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Why Does Your Baby Need A Frenectomy?

If you've noticed that your baby is having a hard time breastfeeding or drinking from a bottle, you may be surprised when a pediatrician recommends a so-called "tongue tie" frenectomy. Such a procedure is called for when a baby's lingual frenulum has interfered with their ability to move their tongue freely. The frenulum is the small ligament on the underside of the tongue which keeps the tongue attached to the interior of the mouth; in a frenectomy, part of it is cut. You might be reluctant to have your baby go through with this kind of surgery, but in addition to easier feedings, here are some of the reasons to have the procedure done.

Speech Issues

Even if you can't imagine it today, soon your baby will be talking. Without the tongue tie frenectomy, their speech will be impaired in some way simply because their tongue might not be able to reach the parts of the mouth it needs to in order to produce sounds the way most people do.

Your baby can of course decide to have a frenectomy as an adult, which will free their tongue, but continue to cause challenges. They will have to unlearn everything about speech they've known so that they can learn to speak properly and without impediment. Allowing them to have a frenectomy as a baby can ensure they learn and produce the right sounds right away.

Oral Hygiene

If your baby is unable to move their tongue a lot, as they grow and start eating solid foods, it will become harder to deal with bacteria inside their mouths. Many people use their tongues to get food out of their teeth, which is not a possibility for a person with a frenulum issue. Not only that, but depending on the state of your child's frenulum, it can act as a hiding spot for bacteria to grow in. Special care will need to be taken to ensure that the bottom of the mouth and undersides of the tongue are clean. That can be a challenge with young children, as they can get impatient with all that attention paid to their mouths. Having the frenectomy can improve your child's oral health and make it easier to maintain.

With a deeper understanding of what could be at stake for your baby, hopefully you better understand why your consent to a tongue tie frenectomy is a good idea. Talk more with your infant's pediatrician about how the procedure will go.