Even with modern medicine’s amazing technological advances, many parents face challenging situations when it comes to the health of their little ones. In the case of infants, babies, and toddlers it’s even harder to determine what’s wrong, as they can’t describe their symptoms and pains.
One of the problems parents of small children are confronted with is the need for a frenectomy. This might be diagnosed during the first days of a baby’s life, or later down the line. Let’s see what a frenectomy is and when it’s needed.
What Is a Frenectomy?
A frenectomy is a minor surgical procedure through which a tongue tie or a lip tie, which occurs as a result of the frenulum (or frenum) being too short or thick, is released. The reasons why a frenectomy might be needed vary, from babies having difficulty nursing to toddlers and older children experiencing speech impediments caused by their tongue or lip tie.
A frenectomy is done very quickly and is a painless procedure. It can be performed with a scalpel or with laser instruments, depending on the technique the doctor is experienced in, and the unique needs of the patient.
Signs Your Child May Need a Frenectomy
The first step in determining if a child needs a frenectomy is the parent or caregiver observing specific symptoms. Here are some of the most common ones:
- In infants, a tongue tie or lip tie will cause problems with nursing. As a result, the baby won’t gain weight at the expected rate and will show signs of gassiness, colic, and poor sleep.
- It’s normal for small children to have problems pronouncing certain sounds while learning to talk, but if a problem persists, it might be caused by a tongue or lip tie.
- They sleep regularly with their mouths open. In the long term, this can lead to problems like overbite and recurring respiratory infections.
- Their teeth look bigger than normal. If your child has a short labial frenulum, it might pull their gum tissue so tightly that the gums start receding. Receding gums do not reverse by themselves, and promote decay and other issues.
What Specialist to Consult on Getting a Frenectomy?
A dentist, especially a pediatric dentist, will have the expertise and experience needed to recommend and perform a frenectomy. This minor surgery can be performed on patients of any age, even newborns. The parents or caregivers will be given a detailed plan of post-op instructions.
Your pediatric dentist will monitor the healing process and the regression of the symptoms, making sure the operation is a success.
Book an Appointment Today
If you think your child needs a frenectomy, book an appointment today with the experts at Cascadia Kids Dentistry in Issaquah. We treat every one of our little patients with the utmost care and patience, solving their oral health issues early on and giving them the best start for a perfect, healthy smile. Contact us for more information or for scheduling your visit.