You don’t get it. You’ve worked with a lactation consultant, and you’re doing everything right. Yet your baby can’t seem to breastfeed properly, your nipples hurt, and you both are getting frustrated. When you’re told that they may have a tongue-tie that needs to be resolved, you feel a little nervous about subjecting your tiny newborn to treatment. Here’s a step-by-step guide for what to expect before, during, and after tongue-tie treatment to put your fears to rest.
Before Tongue-Tie Treatment
As you take care of your little one, you may notice some symptoms that could indicate that they have a tongue-tie, such as difficulty latching while nursing, a V-shaped tissue at the tip of their tongue, or limited mobility of their tongue in the mouth.
Prior to performing any procedure, your pediatric dentist needs to examine your baby’s mouth, including their tongue, to confirm the presence of a tongue-tie, but the procedure is gentle enough that it can be performed practically at birth!
During Tongue-Tie Treatment
Tongue-tie revision entails loosening or severing the frenulum, or connective tissue that is tethering the tongue to the base of the mouth. Traditionally, this is accomplished by administering a local anesthetic and using a scalpel to cut this tissue. As a result, some bleeding and quite a bit of discomfort often occurs, meaning sutures become necessary after this type of frenectomy.
However, modern advanced technology has progressed over the years, leading some practices to use soft tissue lasers for frenectomies. Although the tissue is still severed, the laser removes the tissue while causing very little pain or bleeding. In fact, when laser frenectomies are performed, the pediatric dentist often doesn’t need to give the anesthetic at all.
After Tongue-Tie Treatment
Compared to traditional frenectomies, laser tongue-tie treatment involves a much shorter healing period. In fact, one of the most beneficial post-operative ways to help your baby heal from the procedure is to breastfeed immediately afterward. Not only should you notice instant improvement in their ability to latch, but the act of breastfeeding has a healing effect on your baby. The nutrients in the breast milk as well as comforting closeness with a parent can soothe your little one and expedite the healing process even more.
Tongue-tie treatment isn’t something you should be afraid of. For babies who have restrictive tongue-ties, a laser frenectomy can drastically improve their oral function and help you both have a better nursing experience.
About the Practice
Chicago Tongue-Tie Center has three board-certified pediatric dentists on staff with years of experience and clinical training in laser frenectomies. From beginning to end, our team can guide you through the tongue-tie treatment process, so you know exactly what to expect at every step. If you think your baby could have a tongue-tie, you can contact our office by calling 312-248-2455 or clicking here to schedule an appointment.