After laser frenectomy your infant’s post-surgical care will include a series of tongue and/or lip exercises which are recommended by Dr. Paul Rubin to assist with the healing process and prevent reattachment. Because the laser frenectomy procedure is performed with a specialized laser, your child should experience little to no bleeding, and no sutures are needed. The wound will appear as a small diamond shape with a dark yellowish coloring which should form a film within a few days, similar to the appearance of a wet scab. Tongue tie and lip tie laser surgery is performed by Dr. Paul Rubin and Dr. David Sentelle, accredited laser dentistry surgeons.
Since the mouth heals very quickly and wounds typically contract to the center as they heal, stretching the newly detached area is key to preventing reattachment and achieving an optimum result. It is normal for babies to experience mild discomfort and minimal swelling after a laser frenectomy, but these symptoms should quickly subside after 24 hours. Acetaminophen (if age appropriate) may be used for discomfort if recommended in your post-surgical instructions that you will be given. Breastfeeding after laser frenectomy will not interfere with healing, and many infants find it reassuring. Be sure to consult your doctor before administering any medication (even over-the-counter types) to your child after surgery. Please read about the benefits of tongue tie and lip tie laser surgery.
Breastfeeding After Laser Frenectomy (Infants)
Nursing immediately after laser frenectomy will not interfere with healing, and many infants find it reassuring. Breastmilk contains tremendous healing properties, so nursing can aid in a speedy recovery, as well.
Some babies have difficulty latching right away due to numbness from anesthetic, but this usually wears off within 30-45 minutes. Don’t be alarmed if your baby needs some practice to adjust to a new breastfeeding technique. If a posterior tongue tie was released, it can take several weeks for an infant to become acclimated to nursing in a more efficient way.
Consulting a lactation specialist can also be beneficial in helping your baby adapt to nursing after tongue tie and lip tie laser surgery.
After Laser Frenectomy (Infants) Stretching Exercises
Stretching exercises will need to be performed several times per day for approximately four weeks after laser frenectomy (Infants) in order to prevent reattachment of the open wounds. During the first few days, it is normal to see some minimal bleeding at the wound site. The stretching exercises should be done quickly and precisely, not in a prolonged or forceful manner.
Stretching the Upper Lip After Laser Frenectomy (Infants)
After laser lip tie surgery, upper lip stretches will need to be used. If both a tongue tie and lip tie surgery are performed together, then the upper lip stretches should be done first, as they are the simplest of the exercises.
For the upper lip stretch, place your index finger under your child’s lip and move the finger upward until resistance is felt. Gently move your finger from side to side for a few seconds to keep the raw surfaces of the lip and gum separated. This will prevent the wounds from sticking together and reattaching.
Stretching the Tongue After Laser Frenectomy (Infants)
Most parents find it easiest to accomplish the tongue stretching exercises with the baby placed on a bed or lap with his/her legs going away from the parent. The main goal of the post-frenectomy stretching exercises is to keep the diamond-shaped wound intact and the fold across the diamond separated as it heals.
Be sure to thoroughly wash hands prior to performing any oral wound stretches on your child. Remember, most babies don’t like stretching exercises, so do not be alarmed if your baby cries. Stay relaxed and positive, and try to incorporate some play in between stretches.
Post-Frenectomy Tongue Exercises
After your child’s laser frenectomy, three under the tongue stretching exercises will need to be carried out for four weeks. Begin the exercises by placing both index fingers (fingertips touching) under the tongue in a diving-type motion to get deep enough to lift effectively.
Once under the tongue, perform these exercises:
- Lift the tongue up toward the palate as high as it will go. Keep the tongue lifted for 2-5 seconds to unfold the diamond-shaped wound under the tongue. Make sure the tongue is pushed up and not back. You should see the complete diamond unfolded when done properly.
- Prop the tongue up with one index finger. Place the other index finger sideways in the center of the diamond and push toward the floor of the mouth for several seconds. Use a sweeping or lifting motion (front to back) through the diamond to keep the fold in the center of the diamond separated.
- Place your index fingers on either side and just outside of the diamond. Massage the area around the diamond to loosen the musculature of the tongue and mouth floor.
Dr. Rubin will give you detailed post-frenectomy instructions to ensure the best possible outcome for your child. Frisco Kids Dentistry is committed to helping you feel as comfortable as possible performing the post-surgery stretches on your child. We are available to answer any questions or concerns you may have about your child’s laser frenectomy. If your child develops a fever after surgery or you feel that the wound is not healing properly, call our office as soon as possible.
If you would like more information about the benefits of tongue tie and lip tie laser surgery, please contact our office if you would like to arrange a pediatric dental consultation with a pediatric dentist at Frisco Kid’s Dentistry, please submit an online appointment request or call our office at 214-618-5200.