Lip & Tongue-Tie – St. Catharines, ON

An Easy Solution for Growing Smiles

Right now, it is estimated that about 3-5% of babies are born with a lip or tongue-tie, also known as tethered oral tissues (TOTs). For infants, this can cause all sorts of problems when it comes to feeding, and it can lead to speech and oral development issues down the line. Thankfully, at Coral Kids Dentistry & Braces, our dental team can quickly diagnose these issues and fix them even faster with a gentle laser treatment. Keep reading to learn more about treatment for lip and tongue-tie in St. Catharines, ON. 

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Why Choose Coral Kids Dentistry & Braces
for Lip & Tongue-Tie Treatment?

  • Dental Office Led by Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist
  • Fast & Comfortable Laser Frenectomies
  • Fun, Colorful, & State-of-the-Art Dental Office

What is Lip & Tongue-Tie?

Laser dentistry tool used for lip and tongue tie treatment

Your tongue and both of your lips are connected to a thin band of tissue called a frenulum. During the final weeks of gestation, this tissue is supposed to loosen and elongate, but this doesn’t occur sometimes. The result is that it may be too short or thick, preventing the tongue and lips from having a full range of motion.

With babies, common symptoms of a lip or tongue tie can usually be seen during feeding, where they will have difficulty latching and creating a steady flow of milk or formula. In older children, they may develop speech impediments or be unable to chew certain foods without experiencing pain.

The Lip & Tongue-Tie Treatment Process

Baby crying before lip and tongue tie treatment

If you, your pediatrician, or lactation consultant believe that your child might have a lip or tongue-tie, we recommend that you bring them to Coral Kids Dentistry & Braces. We can confirm or make the diagnosis with a quick exam, and then using our soft tissue laser, we can remove the unneeded tissue in a matter of minutes.

The procedure is not only quick, but virtually painless—even babies typically don’t need local anesthetic to remain comfortable. The child should be able to feed immediately afterward, and we’ll give the parent a program of simple stretches to complete for a few weeks to ensure that their child’s mouth heals correctly.

Lip and Tongue-Tie FAQs

Does a frenectomy hurt?

Naturally, you may wonder if your child’s frenectomy will hurt, but the good news is that when using a dental laser, there is very little discomfort. In most situations, we do not even need to use local anesthesia. Because of the laser’s precision, it targets only the excess banded tissue, cauterizing it as it cuts. This effectively reduces the amount of bleeding. If we find that the band of tissue is much thicker than expected, we will administer local anesthesia before starting the procedure.

How long does a frenectomy take?

Typically, a laser frenectomy will only require a few minutes. However, this can change depending on the thickness of the banded tissue. If the frenulum is thick, or if your child requires both a lip and tongue frenectomy, it may mean that the procedure will take more time. During the consultation, our team will be able to provide a more detailed account of what can be expected on the day of treatment so that you have a better understanding.

Can I be in the room during my child’s frenectomy?

Typically, we prefer that parents do not remain in the room during the procedure. The reason is that not only can it be difficult for many to watch, but your reaction or squeamishness may distract the dental team. Their focus needs to remain solely on your child and ensuring that they remain comfortable and safe throughout the procedure. Once it is completed, though, you can expect to be allowed back into the room to be with your child.

What should I do after my child’s lip or tongue-tie has been treated?

Once the frenectomy is over, the tissue might try to reconnect. This is why our team will provide you with detailed instructions on how to stretch the area for the following few days. This will reduce the risk of reattachment. Not only will we explain what you’ll need to do, but we’ll actually show you. Using your clean hands, you’ll need to take the upper lip or tongue and raise it gently upward for a few seconds. You can also gently swipe your finger underneath the lip or tongue from side to side a few times a day. If your child experiences discomfort, you can give them pain medication as directed.

How long does it take to see improvement after a frenectomy?

After our team has released your child’s lip or tongue-tie, you can expect there to be a greater range of motion almost instantly; in fact, many babies begin to latch correctly following treatment. But you do not need to worry if they do not, as it can take a few feedings before your baby gets used to the new mobility of their lip or tongue. If it is an older child who has undergone a frenectomy, it may be necessary to pursue additional therapy to relearn speech patterns.