Thursday evening we took Ben in to see a dentist that specializes in tongue and lip ties. This dentist was awesome, he had the best bedside manner of any doctor that I’ve ever met. The first thing He did was to go over all the symptoms of tongue and lips ties:
-Pain while nursing
-Poor latch while nursing
-Feeding every one to two hours
We talked through all of the reasons why we brought Ben to him (most of the reasons listed above). After we talked for a good 15 minutes, he examined Ben.
The conclusion was that Ben had a mild to moderate tongue tie, and a severe lip tie. It was this dentist’s opinion that he have both of them treated, and at the same time. He then offered to do the procedure right then.
J and I looked at each other and basically had a silent conversation with one another and then we both agreed to do have the frenulums cut.
The dentist went over the procedure and the recovery period. He uses a laser, and not scissors. A laser cauterizes as it cuts, so there’s almost no risk of infection, and very little bleeding. He did not want to use a numbing agent on Ben because the biggest soother to Ben would be to nurse afterward, and if his mouth is numb he wouldn’t be able to. He told us that the procedure is very quick, a few swipes with the laser and it would be done.
Two nurses came in and they swaddled Ben in a huge blanket very very tightly, and they held his mouth open while the dentist used the laser to cut the frenulums. J watched the whole thing. He said the tongue tie took no time at all to cut, but the lip tie took several runs with the laser.
Ben of course screamed and didn’t like the procedure at all, and it broke my heart to hear him cry like he did. But, it was quick and in a matter of moments they handed Ben to me, closed the room with a screen and let me nurse him right then and there. There was even a glider in the room for us to use.
Everything should be healed in about two weeks. There are two diamond shaped white scabs in Ben’s mouth: one where the top lip meets the gum line, and one where the tongue meets the bottom of the mouth.
We’re to do stretches with Ben so that the frenulums don’t reattach. So, we have to take his top lip and stretch it up to his nose and hold it for a few moments. And we also have to take his tongue and stretch it to the roof of his mouth for a few seconds as well. Ben hates it, but it needs to be done.
Overall, the cost was $650 for both frenulums to be cut, which is no small fee. We’re still waiting to see if our insurance will cover any of it.
The recovery was rough for the first 3-4 days. Ben was extremely fussy. I also think it was a mistake getting the procedure done at night. I think a morning appointment would have been better. That way we’d have the whole day to make him feel better, instead of trying to get a baby that’s hurting to go to sleep when everyone is tired…
I’m glad that we got this done. I can already tell a difference in his nursing, and I see a difference at my pumping at work. I’m getting less foremilk and more hindmilk during the work day. Hopefully this will help us to continue to be successful with breastfeeding.