Approximately 5% of babies are born with a condition called a tongue tie. This issue occurs when the frenulum, tissue connecting the tongue to the bottom of the mouth, is too tight and restricts movement of the tongue.
A tongue tie can interfere with your child’s development, but this condition can be easily amended with a procedure called a laser frenectomy. Dr. Allie Miller, a pediatric dentist in Winter Park, FL, outlines what you and your child can expect from laser frenectomy treatment.
Does My Child Have a Tongue Tie?
Affected children are born with tongue ties, but sometimes they go unnoticed until the child grows older. Some common symptoms of tongue ties include:
- Difficulty breastfeeding
- Slow weight gain
- Speech problems
- Trouble with oral functions
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should contact a dental professional. They can perform an oral examination to determine if the frenulum requires correction. Not all children with tongue ties will need the tissue removal procedure.
What Can I Expect from This Procedure?
The laser frenectomy is an in-office procedure that is quick and easy for both the child and their guardian. The dentist uses a handheld laser wand to remove the tongue tie within a few seconds.
The laser dispels the soft tissue, closes the affected vessels, and sterilizes the area, all in one simultaneous action. The dentist can apply an ointment to the area after the procedure for optimal patient comfort. You can ask your dentist about sedation dentistry or other relaxation techniques if your child is nervous at the dentist’s office.
What Happens After the Tongue Tie Removal?
You and your child can leave the dentist’s office directly following this procedure and resume your normal activities. Babies can return to breastfeeding within the same day of a laser frenectomy.
Your dentist will likely recommend oral exercises for the patient to reduce the chance of the frenulum reattaching after this procedure. You should monitor the child and schedule a follow-up appointment to check that this has not occurred.
Consult an Expert Pediatric Dentist in Winter Park, FL
Dr. Miller is an expert pediatric dentist offering laser frenectomy and other specialized treatments to patients in Winter Park, FL. Our practice also treats cavities, crooked teeth, bruxism, and other dental conditions in young patients. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 407.434.0267.