Tongue Tie Specialists Melbourne

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.

Concerned about tongue tie?

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.

Tongue Tie Treatment (Laser Frenectomy)

At Kiddies Infant Care we provide the following service for children with tongue tie:

Thorough medical and functional history taking

Comprehensive intraoral examination and classification of ties

Discussion of management and management options

Performing surgical management 

If Dr Kar Mun Chan (Dental Surgeon) 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. Throughout the procedure, a dedicated nurse will soothe and comfort your child while Dr Chan and her assistant focus on the surgery.

Tongue tie FAQs

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.

In our work we see a significant number of children with restricted tongues or “tongue ties”. A tongue tie limits the movement of the tongue so that the other muscles of the face have to adapt during speech and swallowing. Many children have a restricted tongue that is not picked up early as they have been able to adapt their speech and swallowing at an early age.

Tongue tie is defined as ‘embryological remnant of tissue in the midline between the undersurface of the tongue and the floor of the mouth that restricts normal tongue movement’.

They estimate as many as 4% of people globally have a tongue tie or restriction. Severe tongue tie is usually picked up at birth or soon after. Infants with tongue tie have difficulty in the elevation of the tongue, and according to tongue tie experts, this is one of the most important aspects of breastfeeding. On the other hand, babies with tongue tie who are bottle-fed often remain undiagnosed as the tongue often still has the ability to thrust forward to stop the flow of milk from a bottle.

Elevation is responsible for the clear pronunciation of the letters “D”, “T”, “N”, and “L. Another clue to a restricted tongue frenum is a lisp at the front or sides of the teeth when pronouncing the “S” sound. Adequate movement of the tongue is also key in proper swallowing of liquids and food.

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)

Not sure if your child has a Tongue Tie?

Book an appointment and we’ll go through your concerns together and see what the best course of management is for your child.