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Toddler and Childrens Frenectomy

What is a Lip/Tongue-Tie?

A normal frenum is a connective band bringing two soft tissue pieces together. In some cases, if that band connects too tight or too low it can result in a condition known as a Tongue-Tie or a Lip-Tie. Lip and Tongue-Ties are not a new problem. In fact, a Lip or Tongue-Tie is one of the main reasons given to Moms to wean her child to a bottle instead of breastfeeding. However, having restricted mobility in a child’s lip or tongue can make certain milestones beyond breastfeeding more challenging.

Consequences of Untreated Lip and Tongue-Ties

 

Feeding issues – Many children develop a high arch in their roof of the mouth (palate) as it does not get the benefit of proper shape and molding by the tongue. Many children struggle with transitioning from breastmilk to purees or table foods. While some become picky eaters and have difficulty managing variable texture of table foods.

Speech issues – Many children develop air management and speech clarity or articulation problems due to limited range of elevation of all parts of the tongue required to produce various sounds – l/th/d/n, st/sr/kh/gh, m/p/b and so on.

Dental issues – Children with lip or tongue tie are prone to developing cavities on the surfaces that do not get the benefit of natural cleansing from the soft tissue of the mouth. Cavities seen on the front part of the incisors or recession of gums near the midline are often attributable to lip ties. Cavities on the chewing surface of the molars are often seen in patients that have a tongue tie and never developed the reflex to clean out the sticky foods after snacks or meals.

Sleep issues – Disordered Breathing and Sleep Apnea are often seen in children that cannot manage the proper posture and tone of the tongue muscle due to restrictions or ties. The tongue remains ‘down and back’ in the mouth which leads to restriction of the airway. Snoring, exhaustion, grinding of teeth, attention deficit disorders, behavioral issues are all now being connected back to sleep disordered breathing in the literature.

How are Tongue-Ties and Lip-Ties treated today?

Thanks to the great advances in laser technology, most technologically-savvy and up-to-date healthcare providers are educated on the laser’s properties and know why they are highly favorable in soft tissue procedures. The lasers ability to coagulate as it releases tissue allows better healing of the surgical site. Lasers virtually eliminate the need for scalpel or sutures, in most frenectomy cases.

We work hard to make sure children are comfortable in the dental chair before deciding to move forward with any treatment. This way, your child can sit comfortably while watching their favorite tv show or movie throughout the procedure. In some cases, if your child is managing other medical conditions or dental anxiety, we may discuss other options such as Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) or other forms of sedation to make sure your child is not only comfortable, but safe while receiving the best quality of treatment. We will work with you as a team to make the best decision for your child.

Child Exercises for After Procedure

Toddler Exercises for After Procedure

Team approach for long-term success

Children experience maximum benefits when a frenectomy is combined with guidance from a knowledgeable provider and support system. Children that are managing speech or feeding difficulties benefit from having a Feeding Therapist or Speech Therapist to help them learn how to use their new mobility effectively. This is important in developing muscle memory, tone and stamina. They can help you tease out any other factors that may be interfering with your child’s ability to eat or speak adequately before and after a procedure.

Why Smile Wonders?

Dr. Rishita is a well-known expert provider skilled and experienced in providing laser frenectomy. She enjoys the trust of her peers and colleagues when they refer their most complex cases to her care. She has achieved the Advanced Laser Proficiency Certification from the Academy of Laser Dentistry. Her expertise in using Waterlaser safely and effectively is recognized by the World Clinical Laser Institute with their highest Mastership Certification. She has helped improve the quality of life of her patients who are struggling with challenges due to Lip or Tongue-Tie issues, as well as children with special health care or behavioral needs. Dr. Jaju strives to stay current with the state of the art techniques and technologies. Her most recent achievement has been completing the training in Oral Myofunctional Therapy and Certification course as a Breastfeeding Specialist. Dr. Rishita numerous seminars and training for introducing and promoting infant oral health, pediatric dentistry and benefits of laser applications to general dentists, pediatricians, lactation consultants, speech pathologists as well as the providers of the Infant Toddler Connection programs. When you meet her you’ll know why kids love her and parents trust her!