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Infant Tongue Tie Clinic

Tongue ties or lip ties can affect people of all age groups including babies. The restricted oral tissue of the tie can lead to breast feeding difficulties. It is however a condition that can be rectified effectively using laser surgery combined with an interdisciplinary approach to the problem. At Gold Coast Holistic Dental Care, Dr Dan Hanson is our Tongue Tie surgeon who has years of experience doing this minimally invasive procedure with Waterlase. You are in the hands of a highly experienced practitioner. 

mother holding baby before breast feeding

How does a tongue tie or lip tie affect breast feeding?

During normal function, the tongue and lips work together to create a seal to enable a good latch on the breast. The lip acts as a suction cup around the nipple and the tongue pushes upwards on the nipple, creating a suction effect between the tongue and the palate.

This suction effect helps the baby to hold onto the nipple and compresses the nipple, elongating it back towards the throat. Milk is expressed from the breast partly due a mechanical effect and partly due to a hormonal effect. It is the mechanics of breast feeding which are affected by restricted oral tissues.

Common Tongue Tie/Lip Tie Symptoms During Breast Feeding

  • Poor ability to latch or inability to stay latched
  • Sliding off the nipple
  • Falling asleep at the breast
  • Regular clicking during a feed
  • Poor weight gain
  • Maternal nipple pain or damage (mastitis, cracks and bleeding)
  • Compromised maternal milk supply
  • Dribbling milk at the breast or bottle
  • Digestive issues such as increased gassiness or reflux
  • Aerophagia (swallowing air during feeding)
  • Poor control of the milk during swallowing (lack of coordination)

To download our mother/baby symptom questionnaire PDF click the link below:

 Lactation History (423 KB)

happy baby crawling on the floor

Treatment steps for Infant Tongue Ties and Lip Ties

We have an established process for treating infants with tongue ties and lip ties. It consists of the following six steps:

  1. Consultation preparation on the phone
  2. Consultation in the clinic
  3. Procedure
  4. Care call a few days later
  5. 1 week review in the clinic
  6. Follow-up phone checks

Consultation Preparation

Our practice will send you important documents containing all necessary information to prepare you for your consultation. Depending on your case, you may need appointments with other health workers such as lactation consultants or with a body worker (chiropractor/osteopath/physiotherapist) before your consultation at our practice.

Consultation

Dr Dan Hanson and his team will see you for a thorough consultation to effectively diagnose your child and give you care advice for the post-operative period. This will usually be a joint consultation with a lactation consultant or mid-wife.

Procedure

The laser tongue tie or lip tie surgery only takes up to 2 minutes and will be conducted in the dental chair. The lactation consultant or mid-wife will be there to help you with the feeding and after-care of your child.

Care Call

Our team will make an appointment with you for a follow-up call a few days after the procedure to see how your baby is going and help you with questions you may have.

1 Week Review

1 week after the procedure, our protocol involves a free review appointment with Dr Dan Hanson or with our lactation consultant or mid-wife at our practice. This lets us see how the area has healed and check everything is going according to plan.

Follow-up Phone Checks

We will give you follow-up calls to see how you are doing and will send you a 2 month review via email. If everything has turned out well, your treatment will be finalised at this stage.

Dr Dan says,

“This is one of my most rewarding areas of work. To see a mother go from not being able to feed a baby, to being able to successfully feed often on the same day of surgery is a big reason why I do this. The tongue is an amazing muscle, involved in feeding, speech, growth of the face and jaws, functional breathing and of course taste. When it is able to work properly, there are so many potential benefits to the individual.”

If you would like more information, please see our Tongue Tie FAQ

For further information, or, if you believe you, your infant, or child may have a tongue-tie or lip-tie, please call us on (07) 5644 6000 to arrange for a consultation.

Helpful Resources and Research:

 Tongue Tie and Breastfeeding Difficulty (45 KB)

 Tongue Tie Release Can Help Breastfeeding (52 KB)

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

 

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