Many patients in our neighborhood are couples starting a new family and raising young children. Soon after a child is born, it may be found that there are issues with the infant's ability to latch properly to the mother's nipple to breastfeed. When this happens, your physician may suggest that you feed your infant via formula and bottle instead. Many times, the anatomy and size of an infant's oral soft tissues can be why proper latching is not physically possible. The frenum is a soft tissue attachment between the inner aspect of the lip to the gums. Both upper and lower jaws have one frenum in the middle and one on both left and right sides. There is also a lingual frenum that attaches the base of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. If any or all frenums are too large, broadly attached, or thick, it is difficult for an infant's lips to create a complete seal around the nipple to produce efficient suction. Tongue tie is a term that refers to restricted movement of the tongue due to the lingual frenum attachment. Furthermore, infants with large frenums can latch and consume breastmilk but simultaneously suck in too much air, resulting in gastric disturbances.
Modern Family Dentistry offers laser technology to treat infants needing frenum reductions (frenectomy). The use of lasers in dentistry has provided a modern technique to perform infant frenectomies in a safe and beneficial manner. We first apply local anesthestic that is calculated specifically for your infant, then painlessly shrink the frenum(s) with a diode laser. Lasers allow us to perform minor oral surgery without bleeding and allowing for rapid healing time. If you are considering frenectomy for your infant to improve latching upon breastfeeding, be assured that our dentists will explain every step and all expectations.
There is much publicized research about the immense benefits of breastfeeding during infancy including their ability to thrive. We offer a simple solution to what can be keeping your baby from experiencing the bond that exists naturally. Give us a call to schedule a consultation