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Is a Tongue Assessment Necessary for My Child?

December 20, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — drmaggie @ 8:51 pm
a baby with its tongue out

If your child has a tongue-tie in Palm Harbor, you may not be aware of it until you begin to develop problems while breastfeeding or attempt to offer a bottle. Most issues arise during infancy, but many do not arise until a child grows older and has difficulty eating, breathing, or speaking clearly. If you want to get ahead of the game and avoid these potential problems, find out why it’s beneficial for your little one to undergo a tongue assessment.   

Why is a Tongue Assessment Necessary?

Tongue assessments are technically not “necessary,” but they are extremely valuable. If you’re attempting to nurse your new baby but discover it is a constant struggle, identifying whether your child might have a restricted band of tissue underneath their tongue can be a lifesaver. Although many babies are born with lip or tongue-ties, some do not experience issues in early childhood. Those who cannot move their tongues side to side or up and down tend to have difficulty latching and become fussy when attempting to nurse.

Choosing to have your baby assessed for a tongue-tie can make it possible for you and your little one to have a successful breastfeeding journey while also eliminating the risk of a speech impediment later on. The process takes little time as a skilled specialist moves their finger inside your baby’s mouth. When the child cries, the tongue should not remain on the floor of the mouth. If it does, there is likely a tongue-tie. When the finger is swept along the gum line, the tongue should follow. If it does not, you know the band of tissue is restricted.

Way to Treat a Tongue-Tie

Should you discover your baby has a tongue-tie, there is no need to worry. The reason is that your child’s pediatric dentist can perform a frenectomy. This procedure is quick, easy and, virtually painless. Using a soft tissue laser, the process involves minimal bleeding and swelling, making recovery easier for both you and your baby.

By releasing the band of tissue, your baby will immediately experience a wider range of motion as well as improved oral functioning. You should notice an improvement in your baby’s ability to latch, making for a more enjoyable and successful feeding.

Don’t be afraid to seek a professional about your baby’s tongue-tie. Having an assessment can lead to positive outcomes for you and your child not only during infancy but throughout the rest of their life.

About the Author
Dr. Maggie Davis earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery and completed her pediatric residency at the University of Florida. As a board-certified pediatric dentist and diplomate in the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, she is certified in treating infant and pediatric tongue ties and lip ties by the American Board of Laser Surgery. She is also a graduate of Dr. Richard Baxter’s Tongue Tie Academy and TOTS: Tethered Oral Tissue program. If you believe your child may be dealing with a lip or tongue tie, call our office at (727) 786-7551 or visit our website.

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