Tongue and Lip Ties, Laser Frenectomies, & Breastfeeding

Thank you for your interest in our services for tongue and lip tie frenectomy laser procedures. We are grateful to be able to assist you and your child during your breastfeeding journey.  

We became interested in tongue ties and lip ties after successfully treating our own daughters due to breastfeeding difficulties. We understand the importance of treating ties early on to help with feeding issues. We work closely with parents and specialists to help achieve optimal results. We were fortunate enough to receive training under seasoned leaders in this field so that we may offer these services right here in Rockland County. Many of our infants who are tied and struggle with breastfeeding present with symptoms such as weight loss and acid reflux. Our moms also experience tremendous pain and discomfort while breastfeeding. We are trained to diagnose and treat tongue and lip ties using our CO2 laser. We work closely with your lactation consultant and help provide additional support with breastfeeding issues.

We are committed to supporting every family during their individual breastfeeding journey. We are not demonizing any other forms of feeding but want to make sure that parents are choosing those other options because they WANT to and not because they feel they HAVE to.

We have dedicated team to support you and your child as you navigate through a tongue or lip tie diagnosis. We not only offer the frenectomy procedure using a CO2 laser, but we also network with a number of providers who specialize in managing the post-frenectomy patient. We understand that the frenectomy is only the beginning of the journey towards restoring normal and healthy tongue movement.

Not only is Dr. Bracy a Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist, she is also a Certified Lactation Counselor. As a CLC, she is able to provide support and counseling to families struggling with breastfeeding during the course of their breastfeeding journey.

Dr. Bracy shares her experience with breastfeeding difficulties before and after her child has a frenectomy.

What is a Tongue and Lip Tie?

Tongue Ties and/or Lip Ties occur when the frenum that naturally connects the tongue or the lip to the surrounding anatomical structures, is tight, broad, or attaches to an area that impedes normal function. A Tongue-tie can limit the tongue’s ability to create a suction to draw the milk out. Long-term issues may include speech issues and transferring food around the mouth for chewing. A tight upper lip frenum attachment can appear as a tight, tense, upper lip during nursing. This can result in a shallow latch during breastfeeding. It can also trap milk/food in the front teeth possibly leading to dental decay.

Baby symptoms may include

  • Poor latch (clicking, snapbacks, or breaking latch)
  • Excessive air intake due to inadequate seal (Aerophagia) leading to bloating, fussiness, colic, reflux (GERD), gassiness, weight loss, feeding refusal (defensive protective mechanism)
  • Failure to thrive
  • Extended feeding times, falling asleep at the breast due to exhaustion, and/or restless sleeping due to inadequate feedings
  • Gumming/chewing of the nipple
  • Unable to take a pacifier or bottle

Mom's symptoms may include

  • Creased/flattened nipples
  • Cracked, blistered, bleeding nipples
  • Plugged ducts or mastitis/thrush
  • Severe pain when feeding
  • Incomplete breast drainage
  • Compromised milk supply

Do I Have to Treat a Tongue or Lip Tie?

Many individuals appear to have ties. However, they are functioning well and have no feeding or speech issues. In that case, we monitor. A tie becomes a problem when feeding or speech is impaired, affects development of the jaws, or increases risk for cavities.

How can a laser dentist help me?

In our office, we use a laser to perform a procedure (frenectomy) to eliminate the tie. With the laser there is minimal to no bleeding and short healing time. Due to laser safety regulations, parents are not allowed in the treatment room during the procedure.

How long does the procedure take?

The procedure itself is not very long. One of our staff members will carefully carry your baby to and from the room. The approximate time your child will be away from you is about 3 to 5 minutes. The actual laser time is 15-30 seconds. Following the procedure, we will go over instructions to help prevent reattachment.

Is it covered by my insurance?

Every insurance plan is different so we will help you get the information needed from your insurance plan. Our goal is to make this process as seamless as possible so that you may be able to focus on your child. Give our office a call for more information regarding insurance coverage or to schedule an appointment at 845.624.0011.

Dr. Bracy evaluates for ties.

Post-frenectomy stretching excerises.

What are the stretching exercises after we do this procedure?

We will show you how to stretch the sites. We have included a video below so that you have an idea of how the sites are stretched.

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