Tongue Tie and Lip Tie in Infants
A frenum is a small piece of tissue that connects the lips, cheeks, and tongue to the gums. A tongue or lip tie is caused by a short or tight frenum. When infants are tongue-tied, the frenum restricts the movement of the tongue and can lead to unsuccessful nursing and/or bottle feeding. A lip tie can create similar problems as it prevents the lip from flanging which significantly impacts feedings.
In order to correct a lip or tongue tie, a simple procedure called a frenectomy ( or frenotomy) may be recommended. This simple procedure will release the tied area and can be done on the day of the consultation if it is indicated. Dr. Richards uses a CO2 laser to complete the frenectomy which is the best technology available; the use of a laser helps to create a quick and painless experience for babies.
After the frenectomy is complete, Mothers will be able to try nursing or bottle feeding right away.
Tongue Tie and Lip Tie for Older Children
Tongue ties and lip ties can still cause issues in toddlers and older children. When left untreated, it can have a significant impact on a child.
During the time of your child’s procedure, Dr. Richards will review all stretches and post-op care options to ensure you are ready to care for your little one at home.
On a personal level, Dr. Richards is passionate about tongue and lip ties and has personally been impacted by them. She is a new nursing mother herself and performed a frenectomy on her own son at 6 weeks of age due to difficulties with breastfeeding. Her own nursing experience has taught her how a frenectomy can often alleviate the challenges associated with nursing.