Pre & Post Frenectomy
What is TONGUE-TIE or Ankyloglossia [ang-kuh-loh-glaw-see-uh]?
“An embryological remnant of tissue in the midline between the undersurface of the tongue and the floor of the mouth that restricts normal tongue movement”- International Affiliation of Tongue-Tie Professionals (IATP)
“… a tight string of tissue under the tongue that can prevent the tongue from functioning properly…there has to be a functional limitation in addition to an anatomical finding under the tongue…”
- Dr. Richard Baxter, DMD, MS
Occupational therapists can address the functional impairments related to tongue-tie, providing therapy to prepare the mouth and body for continued motor skill development, breastfeeding, and feeding!
What is Pre-Frenectomy Care?
Before your baby gets their tongue-tie released, it is important to ensure both their mouths and bodies are ready for the procedure. Some things we are looking for to identify if your baby is ready for their release includes: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Symmetry throughout the body and mouth⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Adequate head turning and other gross motor skills⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Good body alignment⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Adequate oral motor skills⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Desensitization within oral cavity⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Why is Pre and Post-Frenectomy Care Important?
Have you heard that your baby is supposed to be able to feed better immediately after their release?
For many, this isn’t necessarily the case. Here’s why. One of main jobs of a baby is to figure out how to eat. If your baby is tongue-tied, this can be especially challenging as they don’t have full movement of their tongue, so they must learn ways to compensate. After their tongue is released, a baby is expected to re-learn how to move their tongues with oral motor skills they don’t have. This is why pre-release therapy is so important. When your baby sees an occupational therapist for pre-release therapy, she helps your baby learn correct oral motor skills and can help determine the optimal time for release for best results and to prevent reattachment.
It is important to consider follow-up care for optimal results once the tongue and other structures (if lip and buccal ties were also released) has increased mobility following the release. Therapy can include facilitating sensory awareness of tongue movement and of the oral cavity, “teaching” the tongue to move through the new unrestricted movement patterns, addressing any motor or postural concerns, and supporting overall quality of movement. Additional positioning and lactation support may also be provided to support breastfeeding outcomes!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Our pediatric occupational therapy specialists address active engagement in play and feeding, as well as lactation support. We also address continued difficulty with breastfeeding and latch following release.