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Breastfeeding Complications for Newborns- A Dental Procedure May Be The Solution

Most newborns rely on their mothers for nutrition through breastfeeding. An infant who breastfeeds predictably is generally considered to get significant health benefits as compared to one who can not breastfeed. On the other hand, a toddler who is struggling to breastfeed, or who has no apparent interest in breastfeeding, may not get the health benefits worthy of concern.

A common variable that can cause trouble for an infant when trying to successfully latch to the mother’s breast is an overdeveloped or atypical frenulum. The lip frenulum is the bit of tissue that connect your gums and upper lip, and your tongue frenulum connects the tongue and the floor of your mouth. A normal frenulum helps control the movement of your lips or tongue. Oppositely, abnormal frenulum actually restrict lip and tongue movement. A toddler born with an unusual frenulum — approximately 1-in-20 newborns in America have an unusual frenulum — can experience difficulty when trying to breastfeed as a result.

Pediatric Dentistry May Offer a Solution to Breastfeeding Frustrations

Thankfully, an infant who is not breastfeeding due to an issue with their frenulum can be helped with pediatric dentistry. A common dental procedure called a frenectomy can be used to correct the toddler’s frenulum, greatly increasing their lip and or tongue mobility. The correction paired with proper breastfeeding coaching can enable the newborn to latch better, stay on longer, and breastfeed easier.

The tongue or lip-tie correction procedure (frenectomy) is completed in most modern clinics using a highly precise surgical laser. This technique means no scalpel, no cutting, an practically no bleeding after the procedure. The energy for the light of the laser actually dissolves the excess or misshaped portions of the frenulum, cauterizing the surgery site as it is used. One of the biggest advantages of using a laser for this procedure is that typically it is quickly done and the recovery is typically easy for the infant. It also minimizes formation of scar tissue at the surgical site. Less pain and better outcomes, a win-win for the parent and child.

Learn More About Frenectomies Today – Call (858) 252-0577

At Scripps Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, our team of San Diego pediatric dentists can evaluate and complete frenectomies when the procedure is the right choice for an infant who is experiencing poor latch and breastfeeding. Dr. J’s own firstborn was born with a lip and tongue tie that led to breastfeeding complications, so he knows what you are going through as a concerned parent. To make certain he knows the benefits of frenectomies thoroughly, Dr. J became the first board-certified pediatric dentist to also be a Certified Lactation Educator Counselor. Beyond having completed many corrective lip and tongue tie procedures, he remains an active advocate and supporter of breastfeeding as he lectures to small and large groups if parents. If your goal is to breastfeed better and have not been able to find a solution, consider consulting an experienced pediatric dentist to see if a tethered lip or tongue is the problem.

Want to know more about frenectomy procedures? Call us at (858) 252-0577 today to learn about the procedure and treatment prerequisites, such as meeting with a certified lactation consultant before the procedure. You can also contact us online if you prefer.