustrating for both the mother and child. Our pediatric dentist, Dr. Joshi, has first-hand experience with this frustration as her own child suffered from both a tongue-tie & lip-tie. In her quest to provide the best for her own child, she now offers the exact same treatment that helped her little one, laser frenectomies.
Lip and Tongue Tie Symptoms
Atypical oral development
Gaps between upper front teeth
Clefting in the tip of the tongue
Some of these conditions can lead to long-lasting effects, such as speech impediments or pain for mothers while nursing their baby. Fortunately, we’re able to provide gentle laser tongue and lip tie correction here in our office.
What is a Frenectomy?
A frenectomy is a procedure where the tight frenum is loosened to release the lip or tongue. With a laser frenectomy it takes only a matter of minutes and the results are immediate. Babies who have difficulty latching can go straight back to feeding with instant improvement.
Laser frenectomies are both gentler and easier for children to recover from than traditional scalpel or scissor techniques. Since no invasive surgical techniques are used, there is practically no inflammation or bleeding. If mild discomfort occurs, one or two doses of an over-the-counter pain reliever are usually all that’s necessary. The laser immediately fuses the skin at the point of the frenectomy, eliminating the need for sutures or topical ointments.
Laser Frenectomy Benefits vs. Traditional Method:
No scissors or stitches needed
Minimal to no bleeding
Minimal to painless procedure
Frenectomies for Babies and Young Children
If you suspect that your newborn has a lip tie or tongue tie — and is having difficulty feeding — we encourage you to bring them in for a brief evaluation. Within just a few short moments, we’ll be able to confirm whether your child needs a frenectomy.
In other scenarios, you may not realize there’s a problem until your toddler gets much older. Perhaps they’re a bit delayed in their speech or eating firmer food is proving to be difficult.
We recommend scheduling your child for their first dental checkup by the time they turn one year old. From there, we’ll consistently evaluate their oral development and screen for issues like tongue and lip ties before serious delays have a chance to develop.
Diagnosis of a lip or tongue tie usually comes from a pediatrician, lactation consultant, or your St. Charles pediatric dentist. If you’re at a loss of where to turn and feedings are taking a toll on everyone, we encourage you to bring your baby in for a short consultation. We’re more than happy to help guide you through the screening so that you can get the answers your family needs.
Laser Frenectomies in St. Charles
Does your baby have a lip or tongue tie? Call DPD Smiles – Pediatrics & Orthodontics today to request an appointment. For a lip tie or tongue tie revision consult or exam, you do not need a referral.