Infant Laser Frenectomy
All infants are born with a frenum, a small piece of tissue under the tongue that connects the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. If the frenum is too short or excessively tied, it can prevent the tongue from being able to fully elevate to form the seal necessary for efficient breastfeeding. Luckily, only 5% of newborn babies have breastfeeding difficulties due to a short frenum, also known as a tongue tie.
Warning signs of a short frenum can be pain and discomfort for mom during nursing, prolonged feeding sessions, inconsistent feeding, missed weight gain milestones, and an exhausted mom.
Schedule a consultation with our pediatric specialists as soon as you recognize possible signs of difficulty breastfeeding. Our doctor will evaluate each infant and mother on an individual basis to see what the best course of action may be. Not all frenums need to be treated and there is always a discovery process to find out what action is in the best interest of each family. Our specialists will be happy to discuss the risks, benefits, and alternatives to a tongue tie release.
We routinely work in conjunction with multiple lactation consultants in the area to achieve the best possible outcome. As a team, we work with pediatricians, lactation consultants and other health care professionals for the well-being of each family. Studies have shown significant improvement when a team based approach is taken. If you do not currently have a lactation resource, we can make recommendations to our local team of experienced lactation experts.
If it is determined that the frenum needs to be treated, it can be corrected by a simple, harmless procedure called a frenectomy. Our skilled board-certified pediatric dentist uses the latest in dental laser technology to release the tight frenum to its normal anatomical position and provide relief for both baby and Mom.
Healing is achieved in a few days and often involves post-operative massaging and stretching exercises to prevent reattachment. After the procedure, we will explain and demonstrate how to do these stretches. Baby discomfort or pain is typically minimal and most babies bounce back quickly from this non-invasive procedure. Breastfeeding may immediately begin after the frenectomy and there are minimal restrictions in activity or nursing afterwards.