Tongue-ties and lip-ties are common afflictions in infants, and while they can cause serious discomfort for nursing mothers, they are fortunately very easy to fix. The experienced dentists at Alaska Dentistry for Kids in Anchorage have performed hundreds of outpatient corrective procedures to eliminate tongue and lip-ties.
Over the years, they’ve fielded lots of questions about how to correct this frustrating problem, and in an effort to better help the community, they’ve created this Q & A guide:
- What Exactly Defines A Tongue-Tie Or Lip-Tie? A tongue-tie is when a baby’s tongue is attached to the bottom of their mouth by a small piece of skin, and a lip-tie is when a baby’s lip is attached to their upper gum area by a small piece of skin. Both can result in increased difficulties with nursing and eventually speech, because they limit oral mobility and dexterity.
- How Can This Issue Be Corrected? According to the experts from Alaska Dentistry for Kids, there are two basic ways to correct tongue and lip-ties. Some dentists use a scissor-cut method, and others prefer to use a more modern laser-cut method. In general, both techniques can be performed during straightforward outpatient procedures that are very low-risk and commonly used.
- Is One Method Better Than The Other? Yes! The top children’s dentists in the field, including those who practice at Alaska Dentistry for Kids, generally prefer to use lasers rather than surgical scissors. Lasers are more precise and cause less bleeding than scissors, and they’re also completely sterile, which minimizes the risk of infection.
If your child’s tongue-tie or lip-tie has been causing problems with their nursing or speech, call Alaska Dentistry for Kids today at (907) 274-2525 to make an appointment. To learn more about the practice and kids' dental care, you can also visit Alaska Dentistry for Kids'website and Facebook page.