Also known as ankyloglossia, a tongue tie is tight band of tissue on the underside of the tongue that restricts movement. Most doctors will catch tongue ties at a very young age, allowing parents to schedule tongue tie laser therapy very early in life. Affected children have difficulty eating and speaking, which could impact their development if not handled. Below is a brief overview of the procedure to prepare parents.
Your Guide to Tongue Tie Laser Therapy: What to Expect
During the Procedure
The first step to this procedure is to numb the underside of the child’s tongue. This involves a topical anesthetic, which minimizes pain during the procedure. Laser treatments are less painful than traditional surgeries, so general anesthesia is not necessary.
The procedure uses a laser device to remove the tongue tie from your child’s mouth. This only takes about three minutes, after which your child experiences relief almost immediately. If you’re concerned that your child could experience discomfort, you can provide age-appropriate over-the-counter pain medication about a half hour before your visit.
What to Expect Afterwards
It’s not uncommon for your child to be agitated after tongue tie laser therapy. When this occurs, parents can take the normal steps to calm them, such as feeding or rocking. Additionally, be on the lookout for any complications. Although rare, symptoms such as high fever and significant bleeding may occur, and these require further treatment from your dentist.
Once you’ve taken your child home, you’ll need to perform stretching exercises on a regular basis. For the first few weeks after a procedure, stretches should occur multiple times a day. Both the upper lip and tongue should be stretched, which you can perform by inserting your fingers into your baby’s mouth. Your dentist can offer information on how to perform stretching exercises, which will help your baby’s future oral development.
If your child needs tongue tie laser therapy, trust the experts in children’s oral care. Alaska Dentistry for Kids provides high-quality services to Anchorage patients thanks to their skilled expertise on a wide range of procedures. Learn more about treatments for lip and tongue ties and other oral issues youngsters face by visiting the website. You can also call (907) 274-2525 today to make an appointment with a skilled and caring dentist.