Tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, is a condition where the lingual frenulum (the strip of tissue connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth) is shorter or thicker than usual. 

This condition can restrict tongue movement, affecting breastfeeding, speech, and oral hygiene. 

At the Tongue Tie Institute, part of Upbeat Pediatric Dentistry, we offer laser treatment for tongue-tie, a quick and minimally invasive procedure. 

In this blog, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide on what to expect during tongue-tie laser treatment, including pre-treatment and post-treatment care.

Understanding Tongue-Tie and Its Implications

What is Tongue-Tie?

Tongue-tie occurs when the lingual frenulum is abnormally short or thick, restricting tongue movement. This can lead to:

  • Difficulty breastfeeding for infants
  • Speech development issues in children
  • Oral hygiene challenges due to restricted tongue movement


Why Laser Treatment?

Laser treatment is preferred for its precision, minimal discomfort, and quicker healing time compared to traditional methods. It effectively releases the tongue-tie, allowing for improved tongue mobility.

Preparing for the Tongue-Tie Laser Treatment

Consultation and Assessment

Before the procedure, a thorough assessment is conducted by our experienced professionals. This includes:

  • Medical History Review: Understanding any existing medical conditions or allergies.
  • Physical Examination: Assessing the severity of the tongue-tie and its impact on oral functions.
  • Discussion: Explaining the procedure, benefits, risks, and answering any questions or concerns you may have.

Pre-Treatment Instructions

To ensure the procedure goes smoothly, follow these pre-treatment instructions:

  • Feeding Schedule: If your child is an infant, you may be advised on feeding schedules prior to the procedure.
  • Hygiene: Maintain good oral hygiene to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Comfort Measures: Bring a favorite toy or blanket to help your child feel comfortable and secure.

The Tongue-Tie Laser Treatment Procedure

Step 1: Preparation

  • Comfort and Positioning: Your child will be comfortably positioned, often in a parent’s lap or a dental chair, depending on their age.
  • Safety Measures: Protective eyewear will be provided to shield against laser light exposure.

Step 2: Anesthesia

  • Local Anesthesia: A topical or local anesthetic is applied to numb the area, ensuring the procedure is painless.
  • Quick Onset: The anesthetic works quickly, so there is minimal waiting time.

Step 3: The Laser Procedure

  • Precision Cutting: Using a specialized dental laser, the frenulum is precisely and gently cut to release the tongue-tie. The laser cauterizes as it cuts, minimizing bleeding and reducing the risk of infection.
  • Duration: The actual cutting process typically takes less than a minute.

Step 4: Immediate Post-Procedure Care

  • Observation: Your child will be observed for a short period to ensure there are no immediate adverse reactions.
  • Feeding and Comfort: You may be encouraged to breastfeed or provide a bottle right after the procedure to soothe your child and ensure the tongue’s new mobility.

Post-Treatment Care and Exercises

Immediate Post-Treatment Care

  • Pain Management: Over-the-counter pain relief, such as acetaminophen, may be recommended to manage any discomfort.
  • Hygiene: Keep the area clean by gently wiping the mouth with a clean, damp cloth.

Exercises to Enhance Outcomes

Post-treatment exercises are crucial to prevent the reattachment of the frenulum and to improve tongue mobility. Here are some recommended exercises:

  • Tongue Lifts: Gently lift the tongue to touch the roof of the mouth.
  • Side-to-Side Movements: Move the tongue from one corner of the mouth to the other.
  • Stretching Exercises: Use a clean finger to gently lift and stretch the tongue upwards and outwards.


Tips for Successful Post-Treatment Care

  • Consistency: Perform the exercises multiple times a day as recommended by your dentist.
  • Gentleness: Be gentle to avoid causing discomfort or injury to the healing area.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Use positive reinforcement and rewards to make the exercises a pleasant experience for your child.

Follow-Up Visits

Regular follow-up visits are crucial to monitor healing and ensure the success of the treatment. During these visits, your dentist will:

  • Check Healing: Assess how well the area is healing and ensure there are no signs of infection.
  • Evaluate Mobility: Ensure the tongue has gained proper mobility and that the frenulum has not reattached.
  • Provide Guidance: Offer additional guidance on exercises and answer any questions you may have.

Tongue Tie Treatment

Tongue-tie laser treatment at the Tongue Tie Institute offers a safe, effective, and minimally invasive solution for tongue-tie. 

By understanding the procedure and following the recommended pre- and post-treatment care, you can help ensure a smooth and successful outcome for your child.

If you have any concerns or need further information about tongue-tie treatment, our team is here to support you every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards improving your child’s oral health and overall well-being.