Frequently Asked Questions
1. Will this procedure hurt?
We use a strong topical numbing gel to help minimize any pain or discomfort during the procedure. For toddlers and above, we use a local anesthetic. The instruments we use in the mouth during the procedure and even the taste of the numbing gel or sensation can also easily upset your infant.
2. How long will the mouth be numb?
For infants, the topical numbing gel lasts approximately 10-15 minutes. For toddlers and children, the local anesthetic will usually last up to an hour.
3. How sore will the area(s) be afterwards?
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.
4. What can I give my child to help alleviate pain and discomfort?
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.
5. Are there any feeding restrictions before or after the procedure?
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.
6. What can I expect with feeding after the procedure?
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.
7. How often do I need to do the stretches?
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.
8. What are the chances of an infection?
Chances of an infection to develop are extremely low. This is because the mouth heals so well. With over thousands of cases, we have yet to see any infections develop.
9. Will I see any bleeding at home?
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.
10. How often do I need to see a lactation consultant (or feeding specialist) after the procedure?
The highest level of education and training in lactation care is the International Board Certified Lacation Consultant (IBCLC). They are commonly referred to as "lactation consultants". A pre-op one-on-one lactation evaluation (either through your hospital or private practice) is of utmost important to help lay down the foundation for a successful feeding relationship. Continued followed ups with lactation are necessary to monitor your progress and reach your goals. Lactation consultants can also help with those that are having strictly bottlefeeding issues. A speech language pathologist (SLP) that has extensive training in feeding therapy can also help.
11. What is bodywork and how do I know what if it is right for my child?
Bodywork is an umbrella term for the therapies used to help the body heal from dysfunction. Body workers inlcude physical therapists, occupational therapists, chiropractors, massage therapist, osteopaths, etc. Any baby or child with a feeding dysfunction is considred 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.
12. Can treating tongue and lip ties now help prevent future issues?
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.