Our Lexington, KY dentist’s office is prepared to handle your family’s comprehensive dental needs at every stage of life. And if you happen to have recently welcomed a new baby into the fold, we can help ensure that child’s health and happiness by treating any tongue tie issues. Keep reading to hear more about this complex issue, and to find out why Dr. Takacs is the one dentist in the area that you will want to schedule a consultation with!
A Challenging Situation
Did you know that way up there under your tongue and inside of your upper lip there is a piece of skin called the frenum? Well, now you do! Why does it matter? Because this is an essential component. When frenums function properly, you can pull your upper lip away from your teeth, lift your tongue, and never have any trouble at all. However, some babies are born with what we call a tight frenum. This just means that there is little to no movement for the tongue or lip. That is problematic.
We call this a tongue or lip tie because the tongue or lip is attached when it should be free. Why does this matter? It is a big-time nutritional concern. You see, both conditions make nursing challenging because your new arrival cannot create the necessary suction around the nipple of the breast or bottle.
Some Obvious Signs
It goes without saying that your baby can not put their thoughts and frustrations into words. Still, you might notice that your baby has a poor latch, slides off the nipple, shows symptoms of colic, experiences reflux, has poor weight gain, is unable to take a pacifier, or chews on the nipple.
There are also some signs that can show up on the mother. For example, if you are nursing, you might notice that you have creased or cracked nipples, bleeding nipples, infection, plugged ducts, mastitis, or thrush. You also might notice that the baby never seems satisfied, and your breasts never seem to empty out the way they ought to.
How Can A Dentist Help?
You might be surprised to learn all that we can do here at Beaumont Family Dentistry, especially for the youngest patients! But once we have identified the cause of your baby’s eating difficulty, it will be time to decide together on the best plan for treatment.
Here’s the deal: you essentially get two options in this situation. The first is a more surgical approach. Your baby would be sedated, and a scalpel would be used to loosen the frenums. Sutures are often needed to promote healing, and many babies experience discomfort from this process.
While that kind of approach is fine in certain situations, we like to recommend a much more comfortable treatment option: laser therapy. During this modern procedure, your baby is swaddled and held carefully by our team. Younger babies are perfectly safe to be fully awake because the treatment does not cause any pain. We simply use a laser to loosen the frenums and give your baby mobility in the lip and/or tongue. Each frenum takes about a minute to treat, and then you are given the baby to immediately nurse.
Just so you know: it may take a few tries before Baby relearns how to nurse with a newly freed tongue or lip, but we can show you techniques to help your baby adjust fast.
Learn More, Get Started!
We hope that this post has been helpful. To learn more about pediatric dentistry and tongue-tie solutions, contact one of our convenient Lexington, KY locations today! Hamburg: 859-554-1612, Leestown: 859-554-4049, Beaumont: 859-554-1772!
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