A tongue- or lip-tie can cause your child to struggle to latch on properly for feeding. You may notice clicking noises when they feed, and it may feel like no matter how long they feed, they’re hungry not long after. And as they get older, they may be a picky eater and experience difficulty speaking.
These issues occur when the soft tissue connecting the gum to the upper lip or the tongue to the lower mouth is restrictive. Fortunately, at The Kidds Place, we can address these issues and stress getting your child treatment once a problem arises.
If you’re curious about our treatment approach, we’ve compiled some information to help you decide about your little one’s care.
A laser frenectomy is a treatment that uses a laser to release the tongue or lip so it can move.
While a typical frenectomy treatment involves a surgeon cutting the tissue, this particular treatment directs light energy. Rather than slicing the tissue, the laser essentially “vaporizes” it.
This method has several benefits compared to traditional surgical methods. For instance, our Spokane dentist can typically perform the procedure in about a minute. And in some cases, your child won’t even need a local anesthetic and will have little discomfort as the site heals.
Moreover, your child will experience little to no bleeding during or after it. There is also minimal risk of infection from the treatment, and the laser promotes healing, leading to a quick recovery.
A lip-tie occurs when the soft tissue that connects the gum and upper lip is too short, thick, tight, or hindering your child’s ability to move their lip.
A tongue-tie, on the other hand, restricts the child’s tongue movement because the tissue connecting it to the lower mouth is too tight, short, or thick.
Keep in mind that not every case requires treatment. Our Spokane dentist will thoroughly assess your child’s mouth and ask questions about the issues your child is experiencing from the tongue- or lip-tie.
This allows us to advise if you should proceed with a laser frenectomy or if treatment isn’t necessary at this time.
If you’re feeding, having your child undergo a laser frenectomy can free the tongue or lip and improve your baby’s ability to latch on, allowing them to feed more effectively.
Besides the benefit of your child getting the necessary nutrients and growing normally, the procedure can make feeding more comfortable for you, possibly alleviating pain and discomfort while reducing the likelihood of a clogged duct.
As your baby grows up, a tongue- or lip-tie could interfere with their speech, causing delays or impediments. You can prevent or stop this from occurring with this laser procedure.
These issues may also affect teeth spacing, making it more difficult for your child to care for those chompers. Ultimately, this could increase their dental caries and gum disease risk, but a lip frenectomy can prevent this.
What to expect after
Following the procedure, your child may have some pain and discomfort. If your child is over six months old, you may give them baby-strength acetaminophen or ibuprofen, as directed, to alleviate it.
You’ll be able to feed as usual almost immediately after the procedure.
Don’t be surprised if your child has trouble latching initially, though. This will subside once any anesthesia wears off.
Feeding following the procedure is healthy. Our dentist will encourage it because it can help soothe your baby, and the milk contains healing properties.
As a pediatric dentist in Spokane with The Kidds Place, Dr. Cathy Luchini can perform a laser frenectomy safely, helping your child feed, speak and eat better. It’ll even benefit you in terms of comfort when feeding.
Call us today if you have questions or want to schedule a consultation.
- Call us at 509.252.4746
The Kidds Place is a fantastic place to take a tongue or lip-tied child to find relief if you’re in the Spokane area. We’re also conveniently located in Pullman, Cheney, Lewiston, Fairwood, and Airway Heights, WA.