Is your child tongue-tied or do they have a tied upper lip? This is common among newborn babies, and the team at Access Dental in Grande Prairie can help with a Frenectomy procedure.
What is a frenectomy?
Newborn babies are often born tongue-tied or with a tied upper lip. These conditions may lead to breast feeding problems or even complications for the child later in life.
These problems can range from speech difficulties to issues with skeletal and oral-facial development. Difficulties and symptoms associated with a poor latch may include prolonged and/or frequent feeding or colic.
If you find your child may be tongue-tied & requires a frenectomy, it may be a scary experience. Your doctor may recommend you see an experienced dentist to safely and effectively perform treatment while keeping you informed through the process to help you feel at ease.
How We Can Help
A dentist can help by resolving the tissue growth issues impacting your child’s ability to move their tongue. If you think your child may be in need of a frenectomy procedure in Grande Prairie, book a consultation with Dr. Nonkovic today.
During the initial examination, we will gently retract the upper lip to evaluate the attachment further. Depending on the position and the width of this extra skin, we may recommend an upper lip frenectomy.
A single finger sweep and a visual examination of the area below the tongue can reveal any present obstructions. We may also observe the mobility of the tongue when your child is crying to see if the borders of the tongue curl up with the tip or if the middle is restricted.
In some cases, the tissue causing the difficulties can resolve on its own, however in some cases, surgical intervention may be needed.
What can we expect during the procedure?
At Access Dental, we use the Er:YAG water laser. This machine is scalpel-free, and uses electro surgery and diode lasers. The laser allows us to closely target the affected area, to help avoid potential damage to surrounding tissue. The laser cauterizes as it cuts, to help minimize any bleeding and the chance of infection.
What precautions should I take for my child following the procedure?
Following the procedure, it is important for parents to observe the area to keep the surgical sites from re-attaching and healing back together. We will provide written instructions and will teach you exercises that you can do with your child to decrease their chance of relapse.
Post Surgical Care: Lip Tie Procedure
To help prevent the area from healing back, we recommend that parents perform the stretching exercises for 7 weeks following the procedure. The upper lip is pulled up towards the nose and then released. We recommend that you repeat this 2-3 times per day, possibly during feeding and switching from one breast to the other. The milk may help soothe and comfort the baby.
Post Surgical Care: Tongue Tie Procedure
In most cases, the movement of the tongue during the act of breastfeeding is enough to prevent reattachment. If the parent is comfortable with stretching the surgical site, we recommend two alternative methods.
First Method: Place your index fingers of each hand on the floor of the mouth next to the healing site and push downward and see the area stretch.
Second Method: Use a tongue blade to lift the tongue while gently pushing down on the lower jaw with the other hand. This pressure will create the stretch within the surgical site.
If the infant seems “cranky” or refuses feeding, consult with your doctor, who may recommend an over-the-counter pain relief medication. The area should be completely healed within two weeks and there should be increased level of function. At this stage, we will schedule a second examination to observe the tongue’s mobility.
At Access Dental, we provide the comfortable and personal experience both you and your child need during a frenectomy procedure. If you suspect your child may need a frenectomy and want to have them evaluated, contact our office in Grande Prairie today to schedule a consultation.