Lip & Tongue Tie Treatment Aftercare
What to Expect Once You Get Home
Your baby may breastfeed, bottle feed, and/or use a pacifier immediately following surgery.
It is important to understand that depending on the type of tongue-tie or lip-tie your baby had, improvement with breastfeeding may not be immediate. It can take 3–4 weeks or longer for your baby to learn how to use his or her tongue effectively. We strongly encourage you to follow up with lactation support 5-7 days following your procedure.
Following the frenectomy, it’s important that you follow your aftercare instructions to the letter. There are numerous medicinal and therapeutic means of relieving pain and restoring full oral function in no time. Each patient will be given a personalized aftercare plan to assist in a speedy recovery. Dr. Paige will go through all of this with you one on one in the lip-tie and tongue-tie specialty dental office, but for your reference, we have many of the basics available on our site.
Post Op Instructions
After a frenectomy, it’s very important to follow a predetermined routine in order to help the tissues heal quickly and not reattach. Thankfully, Dr. Paige has already worked out all of the details for you, and you can look up exactly what to do with the links below.
Aftercare for Young Patients
You may encounter the following after your child’s frenectomy:
- Rarely, there can be a small amount of swelling at the surgical site. This does not require any treatment.
- Low-grade fever (99-102 degrees F).
- Slight bleeding of the surgical area for one to two days. If bleeding does not stop during nursing or after using pressure with gauze after 10-15 minutes, contact Dr. Paige.
- Extreme fussiness and frustration the first day.
- Improvement with breastfeeding may not be immediate. It can take time for your baby to learn how to use his/her tongue and other orofacial muscles effectively.
NO IMMEDIATE RESTRICTIONS: You may breastfeed, bottle feed, and give a pacifier to your baby immediately following surgery.
COMFORT MANAGEMENT: Most babies experience minimal discomfort after the procedure. However, minimizing and preventing discomfort is recommended. Tylenol or Motrin can be given to help with discomfort **NOTE: Dosage recommendation may be obtained from the pharmacist or pediatrician and is always based on your baby’s weight. There are also other natural options you can try such as Arnica, CBD, and other homeopathic remedies. MOTRIN SHOULD NOT BE USED UNTIL AFTER 6 MONTHS OF AGE.
GUIDING HEALING: Your baby’s mouth will heal quickly, and guiding it after the procedure is very important for optimal results. Before starting, make sure that your hands are clean and your fingernails are short. This process is NOT meant to be prolonged. Keep it short and sweet! Sing a happy song, provide a soothing environment, and talk in a sing-song voice to your little one to lessen their stress.
- Buccal Tie Aftercare: Place your middle fingers in the cheeks and roll up the jaw bone, pulling out as you push up toward the cheekbones.
- Lip-Tie Aftercare: Using your thumb and middle finger, firmly grasp the upper lip and lift out and up over the nostrils. Hold for a few seconds while pressing your index finger across the surgical site. Repeat every 4 hours for 21 days except for night one.
- Tongue-Tie Aftercare: Using one finger to anchor the jaw down, open the mouth as wide as possible and use the other index finger to press the pad of the index finger down into the floor of the mouth under the tongue. Maintaining downward pressure, begin moving the index finger back toward the base of the tongue, and push the tongue back and toward the throat.
Aftercare for Adult Patients
The patient can expect some swelling, pain, and/or discomfort as a normal part of the recovery process. Over-the-counter pain medications or other natural methods are recommended to manage discomfort. Ibuprofen usually works better than Acetaminophen and is recommended at least the first day to control pain.
Bleeding: It is normal to experience some bleeding during the first 1-2 days. If steady bleeding occurs, place damp gauze at the origin of the bleeding and apply pressure. If it is not controlled after 10-20 minutes, contact the specialty dental office.
Pain Medications: We recommend using ibuprofen or acetaminophen as needed for pain. If you are already taking chronic pain medications, we recommend contacting your doctor about what you can do to manage the added discomfort. Epsom salt rinses can be very helpful during recovery.
Sutures: We use absorbable sutures that will dissolve about 7-10 days after surgery. After the sutures come out, we can then encourage you to massage the surgical site with a soft cloth or gauze.
Oral Hygiene: We recommend rinsing with saltwater and/or alcohol-free mouthwash such as Closys several times a day to keep the wound clean and reduce the risk of infection. Colloidal silver spray is an excellent antimicrobial option.
Myofunctional Therapy Exercises: It is extremely important to perform the stretches and exercises as prescribed to obtain the most optimal results.
Lip and buccal stretches: Using the index fingers in the cheeks, pull them all the way out, swinging up and down, and then grab and lift the upper lip over the nose. Then, grab the lower lip and pull it down over the chin. Place a silicone tube inside the lips over the revision sites. Close lips together and hold for 5 minutes, working up to 30 minutes 3 times per day for the first 4 days. Continue these exercises 4 times per day for the next 2 weeks.
Tongue-tie stretches: Starting day 7, use gauze to firmly grasp the tongue and gently pull it straight out, then move it right and left, holding for a few seconds in each position. Repeat 4 times a day. Always be gentle with these exercises.
At any time, call our specialty dental office if you experience any of the following:
- Severe pain that does not improve with medication
- Bright red continuous bleeding
- Severe swelling at the site of the surgery
- Difficulty breathing
- Fever higher than 102
**In case of emergency, call (615) 669-7610**
Dr. Paige knows what it’s like to be a mother struggling with a child who has a lip or tongue-tie. If you’re anything like her, she knows you’ll want to find out more. We encourage our patients to get all of the information they need to make them feel comfortable and confident in the treatment they select. Any member of the team or Dr. Paige will be happy to offer recommendations for reading materials, support groups, and other resources.
Most of our babies do very well following their procedure. However, every baby is different, and we encourage you to be prepared for extra fussiness and the need for extra cuddles for the first 4 days following the procedure. Your baby may take time to relearn and go through periods where they avoid moving their tongue much to prevent soreness. Be prepared to supplement with bottles or syringes as needed and try not to stress during this time as it will pass and your baby will resume their normal schedule as their soreness and frustration lessen.
SOME THINGS YOU CAN TRY TO CALM YOUR LITTLE ONE INCLUDE:
- Homeopathic remedies
- Nursing (we recommend trying other things first if mom is experiencing a lot of pain or nipple damage)
- Lavender or Epsom salts bath
- Nursing in a bath
- Safe breastmilk washcloth
- Skin-to-skin contact
- Tylenol (according to the dosing chart we provide, which is a comforting dose, or according to the recommendations of your pediatrician). See chart below.
Tylenol Dosage Conversion Table for 160 mg/ 5cc bottle (1 mL = 1 cc):
6lbs.=2.7kg= 27 mg. = 0.8cc
8lbs.= 3.6 kg=36mg.=1.1cc
10lbs.= 4.5kg. =45 mg. =1.4cc
If all these methods fail, do your best to keep in mind that fussiness will pass and try to take turns between mom and dad so one parent does not become overwhelmed.
Lip & Tongue Tie Stretch