So it turns out Asher had a lip tie and a tongue tie. We knew he had a tongue tie, because waaaay back when we had thrush a lactation consultant told me he had one but that it would stretch out with time, but the lip tie was a bit of a surprise. Although, it was the kind of surprise that once you learn about you feel really stupid for not realizing sooner because you kind of knew something was up all along. Yea, that kind of surprise.
Raf and I had always noticed Asher’s upper lip had two ridges of tissue that connected it to his gums, we both agreed that it was a bit odd, but really didn’t give it much more thought. One day I was on a play date with my friend and her son (who had just had a frenectomy) and she pointed out that she thought Asher had a lip tie. She then proceeded to send me this and this.
Well, after a bit of research I decided two things. First I concluded that she was in fact correct and that Asher did have a lip tie. Second, I knew I wanted him to have a laser frenectomy instead of using a scalpel and sutures.
I took Asher to his pedatrician who suggested I consult a pediatric dentist. After a lot of time spent researching and calling pediatric dentists that would do a laser frenectomy on an 11 month old, I found Ashburn Children’s Dentistry, so I called and made an appointment.
Asher was seen by Dr. Rishita Jaju, who is exceptionally qualified to handle a laser and who determined that he needed to not only have the lip tie removed but the tongue tie as well.
I felt very strongly about using local anesthesia rather than general or IV sedation, considering that it was a minor procedure I didn’t want to add any addition risk by using strong drugs. This meant, that Asher would be awake and would have to be restrained during the procedure. And let me tell you, that part was not fun. Raf held Asher in his lap and we both restrained him while Dr. Rishita performed the frenectomies. Asher screamed the entire time, not from pain of course, but he did NOT like having all the fingers and tools in his mouth one bit. The whole thing took about an hour, which was WAAAAY longer than I expected it to take, but I guess Dr. Rishita had to work more slowly to account for his wriggling. Immediately after it was over, Asher sat up and cuddled next to me and sucked his thumb. For the next few weeks, I had to rub the frenectomy sites a couple times a day to prevent the tissue from reconnecting while it healed.
Asher’s lip and tongue have both healed perfectly and the gap between his two front teeth has almost closed.
These are the main reasons we felt strongly about having these frenectomies done:
-To prevent has possible speech issues
-To help prevent cavity formation
-So the gap between his front teeth would close (reducing the likelihood of braces)
-To free up his smile
In retrospect, I believe that a lot of my milk supply issues could be have been due to Asher’s lip and tongue ties, luckily we were able to power through and nurse through Asher’s first year, but in the future I’m definitely going to be more on top of ruling out any lip or tongue ties if I’m having nursing problems.
*While I was really happy with the care Asher received I think if I had to do it over again I would have a consultation with an ENT. Some ENTs are now doing frenectomies using only laughing gas and cauterization and these procedures can take only a couple of minutes. I didn’t learn about this option until after Asher had already had his done, but I’d definitely recommend exploring this route in more depth to anyone who has a child with a lip tie or a tongue tie.