Breastfeeding can sometimes be challenging, but if your baby is tongue tied, he or she may have trouble nursing and latching onto your breast.
What does it mean when a baby is tongue tied?
If a baby is tongue tied, he or she has a condition at birth that restricts the tongue’s range of motion. The tongue has a band of tissue called the lingual frenulum that attaches its tip to the bottom of the mouth. Being tongue tied means that this tissue is unusually short, thick, or tight, which can result in issues as swallowing, eating, speaking, and breast feeding.
How does being tongue tied affect breast feeding?
When a baby breastfeeds, he or she needs to be able to keep the tongue over the lower gum. If this isn’t possible, the baby may chew instead of suck and have trouble latching on during breast feeding. Even if he or she latches on somewhat, the baby may try increasing the amount of pressure, which can cause the mom to feel pain. The tongue-tied baby may then have a slight or complete loss of suction and may then detach from the breast.
How does laser treatment work in correcting a tongue tie?
A tongue tie can be corrected with a procedure known as a frenectomy, which releases the frenulum under the tongue and allows the tongue to function normally and have a better range of motion. This procedure has traditionally be done using scissors, but it can now be performed using a laser, which uses light to essentially vaporize the frenulum.
What are the benefits of a laser procedure over other methods of correction?
A short, thick, or tight frenulum needs to be corrected since it can cause issues with breastfeeding in infants and also cause speech difficulties in children who are learning to talk. The laser procedure provides the following benefits when compared to having the frenulum snipped:
- No need for anesthesia
- Very little discomfort
- No chance of allergic reaction since no medication is used
- More precise results
- Quick and improved healing
- Decreased risk of infection
- Almost no bleeding
- Child can breastfeed immediately after the procedure
If your child is tongue tied, make an appointment today with Park View Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics in NYC. We provide the full spectrum of pediatric dental care, including routine care, orthodontic services, and laser procedures to treat tongue tied children. The sooner your child’s issue is corrected, the faster you can resume the process of nourishing your baby as well as bonding through breastfeeding.