To ensure a smooth visit, we have created a list of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to frenectomies.
The actual procedure is going to be uncomfortable for approximately 10-15 seconds. Most babies cry due to their body movements being restricted and instruments in their mouth verses and actual pain response. For toddlers and above, we use a local anesthetic.
Infants are not numbed. Toddlers and above, the local anesthetic will usually last up to an hour.
It is normal to experience mild to moderate discomfort for the first few days. A small proportion of individuals may be very sensitive to pain and can take a little longer to return back to their normal selves. The lip area is usually the least sore while the tongue tends to be the most sore.
For infants under 6 months, the FDA approves infant Tylenol (acetaminophen) use. For infants older than 6 months, infant ibuprofen (50mg/1.25ml) is most effective. Natural remedies such as arnica montana 30c can be used alone or in conjunction with other medications. In most cases, only a few doses are needed. For specific dosing instructions, please refer to the dosing chart in the "Before Your Visit" section.
There are no major feeding restrictions before or after the procedure. Infants may feed immediately after the procedure to help comfort and soothe. However, sometimes the numbing agent, new range of motion and being overly worked up can make it difficult to feed right away. This is not a problem and the infant will typically feed later that day. Toddlers can eat normal baby or table foods. Children and adults may eat or drink whatever they feel is tolerable. Spicy, hot, or crunchy foods as well as acidic drinks can irritate the treated areas so it might be best to avoid those at first.
It is normal to see little to no changes with feeding immediately following the procedure. Changes with feeding are typically gradual and can take a couple of weeks to notice improvements.
Stretches are to be done every four hours starting the night of the procedure. You must continue for the entire three weeks. This includes throughout the middle of the night.
The chances of an infection developing are extremely low. This is because the mouth heals so well. With over thousands of cases, we have yet to see any infections develop.
Heavy bleeding is very rare but you may sometimes encounter a tiny amount of bleeding at home during the first week. If it does bleed some it is safe to feed and will usually resolve on its own.
Bodywork is an umbrella term for the therapies used to help the body heal from dysfunction. Body work may include chiropractors and craniosacral therapy, etc. Any baby or child with a feeding dysfunction is considered a candidate for therapy; some may need more or less depending on their issues. In some cases, frenectomy alone is not the answer and post rehab therapy will help achieve optimal outcomes.
Here's a recommendation.
Evidence has shown that tongue and lip ties can impact feeding, speech and oral development. Although treatment can help optimize these functions, there no guarantee that treatment will prevent such dysfunction in the future given it's multi-factorial nature.