The frenulum—it’s such a small piece of tissue, but it can cause big problems for your precious infant if it’s restrictive. Without treatment, a lip or tongue tie can inhibit your baby’s ability to grow, but at Chicago Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer a solution to help them thrive. Although a laser frenectomy involves a much shorter recovery period than traditional frenectomies does, you still need to follow certain instructions to ensure success. Read on to learn how to handle the aftercare for this advanced procedure.
Laser Frenectomy Aftercare – Chicago, IL
Helping Your Baby Heal After a Laser Frenectomy
How a Laser Frenectomy Works
When an infant has a lip or tongue tie interfering with their oral function, we use a soft tissue laser, instead of a scalpel, to release the restricted frenulum. This treatment is so gentle that we may not need to administer local anesthetic beforehand. We will open your infant’s mouth, lift up the upper lip or tongue, and use the laser to remove the excess tissue. Typically, we don’t need to use sutures for the site, and within just a couple of minutes, we can have your baby back in your arms with a more mobile and flexible tongue or lip.
Immediately After a Laser Frenectomy
In most cases, we recommend breastfeeding as soon as the procedure is over. The nutrients and comfort that your infant can find in nursing helps in the healing and recovery process. Plus, you both should be able to notice immediate improvement from the frenectomy.
Your baby may be fussy or have some discomfort for the first few days following the procedure, but Tylenol can help enable them to eat and sleep comfortably. Keep in mind that the tissue at the frenectomy site may change to an off white or yellow color. This is completely normal. If, however, the tissue becomes red or very white, contact us right away because it could be a sign of an infection.
For three weeks after your baby’s frenectomy, you need to do some simple exercises with the treated lip or tongue in order to prevent the frenulum from reattaching. Although they may fuss or cry during these exercises, they should stop soon after you’re finished.
Please follow these steps within 24 hours after the procedure, and perform the exercises 6-10 times per day:
- Start by washing your hands or putting on gloves.
- Lay your baby on their back.
- For a tongue tie: using your index fingers, gently reach below the tongue and lift it up exposing the diamond shaped wound. Pull the tongue up and swipe the wound area with another finger.
- For a lip tie: lift your baby’s lip and pull it up toward their nose.
- While stretching the tongue or lip, gently press the wound for two seconds. Early on, it is normal to see a drop or two of blood when you start stretching, but this should quickly subside.
This process should be repeated six times a day to ensure the area heals properly.