Questions and Answers

(Pronounced: ankle-oh-gloss-eeah)

Did you know that everyone has fraena?

It is the fold of skin under your tongue. It also serves to join the lip to the adjacent gum. Originally it was thought that a tongue tie was when the frenum came all the way to the tip of the tongue. However, after much research and understanding, we now know that it is not just appearance but also movement, function and the overall workings of the tongue.

When a frenum becomes constrained to the normal functions of the mouth and face, it is then restrictive in comparison to a frenum that does not complete the full functions of the mouth and face. The reference of 'restriction' is used by those who are experienced in providing accurate diagnoses and treatments.

A failure of apoptosis (death of cells during the organism's growth or development) on the majority affects both the lip and tongue. This does not necessarily mean that both will always need treatment.

We will provide a thorough check to decide what treatments are best for your child. In our experience with breastfeeding infants, the lip nearly always contributes to the presenting symptoms.

For older children, assessment is based on clinical signs and symptoms. It's best to get your child assessed before bigger problems arise later on.

There is currently no way of telling exactly what lifelong implications are to a child if a tongue-tie and/or lip-tie is not rectified. However, there have been multiple studies to suggest several potential issues:

• Tongue Posture

• Tongue Thrusts

• Development of the jaw

Positioning of the teeth

• Mouth Breathing

• Reverse Swallowing

If you are concerned for your child's health bring them into KIDS to have a full and fun assessment. They won't want to leave!

Before jumping to conclusions, it is best to speak with your dentist to receive a full assessment of whether your child does have a lip or tongue tie. This will be completed with both a physical and manual examination. We understand kids want to play, that is why we have created fun spaces where they can enjoy themselves while we proceed with the assessment.

We will, firstly, provide a visual examination to determine if a lip and/or tongue tie exists. Unfortunately, you cannot determine purely from a visual examination, therefore we will also perform a palpation (using our hands to feel in the mouth). We also ask that you consult a Chiropractor, Speech Therapist and Lactation Consultant before we proceed.

At KIDS we want your child to be comfortable, so we will work with you and your child to make sure the experience is relaxing and enjoyable.

* Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

Lasers are highly regulated in Queensland, requiring specific laser safety training, three separate licences – one for acquisition, another for possession and another for laser use.

All locations where lasers are used must undergo certification as suitable for use and users must comply with strict regulatory requirements. This is to make sure that only the trained professionals can offer you laser treatment.

We want you to be safe and that is why we are continually updating our certifications to give the utmost care.

Further, as you can imagine lasers are very expensive to acquire and in many dental practices will be the most valuable piece of equipment in the practice.

The application of anaesthetic will depend on the age of the patient and nature of the procedure*. However, infant frectonomies are commonly carried out without anaesthetic. This is because immediately following the procedure, infants are soothed by breast or bottle feeding and any degree of anaesthetic could impede their ability to soothe comfortably. 

The laser we use has an analgesic effect following application, however, this does not usually remove all discomfort and infants may experience some pain during the brief period of surgery. In slightly older children who are not breastfeeding, we apply a strong topical anaesthetic gel to help relieve discomfort and pain.

We have found that for some children the taste of the anaesthetic gel is worse than the procedure.

* Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

There will always be some level of pain, which can be felt in all surgeries*. However, we work with you and your child to make sure that the procedure is as painless as possible and to stimulate healing.

ADULTS, YOUTH AND MOST CHILDREN

For adults, youth and most children, the procedure is performed under local anaesthetic.

TODDLERS AND SOME CHILDREN

Toddlers may have the application of a strong topical gel anaesthetic. This depends on whether the child is breastfeeding. We will advise you, before the procedure, how we will approach the application of the anaesthetic gel. We understand that children are not always interested in sitting still.

INFANTS

For infants, in accordance with guidelines of the Australian Dental Association, infant frenectomies are not carried out with a local anaesthetic. The infant procedure is carried out within 3-5 minutes and they are returned to their parents quickly and safely.

* Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

Pain is very subjective and patients report a variety of pain levels following a frenectomy*. After a frenectomy, there will naturally be some associated discomfort or pain, mainly during eating.

If you are concerned please talk to the caring professionals at KIDS for your peace of mind.

* Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

Each patient is different. During your consultations, we will provide you with the tools and knowledge of what to expect on the day.

We will also give you an estimate of the time it will take. This makes sure that we cover each individual case and make sure that you receive the topmost care while being with us at KIDS.

There are limited restrictions but we advise taking it easy for a couple of days post surgery*, and being mindful for at least 4 weeks afterwards. We highly advise against swimming or other medical procedures for 7 days after.

If you are concerned, we are here to help and please, if you do have any apprehensions please ask our friendly and professional staff.

* Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

We advise our patient's receive manual therapy in the 24 hours prior and within 48 hours after treatment. This is regardless of age. If you are concerned please talk to us. We are happy to set you through the process which may seem daunting, especially with an infant.

By having this therapy, the practitioner will be able to increase the suppleness and flexibility of the mouth, jaw, head and neck. This helps with showing the muscles the new habits and establishing new neural pathways. We want you to get the most out of the surgery and that is why we recommend you seek out a certified practitioner to complete this for you.

Unfortunately the procedure is not currently covered by Medicare. You will need to check with your private health insurance as it may be covered under your extras. The rebate will depend on your insurer and level of cover.

Sometimes, a health professional may only highlight a lip tie because a tongue tie, especially a posterior tie, can be difficult to identify without undertaking a full oral examination utilising the correct palpation technique.

In other cases, a health professional may hold the belief that a tongue tie is only an issue if it presents on the anterior (front) underside of the tongue.

KIDS will do a thorough examination to assess if your child has tongue tie as well.  

Please refer to What are the Treatment Steps page 

This is at the Practitioners discretion based on a number of factors related to patient care and safety.

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Contact Us

p:(07) 4942 5111

e: mackay@healthykidsqld.com.au

a: 6 Discovery Lane, Mackay QLD 4740

Open Hours

Monday 9:00am to 5:00pm
Wednesday 3:00pm to 7:00pm
Thursday 9:00am to 3:00pm

Friday 3:00pm to 6:00pm
Saturday 9:00am to 12:00pm
(times subject to change)

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