Lip-ties and tongue-ties are common physical impairments affecting the mouth

Lip-ties and tongue-ties are common physical impairments affecting the mouth. A lip-tie is when the upper lip cannot curl or move normally. While a tongue-tie, also known as ankyloglossia, limits the use and movement of the tongue. The connective tissue that provides proper movement of the lips and tongue is called the frenulum. There are several places in the body where frenum is located. However, in the mouth there are two key locations: between the lip and the upper gum and a second that connects under the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. During development in the womb, the frenum will naturally thin and recede, to allow proper movement of the mouth, lips, and tongue. For some children, the frenum does not develop correctly and may remain thick, or especially tight, thus restricting movement of the lips, tongue, and mouth. This can cause many of the symptoms which are listed below.

The entire staff at Smile Time Kids LOVES children. We enjoy their budding personalities and their constant search for answers. We are a compassionate, caring, and patient team when working with your child. Their young smiles are important to us. Call us today at 765-373-3100 with any questions you have regarding your child or stop by Smile Time Kids at 1002 Oak Drive, Richmond, IN, 47374.

We are a compassionate, caring, and patient team when working with your child. Their young smiles are important to us.

Call 765-373-3100  or contact our office today via online contact form. Our office is located at 1002 Oak Drive, Richmond, IN 47374. Let us help keep your child healthy together.

Common Symptoms Related to An Abnormal Frenum

If your child experiences some of the following symptoms, it could be because they have a lip- or tongue-tie:

  • You may experience nursing difficulties or pain while your infant is nursing.
  • Inability to gain weight properly.
  • Difficulties with speech development or a speech delay.
  • Both slow and very picky eating.
  • Restless sleep patterns.
  • The development of dental issues.
  • Attention and hyperactivity issues because of poor sleep quality.

To make a proper diagnosis, the symptoms and functional issues are more important than the appearance of a lip or tongue tie.

How is a frenectomy performed?

Smile Time Kids uses an advanced, state-of-the-art CO2 laser to release a lip or tongue tie. Also known as a frenectomy, a release may be performed with minimal pain, bleeding, or discomfort. The procedure can be done on newborn babies just days old, children or even on adults. In as little as 3-5 minutes, the actual procedure only takes about 30 seconds, your child could be relieved of daily struggles with eating, talking, and sleeping.

If required, numbing jelly will be put on the area to minimize any potential for discomfort. Sedation is not necessary, and most children are calmed quickly upon being picked up after the procedure is over. Recovery is usually complete in a couple of days.

While a tongue-tie may not be the reason every child is experiencing eating or speech problems, it can be a strong possibility that is worth looking into. Smile Time Kids can provide a thorough examination and listen to your concerns to help determine the best treatment plan.

How is my child’s feeding affected by a tongue-tie?

There are various ways a child’s eating habits will be influenced by a tongue-tie. A young infant may have trouble nursing or taking a bottle. They can struggle with latching and therefore may be unable to receive enough milk or formula, which can result in being underweight or failing to thrive. These children will often eat slowly and can be fussy about the food they eat, especially certain textures of food. With solid food, a child may choke, gag, or spit food, or refuse to transition from milk or formula to solid food, altogether. The most difficult food textures for a child struggling with tongue-tie are purees, mashed potatoes, meat, and other soft foods. Although, sometimes chewy or hard foods can be difficult for them to eat as well.

How is my child’s speech affected by tongue-tie?

A tongue-tie may or may not affect your child’s speech. Some children can adapt to their tongue being restricted and have little speech problems while other children could experience a lisp, mumble, speak slowly or have delayed speech. Smile Time Kids can help with a consultation with a speech therapist if you have difficulty understanding your child when they talk.

At Smile Time Kids our professional team can perform a frenectomy to release a lip or tongue-tie. A frenectomy will correct the irregular frenum and provide your child with the ability to move their lips or tongue in a healthy and proper functioning manner.

Make an Appointment for Your Child Today!

Smile Time Kids would like to share the recommendations of The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. They suggest bringing your child in for their first dental appointment as soon as their first tooth erupts or by the time your child is one, whichever occurs first. We will work with your child and treat them like family. We love happy and healthy children. Afterwards, children should visit at normal intervals just like you would schedule your own dental checkups. Call 765-373-3100 today to make an appointment with Smile Time Kids. Our office is located at 1002 Oak Drive, Richmond, IN 47374. Let us keep your child healthy together. If you are concerned your child may have a lip or tongue-tie, please do not hesitate to contact us for a consultation.

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Your child should see the dentist at the age of 1 year, or within 6 months of the appearance of his or her first tooth. A quick checkup will be done and x-rays taken to ensure the baby teeth are growing properly. If your child has multiple teeth already, they'll be counted and quickly cleaned.