What to Expect During Tongue Tie Laser Surgery

What to Expect During Tongue Tie Laser Surgery Pediatric Dentist Grand Rapids, MI

Does your baby have a narrow strip of tissue connecting the tip of their tongue to the bottom of their mouth? If so, they may have a treatable condition called tongue tie.

A tongue tied babymay have difficulty breastfeeding, preventing him or her from thriving. Fortunately, our pediatric dentist uses a laser to free the tongue with minimal bleeding and recovery time.

Continue reading to learn what you can expect during tongue tie laser surgery. Contact us with any questions your may have.

Tongue Tie Laser Surgery Process

No Anesthesia

In newborn babies, you can often get away with not administering any painkillers because there are few nerve endings in the area that need to be cut. Our pediatric dentist also uses a laser, which delays any pain your child may feel. However, each case is different. Your child may be put under general anesthesia if they are more than 6 months old.

Laser Reduces Bleeding and Pain

Our pediatric dentist uses a laser to cut through the connective tissue (also called the frenulum) between the tip of your child’s tongue and the bottom of their mouth. This frees the tongue from being tethered to the bottom of your child’s mouth.

The laser cauterizes as it cuts to reduce pain, bleeding, and recovery time. For your safety, you won’t be able to stay in the room during tongue tie surgery. (We have to follow laser safety guidelines.) However, you can feel peace of mind knowing that the tongue tie procedure typically only takes 1 to 2 minutes.

We’ll ask you to be in the room after the tongue tie has been released. It’s normal for your child to be groggy if they’re waking up from anesthesia, which is why we recommend holding their hand or providing their favorite toy or stuffed animal. It’s always our goal to help patients feel safe and secure in the dentist’s chair.

Child Will Need to Stay Home

You’ll need to take your child home after the tongue tie procedure so they can recover under your supervision. After tongue tie laser surgery, your child won’t be able to return to daycare or school for the rest of the day. If your child was put under general anesthesia, expect them to be groggy, sleepy, nauseous, or dizzy while they recover.

Gentle Stretching Exercises

After tongue tie laser surgery, you’ll need to gently stretch your child’s lips and tongue so the frenulum doesn’t reattach. Our pediatric dentist will give you instructions on how to do this and answer any questions you may have about how to care for your child after tongue tie release. Many parents find it easier to do the stretching exercises by placing the baby on their back, feet facing away.

It’s normal for the soft tissue to be light yellow or white where the tongue tie was released. It’ll take time for the tissue to heal and return to its normal pink color. It’s been our experience that babies don’t appreciate the stretching exercises, but usually calm down quickly. If you have any questions or concerns after your child’s appointment, don’t hesitate to call our office.

Dr. Kingma DDS offers tongue tie surgery so babies can have normal oral development. To schedule an appointment with our Grand Rapids pediatric dentist, call Kingma Pediatric Dentistry at (616) 942-9840.