health:latch offers exam, diagnosis, and laser treatment of tongue and lip tie release for infants and toddlers. Using a research-based and team approach, we improve the lives of families by educating parents, treating nursing children with modern technology, and enabling a healthy outcome. If you’re struggling with breastfeeding, here are some questions we commonly hear. Let us partner with you to help your baby and your family grow and thrive.

General Questions:

What’s normal?

It’s normal to face a learning curve as you and your baby settle into nursing, but sometimes there’s a bit more going on: thrush, persistent pain, sore nipples, plugged ducts, or a baby who seems to gulp air instead of getting enough milk. In fact, studies indicate as many as 0.2 to 10 percent of newborns are born with a tongue tie, limiting their ability to move the tongue and latch on to the breast properly. As professionals with years of experience diagnosing tongue tie and lip tie, we’re committed to taking the time to listen, understand, and diagnose the issue.

What can I expect at health:latch?

If our team recommends a frenectomy and you decide it’s the best solution for your baby, health:latch can provide an unparalleled experience. By combining the proven benefits of laser therapy (less bleeding and scarring, shorter procedures and healing time, more accurate outcomes) with the expertise and follow-up support of a lactation consultant, we’ve seen families thrive. And while frenectomies can absolutely be done by other health professionals, we think it’s too important a procedure to offer as just another service. Founded by a pediatric dentist who’s passionate about pursuing good health beginning at birth, our practice is completely devoted to treating tongue ties and lip ties.

What is success?

So what have we seen? Well, there are usually tears involved – not from the baby, though that’s certainly possible, but from the mothers, who can tell a difference in the latch immediately and whose relief is palpable. We see the difference it makes to provide dedicated and immediate follow-up and support from a lactation professional after the procedure and in the weeks beyond to prevent relapse. We see growing babies and toddlers. And we see grateful parents whose children are healthy and happy, and whose whole family will benefit from a successful start.

What else can I do?
As a parent, you’re the best advocate for your child, and we want to educate and empower you during your parenting journey. Before, during, or after treatment, you might want to learn more about how tongue tie release can enhance breastfeeding success, benefit from reading current research, or find support from health:latch supported online communities on social media. At health:latch, we welcome working in conjunction with other health professionals, so if you’ve already consulted with your pediatrician or pediatric dentist and would like us to speak with them about your child, just say so!

How do I ask you about my child or make an appointment?
If you’d like to meet the health:latch team, whether just to explore your little one’s mouth or because you’re convinced your struggling baby needs our help, please go [here] to fill out a short online form. We’ll ask for some basic information about you and your baby. This initial handshake will be followed with an email link and a cascade events to gather insurance details and medical history, educate your family on our process, and let you schedule an appointment right through our website.

Tongue-Tie Specific Questions:

What is a tongue tie?
A tongue tie is a condition present at birth that restricts the tongue’s range of motion because the lingual frenulum (the band of tissue connecting the tongue to the bottom of the mouth) is too short. Estimates vary, but research indicates as many as 10 percent of babies are born with a tongue tie, and up to 25 percent of nursing infants can be affected by shallow latch caused by a tongue tie or lip tie.

What are the signs of tongue tie?
In breastfeeding children, symptoms of tongue and lip tie can include: acting irritable or fussy during or after feeding; difficulty creating a secure latch during nursing; poor weight gain or weight loss; and falling off the breast frequently during nursing. For nursing mothers, tongue tie in your baby may cause breast pain; plugged milk ducts; engorgement, cracked or blistered nipples; a feeling that your baby is chewing or biting on the breast; and recurrent thrush or infections.

What problems are associated with tongue tie?
Because of the difficulties that can cause both the breastfeeding mother and the nursing baby to struggle, tongue tie can cause challenges, including an increased risk of a failure to thrive diagnosis or low weight gain, decreased milk production, acid reflux, pain, and ending breastfeeding earlier than you’d hoped. Older children may develop trouble chewing solid food, develop a lisp or speech problems, or develop a narrow upper palate, which can lead to airway related problems.

How can tongue tie be fixed?
Though some babies compensate for a tongue tie and can have a successful breastfeeding experience, babies who are struggling can be treated with a frenectomy, a simple procedure that snips the too-tight band of tissue so the tongue (or upper lip, in the case of a lip tie) is free to move normally. Though midwives and physicians have performed frenectomies for hundreds of years, the practice involved snipping the frenum with a scissors and had fallen out of favor. As more families choose to breastfeed for part of all of their child’s early life, there has been a renewed need for the options treatment to improve flexibility and healing properties at the treatment site.

What are the benefits of laser therapy?
Laser therapy has many advantages over conventional treatment, including less bleeding and scarring, shorter procedure and improved healing, treatment accuracy, low risk of infection, and superior outcomes.

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