Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry

Treatment Options for Cheek, Lip, and Tongue Ties in Children

Treatment Options for Cheek, Lip, and Tongue Ties in Children

Reviewed by Dr. Henry Martinez, DMD

Welcome back to our four-part series on cheek, lip, and tongue ties in children. In our previous blog, How Cheek, Lip, and Tongue Ties Affect Infant Feeding and Speech, we discussed the symptoms of ties in infants and young children.

In this blog post, we will guide you through treatment options to address these cheek, lip, and tongue ties. By the end of the post, you will have all the information you need to make an informed decision about your child’s care.

Key Takeaway

Some common treatment methods include frenectomy, lactation consultant support, speech therapy, and myofunctional therapy. It is important to work with a pediatric dentist to ensure your child receives the best possible care for these conditions.

Treatment Options for Cheek, Lip, and Tongue Ties in Children

There is no one-size-fits-all method for treating cheek, lip, and tongue ties, as each child is different and requires a customized approach. Below, we’ll explore some of the most common treatment methods, their benefits, and what you can expect.

Frenectomy

A frenectomy is a surgical procedure that removes or loosens the band of tissue beneath the tongue or inside of the upper lip. This intervention can be life-changing for children with severe restrictions that interfere with normal tongue movements.

The Procedure

During a frenectomy, a dentist or oral surgeon will use a laser or scalpel to release the frenulum. The process is relatively quick, with minimal discomfort and recovery time for the child. 

After surgery, it’s common for children to experience mild discomfort and some bleeding. However, with proper care, the healing process should be quick and straightforward.

Lactation Consultant Support

For infants with ties that affect breastfeeding, seeking support from a certified lactation consultant can be beneficial. These professionals are trained to identify and address issues related to tongue and lip ties that may interfere with successful breastfeeding.

The Role of the Lactation Consultant

A lactation consultant will work closely with you and your baby to evaluate and solve feeding-related issues. They can suggest particular exercises and methods to enhance your baby’s latch and overall feeding experience.

The advantages of working with a lactation consultant include better breastfeeding results, increased milk supply, and decreased pain or discomfort for both the baby and the mother.

Speech Therapy

While some tongue ties may require surgical intervention, others can see improvement through speech therapy. This treatment focuses on re-training the tongue to reach its proper resting position and to move freely for speech production.

What to Expect

A speech therapist will work with your child through various exercises and techniques designed to strengthen the tongue and assist in mobility. Many children achieve significant improvement without the need for a frenectomy.

The beauty of speech therapy is its versatility. Techniques can be integrated into your child’s daily routine, making it as convenient as it is effective.

Myofunctional Therapy

Myofunctional therapy is a specialized form of exercise that targets the mouth and face muscles. A myofunctional therapist will work closely with your child to ensure they perform the exercises correctly.

The Four Goals

  1. Restore nasal breathing
  2. Strengthen the tongue muscles
  3. Correct swallowing patterns
  4. Eliminate harmful oral habits (e.g., thumb sucking)

Myofunctional therapy can be an effective tool for children with cheek, lip, and tongue ties as it addresses the root cause of many symptoms associated with these conditions. 

Children can experience improved swallowing, speech, and overall oral function by strengthening and retraining the muscles.

Why See a Pediatric Dentist

Pediatric dentists specialize in providing dental care to children. They are highly qualified and skilled in addressing issues common to children. 

The dentists and staff at pediatric practices work hard to create a welcoming environment so that every visit is as stress-free as possible.

Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry – Your Choice for Frenectomy in Phoenix, AZ

When it comes to cheek, lip, and tongue ties, it’s important to know what treatment options are available so that your little one gets the care they need. Remember, every child is unique, so the best treatment path is the one that works best for your child’s specific situation. 

At Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry, we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of tongue and lip ties. Our practice is equipped to treat your child in a safe, comfortable environment. 

Don’t wait to seek treatment. If you are searching for the ‘ top pediatric dentist near me,’ book a consultation with Dr. Martinez. Call (602) 935-7427 or complete the online booking form.

In our final blog post of the series, we will cover what to expect following a frenectomy and how best to support your child’s healing process.

Frenectomy Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for a frenectomy to fully heal?

The healing process can vary from child to child, but typically, the surgical site takes about 1-2 weeks to heal fully. However, children may experience discomfort and soreness for a few days post-operation.

How long does it take for breastfeeding latch to improve after frenectomy?

For breastfeeding babies, improvement in latch can be seen almost immediately after the procedure. However, it may take a few weeks for your baby to fully adapt to their newfound tongue mobility and for breastfeeding to become more comfortable.

Can a frenectomy cause a gummy smile?

A frenectomy should not cause a gummy smile. The procedure only addresses the frenulum and does not affect other structures in the mouth. If you have concerns, speak with your pediatric dentist for more information.

If you are searching for a ‘frenectomy near me,’ contact Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry.