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What Are Frenectomies? – Palm Harbor, FL

Giving Your Child Greater Oral Functionality

When learning your baby has a lip or tongue-tie, your child’s pediatric dentist will likely recommend a frenectomy. Whether you are familiar with this term or not, you should know that as a lip and tongue-tie dentist in Palm Harbor, Dr. Maggie Davis is skilled and equipped to perform these procedures in-house, making it a safe, convenient, and effective solution to improving your child’s oral functionality. By releasing this small band of tissue located underneath the tongue or upper lip, you will notice a dramatic difference in the way your baby feeds as well as how they grow and develop over time. If you think your child may need a frenectomy, contact us today to schedule a consultation to get the answer to the question, "What are frenectomies," from your Palm Harbor, FL pediatric dentist.

What Is a Frenectomy?

A mother lying on her back with her baby on her chest, both smiling after seeing a lip and tongue-tie dentist in Palm Harbor

A frenectomy is a simple and easy procedure that focuses on releasing the small band of tissue located either beneath the tongue (tongue-tie) or underneath the upper lip (lip-tie). Almost all individuals are born with some form of lip or tongue-tie; however, if this band is too tight or short, it can restrict your baby’s tongue and lip movements, making it much harder to perform many of the normal daily functions (i.e. eating or speaking).

When is a Frenectomy Necessary?

A baby lying on its back with its tongue sticking out

Babies who are in need of a frenectomy often experience one or more of the following problems:

  • Difficulty latching while trying to breastfeed
  • Difficulty taking a bottle
  • Excessively gassy
  • Has problems gaining and maintaining weight
  • Shows signs of acid reflux or frequently spits up
  • Takes a long time to nurse

You will find that when your baby begins to show these signs, you, too, become worried and troubled as to how you can solve the problem. Mothers often have cracked or sore nipples and may even notice a substantial decrease in milk supply.

Ultimately, it is your decision whether to allow our team to perform a frenectomy on your baby, but you should know that there are many positive benefits to having this procedure done, some of which include:

  • Positive weight gain in your baby
  • Better and improved experiences with breastfeeding
  • Less gas or problems with acid reflux

Because Dr. Davis uses a soft tissue laser to release the band of tissue, it is known to be one of the safest ways to address your baby’s lip or tongue-tie. Not only is it becoming increasingly popular among both parents and pediatric dentists, but it can be beneficial in potentially reducing future dental and orthodontic costs.

Taking only 30 seconds to complete, Dr. Davis will numb the area before using the soft tissue laser to release the frenum (band of tissue). In no time, your child will have the freedom to move their tongue and/or lip without restriction. One of the greatest benefits of using a soft tissue laser is that it cauterizes as it removes the tissue, reducing any chances of bleeding and making recovery a much easier process.

While it is necessary to perform certain lip and/or tongue stretches after a frenectomy, Dr. Davis will make sure you return home with all the information you need to successfully perform these movements so that the tissue does not reattach.

Breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact are great ways to make your baby feel more comfortable after a frenectomy; however, if they do feel any additional discomfort, you may use the proper dosage of infant or children’s Tylenol. If you are unsure, please do not hesitate to ask a member of our team who can help.