Infant Frenectomy

Feeding a baby comfortably

And efficiently is the most important aspect of a newborn’s life and a precious experience for a new mom. A normal frenum is a connective band bringing two soft tissue pieces together. In some cases, if that band connects too low or tight it may result in a condition known as a Tongue-Tie or a Lip-Tie. These conditions can jeopardize the beautiful nursing relationship between a mother and her newborn. If the frenum attaches too low or too tight, the tissue can become restrictive in nature, similar to how webbed fingers can become restricted with extra skin attaching to high. Imagine how a surgical release of webbed tissue allows fingers to be free and function well. A frenectomy procedure allows a baby to freely use their lip and tongue for an efficient, effective, and comfortable feeding experience.

Why do we seem to be seeing more Tongue-Ties?

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, in the past decade, there has been increased awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding. This awareness has allowed breastfeeding to become more popular again, while also bringing more attention to the problems associated with breastfeeding, such as Lip and Tongue-Ties.

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 why they are highly favorable in soft tissue procedures. Dr. Rishita’s expertise in using Waterlaser allows her to provide desensitization, coagulation and cooling as it separates the tissue. The laser light beam is precisely controlled for the most thorough and safe procedure. Waterlaser virtually eliminates the need for scalpel, sutures, or anesthetic in infant frenectomy cases. The newborns we treat can feed immediately after the procedure for comfort. Moms report significant difference in personal comfort, baby’s consumption, and efficiency while nursing or bottle feeding.

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 milk 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 motion and 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.

Team approach for long-term success

Mothers and babies experience maximum benefits when a frenectomy is combined with guidance from a knowledgeable lactation consultant or a feeding therapist. This is important in developing a new and improved breastfeeding relationship. They can help you tease out any maternal or infant related factors that may be interfering with your baby’s ability to feed.

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 including infants as young as 2 days old, who are struggling with challenges of nursing 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 provides 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 babies love her and parents trust her!

Day of Procedure Instructions

Day After Procedure Instructions

Oral motor function & suck training