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Tongue-tie and Frenectomy: You Can Achieve Your Breastfeeding Goals

Frenectomy Overview

    A tongue-tie release
  • Increases infant latching and breastfeeding autonomy
  • Reduction in breastfeeding difficulties
  • Reduction in maternal nipple pain associated with breastfeeding
  • Reduction infant gastroesophageal reflux
  • Minimal surgical pain if any, many babies don’t even cry
  • How Did This Happen? What Should I do?

    All babies develop a lingual frenulum under the tongue in utero. As your baby develops in the womb the frenulum disappears. However, the frenulum does not disappear in an average of 5% of all babies. These babies develop a “tongue tie” that restricts their ability to mover their tongue.

    Full tongue mobility can be restored through a minimally invasive procedure called a frenectomy. This procedure can be done in our dentist office in Apex. When performed correctly the procedure takes less than a minute. There is little pain and many children do not even cry.

    Because Dr. Draper has performed hundreds of frenectomies and is highly trained in complex laser frenectomy procedures babies quickly overcome any tongue tie issues, the risk of infection or reattachment.

    What About A Lactation Consultant?

    It is unusual for a lactation consultant to find a workaround that allows a tongue-tie baby to nurse freely. Finding a “workaround” is discouraged as leaving a tongue-tie in place can easily lead to speech difficulties. However, your lactation consultant is an important ally for post-frenotomy care. A babies degree of suck dysfunction and tongue mobility can vary from child to child. Therefore a babies pre and postoperative recovery needs may also vary from one baby to another. Occasionally a baby with a tongue-tie has developed poor nursing habits and issues with positioning. It’s important to resolve nursing issues quickly. For babies with no tongue-tie, 79% of moms breastfeed but by 6 months only 49% continue. The numbers are lower for moms with a tongue-tied baby. Engage your board certified lactation consultant for the support you need to achieve your breastfeeding goals.

    If you don’t have a lactation consultant ask us for a reference.