A Million Questions After the Procedure
Congratulations! The frenotomy was a success, and your tongue tied baby is back in home after the procedure. Like most parents with young children, you’re facing another situation without all of the answers. Here’s a quick and simple guide on what you can do to help your child recover after the procedure.
The part of your child’s mouth where the doctor released the ties will look white or yellowish after the procedure. This is a normal sign of healing. Infections are rare. The affected area will take a few weeks to return to normal. Excessive swelling, pain, or bleeding are signs of an infection, and you should use your judgment if you think your child has one. Call the dentist who performed the procedure if you think there’s an infection.
You might notice swelling and a small amount of bleeding. These things are normal. Don’t worry about it. Using a laser increases the chances of bleeding, but applying pressure directly to the bleeding area works like a charm. If the bleeding continues or just seems like there’s too much, then, of course, call the doctor.
Easing Your Tongue Tied Baby’s Pain
Some parents have a very low tolerance for seeing their children in pain. If you fall into this category, you can give your baby Tylenol or Ibuprofen as recommended for their age and weight. In 2016, the FDA requested that parents stop using some teething gels because of their benzocaine content. Another option, if you want to take a homeopathic approach, is using something with arnica in it. Healthline points out that products that using arnica provide pain relief as well as Ibuprofen in one study.
The All Important Stretching – DO NOT Skip This Step
Stretching after the procedure is the best way to make sure your tongue tied baby doesn’t end up tongue-tied again. Babies’ mouths heal very quickly. The treated area can reattach to other parts of the mouth if parents don’t do stretching exercises regularly. If you’re reading this, you don’t want to put your child through another procedure, so it’s best to follow a few simple steps when you bring your child home from the office.
Stretching should start on the night after the procedure or after the second feeding, whichever comes first. You don’t have to perform any stretches in the middle of the first night, but this is the only time you get a break from midnight stretches. Make sure you do six stretches in every twenty-four hour period. How many days you need to stretch is debatable. At least seven to ten days should be enough for most babies, but some children need longer. If breastfeeding becomes uncomfortable after you stop doing stretches, start doing them again for another week.
Timing is another issue for stretches. You will find what times of the day fit best into you and your child’s schedule. Nursing can be a soothing activity for babies, so doing the stretches right before you nurse is a good idea. Then again, every child is different, and some are prone to shy away from nursing after their stretches, so you’ll need to find other times to make it work.
Here’s What You Do:
- First of all, get a LED headlamp so you can see what you are doing.
- Next, wash your hands and trim your nails! Remember, this is a post-operation procedure you are performing, and you need to be as hygienic as possible. Long nails can also end up hurting your child by accident.
- Place your tongue tied baby on its back with his or her head nearest you, feet pointing away.
- Get your index fingers under the tongue and lift it so that the area where the procedure was performed can be seen. You will notice a diamond shape where the release was made.
- Hold this stretch for around five seconds. Then, put your fingers on both sides of the diamond and stretch the diamond horizontally for another five seconds.
- After those five seconds of vertical stretching, put your fingers on both sides of the diamond and stretch it horizontally for another five seconds.
Most likely, your baby won’t like the stretches. Besides the options for pain relief mentioned earlier, you can rub some coconut oil on your fingers to make the experience more pleasant. Mouth massages and positive physical contact also helps your baby relax and feel comfortable. Be as affectionate with your baby as possible with kisses and coos, letting him or her know everything is okay.
Stop Worrying and Start Stretching
Parenthood brings new challenges to your home every day. Luckily for us, in a world of modern medicine, the challenges of nursing a tongue tied baby are a thing of the past. This still doesn’t mean everything is going to be easy! Hopefully, the information in this article will bring you peace of mind. If you follow the advice and steps outlined here you can stop worrying, and you will see your child’s mouth improve day by day.