Does your baby have difficulty latching while breastfeeding? Do they struggle to take a bottle? Is your child experiencing problems with their speech? These are just a few common signs that your child is living with a lip or tongue tie and needs an oral procedure to allow for improved oral function. Although most children are treated during infancy, many problems do not develop until they are older. To better understand what you can do to help your little one, a pediatric dentist explains what you should look for to determine if your child needs a frenectomy in Katy.
1. They Have a Hard Time Eating
For babies, this can mean they are unable to latch or properly take a bottle during feeding time. Many hospitals will perform the procedure before the baby leaves to go home; however, others will often tell parents to wait and see if the child grows out of it. For older children, they may be unable to swallow certain foods. No matter the age of your child, if you notice they are not gaining proper weight because they cannot eat correctly, it’s time to consider a frenectomy.
2. They Struggle to Speak
The tongue plays a pivotal role in allowing us to speak, so if your child is having trouble speaking with clarity, it may be that a band of tissue is restricting their tongue from moving normally. Oftentimes, a lisp can develop but can be easily treated with the help of this common oral procedure.
3. They Breathe Through Their Mouth
If you begin to notice that your child breaths through their mouth, it’s best to schedule a visit with their pediatric dentist in Katy. It is during this visit that the dentist will check the upper band of tissue beneath the lip. If it appears restricted, it will make it harder for your child to close their mouth while asleep, resulting in breathing through their mouth. As a result, this can lead to gum recession as well as problems with sleep apnea if left untreated.
4. They Have a Gap Between Their Two Upper Front Teeth
While it may appear cute when they are a child, the older they get, the more difficulties they’ll face because of their gapped teeth. When the upper frenulum is too tight or thick, it will cause the teeth to separate, creating a gap. A frenectomy is an easy solution to help remedy this type of problem that can often lead to an increased risk for tooth decay, gum disease, and a less-than-desirable aesthetic.
5. They Have Problems with Receding Gums
The bands of tissue located beneath the tongue and behind the upper lip are connected to the gum tissue. As a result, the inability to freely move the lip or tongue can cause your child’s gums to recede, heightening their risk for gum disease as they grow older. To alleviate this concern, a frenectomy will likely be recommended.
While none of these problems sound like something you want your child to endure, the good news is you can trust your child’s pediatric dentist to offer a safe and effective solution. Talk to your dental team to find out if a frenectomy is right for your little one.
About the Author
As a board-certified pediatric dentist in Katy, TX, Dr. Adeel Khan is all-too-familiar with the common problems that can develop in a baby’s smile. If your child is experiencing signs that are closely associated with a lip or tongue tie, they may need to undergo a frenectomy to help improve oral function. This simple and safe procedure is performed using a soft tissue laser, allowing your little one to feel less pain and discomfort and start enjoying a greater range of motion in less time. If you would like to know if your child could benefit from a laser frenectomy, visit our website or call (832) 789-8348.