As a parent, deciphering your baby’s needs and understanding their cues is a constant endeavor. When it comes to tongue tie, being aware of the signs is crucial for early identification and intervention. Upbeat Pediatric Dentistry, in collaboration with the Tongue Tie Institute, aims to shed light on this topic to empower parents in recognizing common signs that may indicate their baby has tongue tie.

What is Tongue Tie?

Tongue tie, or ankyloglossia, is a condition present at birth that restricts the tongue’s range of motion due to an unusually short or tight band of tissue (lingual frenulum) beneath the tongue. This condition can impact various aspects of a child’s development, including breastfeeding, speech, and oral hygiene.

Common Signs of Tongue Tie in Babies

Difficulty Breastfeeding

One of the earliest signs is difficulty latching onto the breast and staying latched during feeding. Babies with tongue tie may struggle to form a proper seal, leading to frustration and inadequate feeding.

Shallow Latch or Slipping Off the Breast

Babies with tongue tie may have a shallow latch, causing them to slip off the breast frequently during feeding. This can result in inefficient milk transfer and challenges in gaining weight.

Prolonged Feeding Sessions

Due to the inefficient latch, babies with tongue tie might take longer to complete a feeding session. Prolonged feeding attempts can lead to exhaustion for both the baby and the breastfeeding parent.

Fussiness or Frustration During Feeding

Babies may become fussy or frustrated during feeding sessions due to the challenges posed by tongue tie. They may exhibit signs of hunger even after a prolonged feeding attempt.

Weight Gain Issues

In some cases, tongue tie can contribute to weight gain issues in babies. The inefficient latch and prolonged feeding sessions may impact the baby’s ability to gain weight adequately.

Speech and Language Development Concerns

As the baby grows, tongue tie can manifest in speech and language development issues. Speech impediments and difficulty articulating certain sounds may become noticeable.

Difficulty Moving the Tongue

A clear physical sign is difficulty moving the tongue. If the baby has limited tongue mobility, it may be visible when attempting to extend the tongue beyond the lips.

Heart-Shaped or Notched Tongue Tip

During crying or other tongue movements, you may notice that the tip of the tongue forms a heart shape or has a noticeable notch, indicating restricted movement.

Why Early Recognition Matters

Early identification of tongue tie is crucial for prompt intervention. Addressing tongue tie early on can positively impact breastfeeding success, oral development, and speech. 

Seeking Professional Guidance

If you observe any of these signs or have concerns about your baby’s feeding and oral development, seeking professional guidance is essential. By collaborating with a specialized pediatric dentistry clinic, parents can access expert guidance, compassionate care, and effective solutions for tongue tie.

Tongue Tie Institute provides comprehensive evaluations and effective treatment options for tongue tie. We are committed to supporting parents in this journey, ensuring that every child receives the care they need for a healthy start in life.

If your child is experiencing challenges related to tongue-tie, contact us!