When confronted with the idea of allowing a complete stranger to cut inside of your baby’s mouth, many mothers get nervous. I’m a mom, too… I get it. That’s okay! It’s perfectly reasonable to be intimidated by the term “lingual frenectomy.”
However, the reality is that a lingual frenectomy is a safe, non-intrusive, and relatively painless procedure. I say this with the caveat that a trained professional is conducting the procedure, of course. Upon diagnosing the existence of a tongue tie, having a lingual frenectomy performed can yield fantastic results in improved latching and suction. This may mean more efficient milk intake for the baby and less painful nipple issues for the mother.
I have witnessed the benefits to far outweigh the minor discomfort of the procedure and healing process. This post serves to familiarize you with a lingual frenectomy and cover the safety guidelines that I follow:
- I do not use general anesthesia on infants. I do this for many reasons, but mainly that it is a) unnecessary, and b) increases the risk of later development of ADHD, according to a 2012 Mayo Clinic study. Instead, I apply a thin layer of effective topical numbing gel on the frenular tissue. The numbing effect of the gel lasts approximately 30 minutes.
- I limit bleeding by using a laser. While using scissors correctly also typically results in minimal bleeding, I specialize in laser lingual frenectomies because they are precise and extremely safe to use on your baby’s mouth. I am aware of the proper laser settings and duration to use when performing treatment. Protective eye wear is worn by both the infant and the dental team.
- I am trained in active wound management, and teach mothers techniques on how to manage the healing process for their infant. This includes post-procedure care done at home to facilitate the healing process and daily stretching exercises/massaging of the wound area and tongue. I have witnessed that these techniques are 100% necessary to yield the best results in improved breastfeeding and tongue mobility.
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