As a parent, you’re dedicated to caring for your infant, and you want to see your child grow and develop in a healthy way. But if your baby has a tongue tie, their path toward wellness can have a significant roadblock. Our team of compassionate providers is here to make sure your baby enjoys excellent oral health as well as a healthy journey from infancy all the way through to adulthood. To learn more about tongue ties, you can continue reading and then reach out to us to schedule to have your baby evaluated.
Tongue Tie – Chicago, IL
Help Your Baby Thrive
What Is a Tongue Tie?
You may have heard the term tongue tie, but it can be tricky to identify on your own. A tongue tie occurs when the fibrous tissue that connects the tongue to the bottom of the mouth, called a frenulum, impairs the tongue’s function and range of motion. Basically everyone has a frenulum in that location, but a tongue tie restricts your baby’s tongue, leading to several problems for both mother and infant.
How Can a Tongue Tie Impact My Baby?
Breastfeeding can be a special experience between you and your baby and give you both many health benefits. However, a tongue tie can make it difficult to latch properly, leading to slowed growth for your little one and sore nipples for you.
Tongue-tied babies who are fed with bottles may still be able to thrive early on, but an untreated tongue tie can still impact their growth and development later in life. For example, when you make the transition to solid foods, your baby may struggle with certain textures. The tongue also plays an essential role in speech, and a limited range of motion can impair your child’s ability to communicate clearly. In addition, the position and motion of the tongue has a direct effect on how their teeth and jaw develop, which could mean more intensive orthodontic treatment in the future.
Unfortunately, the frenulum under the tongue does not stretch or grow as your baby grows. This means that their tongue tie will continue to be a problem until it is treated.
How Is a Tongue Tie Treated?
To restore the range of motion and function in your baby’s tongue, we need to perform a frenectomy, where the thick, restrictive tissue is released. At first, this may seem scary, but at Chicago Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, our providers utilize the most advanced technology available. As a result, we can perform frenectomies with a gentle laser instead of a scalpel. We remove the excess frenulum within just a few minutes without anesthetic.
What Are the Benefits of Tongue Tie Treatment?
On top of enabling your infant to get back on track in terms of their growth, a laser frenectomy for a tongue tie is much more beneficial than traditional frenectomy methods. Most of the time, laser frenectomies cause little to no bleeding or discomfort. Plus, you don’t have to wait long to see improvement in feeding. In fact, we encourage mothers to breastfeed immediately following the procedure to provide healing nutrients from breastmilk.