Are you concerned about tongue tie?

Tongue tie (Ankyloglossia) occurs when the connecting skin under a baby’s tongue is too short or extends too far towards the front of the tongue.

Although tongue-tie affects only approximately 4% of children, it can have a profound impact on the entire family.

Tongue-tie can result in problems with the following:

  • Breastfeeding
  • Swallowing
  • Speech
  • Jaw Growth
  • Dental Decay
  • Upper and lower jaw development
  • Tooth alignment problems and more…

Now for the good news: even for infants, tongue-tie can be treated in a simple, fast and highly effective way with laser treatment.

As a mother of two, Dr Kar Mun Chan has herself overcome the challenges of tongue-tie. Combining her experience as a Paediatric Dental Specialist with a firsthand understanding of what parents go through, she treats families going through the difficulties of oral restriction while bringing considerable clinical expertise.

The Kiddies Infant Care Team are highly skilled in providing an alternative to traditional tongue-tie surgery. Dr. Kar Mun Chan has spent considerable time researching and practicing gentle laser treatment for oral restriction. 

Laser Therapy is preferable to traditional surgery, as it’s highly precise, minimally invasive and involves less pain and tissue trauma. Best of all, the treatment takes mere minutes, completely removes the problematic tissue, and has a quick healing and recovery time.

Our Friendly Providers
We have developed a list of our preferred providers below for your convenience. This includes Lactation Consultants, Speech Pathologists, and various Bodyworkers who specialise in working with infants and children. 

Dr Kar Mun’s personal experience

Hi I’m Kar Mun and I want to share my journey from a struggling mum trying to breastfeed my first child to a Paediatric Dentist offering a solution to tongue tie & lip tie. I find it rewarding to give Mothers another chance to feed their child when all else has failed.

The topic of “tongue-tie” or oral restriction is close to Dr. Chan’s heart as Dr. Chan’s eldest child was affected by tongue tie. The advice she received from health experts, including her paediatrician, maternal child health nurse and lactation consultant, was that her babies tongue tie may or may not be the cause of  difficulty in breastfeeding she was experiencing. 

To manage the challenges of breast feeding she faced with her baby, Dr. Chan was encouraged to express breast milk and bottle feed her daughter, and then top up with formula. She was not given the recommendation to have the tongue tie addressed surgically. Consequently, Dr. Chan missed an opportunity to establish a breastfeeding relationship with her child, a relationship that is so important between a mother and her new born. 

Some fifteen months later, Dr. Chan’s second child was born, and as the baby was not affected by tongue-tie she was able to experience the richness of the breastfeeding bond established between a mother and her baby. She can provide minimally invasive laser therapy to quickly remedy tongue-tie.

Tongue tie FAQs

At this initial appointment, a member of our team will review your child’s history and presenting symptoms. For breastfeeding infants, the history will cover symptoms of both the nursing mother and the baby. Once the patients history is collected, Dr Chan will performa a physical examination of the patients mouth including examining under the top lip and palpating under the tongue to determine whether a tongue or lip restriction exists and the nature and classification of each.

Dr Chan may also perform a “suck test” as part of the examination to identify the presence, nature and location of ties. During this examination, our staff may take photographs and videos of the patient’s mouth as part of the examination record.

Dr Chan will discuss the following with you at this appointment:

• Oral restrictions and the possible effects ( long and short term)

• Management options that are available

• The pros and cons of intervention and non-intervention

Please allow approximately 30 minutes for this examination appointment. If Dr Chan recommends laser surgery fro your child, she will explain the procedure of laser frenectomy to you. She will also answer any questions you may have about what to expect. As there will be much information provided at this appointment, we recommend that both parents attend ( if possible) and be present fro the entire appointment.

If, after a thorough intraoral examination and discussion, Dr Kar Mun Chan determines that treatment is needed, your child will be taken to our treatment room and then gently but securely swaddled (in the case of infants) before she performs laser release of the tongue or lip ties.

Immediately after surgery, your child will be comforted and taken to you in the parents’ room. If your baby is breastfeeding a staff member will assist your child to be able to nurse straightaway. This immediate feeding has the benefit of ensuring the treated area is immediately bathed in sterile, soothing breast milk.

Dr Chan and her nurse will be able to observe the functional aspects of your child’s mouth, and the nurse can determine if your baby is able to latch optimally. If you bottle feed your child, we will arrange with you to ensure a bottle is ready post-surgery to allow for an essential feed and cuddle.

Signs that a baby may have a restricted frenum include:

  • Issues latching
  • Sucking blisters
  • Long feeds
  • Persistent grazed nipples
  • Clicking sounds when feeding

Signs that a child may have a restricted frenum include:

  • Delayed development of speech or deterioration of speech
  • Issues with eating such as choking and gagging
  • Inability to eat age-appropriate foods
  • Problems with dribbling
  • The tongue sits low or is visible between the teeth (low tongue posture or forward tongue position)

Take a look around our relaxed and calm environment

Our Buckley Street practice is different to a paediatric dentist in lots of ways, quieter environment, multiple waiting areas, nursing areas for you and your baby and off street parking.

Conveniently located at 50 Buckley Street in Essendon, our aim to create a stress-free experience for both parents and infants/children including the following modifications:

Quiet clinics with limited staff which helps to create a more relaxed environment for you and your child.

We have designated nursing areas set up for you for use at any time. These areas are also used after any laser treatment to sit with our lactation consultant.

Off Street Parking in available to you along with ramps to make access into our building easier for you.

Not sure if your child has a Tongue Tie?

If you believe a tongue tie could be affecting the development of your little one, please call our experienced team. Kiddies Infant Care is always here to help and to answer any questions you may have.