The Truth Behind 4 Common Myths About Tongue and Lip Ties

June 10, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — drlindasteele @ 9:35 pm
Boy opening mouth and showing a tongue tie

Up to 11% of children are born with a lip tie or tongue tie. This is when there’s an overly restrictive band of tissue that’s preventing the child from moving their lips or tongue properly. Many parents have heard of them, but they don’t always fully understand these conditions. You shouldn’t let misinformation prevent you from taking proper care of your child’s mouth; your pediatric dentist is here with the truth behind 4 tongue and lip tie myths.

Myth 1: A Tongue Tie or Lip Tie Will Go Away on Its Own

As nice as it would be for tongue ties and lip ties to resolve themselves simply by stretching out over time, this is very unlikely to happen. The connective tissues involved in tongue and lip ties have extremely limited stretching ability. As such, if the issue is left alone, the tie will remain. Consequently, it could interfere with your child’s speech, and it may even contribute to teeth alignment problems. It’s better to have the problem treated by a professional rather than ignore it.

Myth 2: There’s No Such Thing as a Posterior Tongue Tie

Many people believe that tongue ties only occur near the front of the mouth, but some children might suffer from what’s known as a posterior tongue tie. This is when the restrictive tissue that’s limiting the tongue’s movement is located near the back of the mouth. If your child is having difficulty moving their tongue but you can’t see the source of the problem, it may be the result of a posterior tongue tie.

Myth 3: You Can Treat a Lip or Tongue Tie Yourself with Scissors

It may seem like the solution is as simple as using scissors to clip the tissue that’s causing the lip or tongue tie. However, it takes more than that to properly address the issue. It’s best to let a specialist perform a frenectomy in order to release your little one’s lip or tongue; they’ll also take steps to ensure that the procedure is carried out as safely as possible.

Myth 4: Children Cannot Have Lip or Tongue Tie Treated Until Their First Birthday

Some parents think that a frenectomy can’t be performed until their child is at least one or two years old. However, the fact of the matter is that your little one will be able to have the procedure done within a few weeks of their birth! It’s generally recommended that you have a lip or tongue tie treated as soon as possible, especially if your infant is having problems feeding.

About the Author

Dr. Linda Steele has close to 30 years of dental experience. She is a member of the Southwestern Society of Pediatric Dentistry and the Texas Dental Association. Her practice offers a variety of child-friendly services. She is able to evaluate children for lip and tongue ties, and she is partnered with local specialists who can treat these issues. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Steele at her practice in Coppell, visit her website or call (972) 315-3355.  

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