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  • Writer's pictureIan Shepstone

Addressing Tongue Ties

When it comes to addressing tongue ties, it's important to take a comprehensive approach that considers all aspects of your child's health. This includes working with a team of professionals and starting with the least invasive treatment options before moving on to more invasive procedures.

One important aspect of this approach is starting with chiropractic care before jumping straight to a tongue tie release procedure. Chiropractic care can address any underlying tension or restrictions in the tongue and jaw muscles, which can improve your child's tongue function without the need for surgery. This approach is known as pre-habilitation and can be a less invasive and more effective option than going straight to a tongue tie release.

By taking a comprehensive approach and starting with the least invasive treatment options, you can ensure that your child receives the best possible care while minimizing discomfort and potential complications.

In this blog post, we will discuss the six steps to successfully address tongue ties in children with chiropractic care.

Step 1: Functional Evaluation of the Tongue

A functional evaluation of the tongue is a comprehensive assessment of your child's tongue movement, range of motion, strength, and coordination. This evaluation is done by a professional who specializes in tongue tie assessment and treatment. During the evaluation, the professional will examine your child's mouth, looking for any restrictions or limitations in tongue movement. They will also assess your child's overall posture and muscle tone to determine if there are any underlying issues contributing to the tongue tie.

Step 2: Build Your Team of Professionals

Building a team of professionals to help address your child's tongue tie is essential to ensure that your child receives the best possible care. This team should include a Chiropractor, an IBCLC, a pediatric dentist, and possibly an OT or PT. The chiropractor will be responsible for addressing tension in the face, jaw, and spine, while also removing any stress to the nervous system. The IBCLC can help you navigate feeding issues that may arise as a result of the tongue tie. The OT and PT will provide exercises and therapies to help your child improve their tongue and jaw function, and the pediatric dentist can perform any necessary procedures to release the tongue tie.

Step 3: Pre-habilitate

Pre-habilitate means to address any tension in the tongue and jaw muscles before any procedures are performed. This is important because if the muscles are tense, it can be more difficult to release the tongue tie, and your child may be more uncomfortable during the procedure. The chiropractor can use bodywork techniques such as craniosacral therapy, myofascial release, and chiropractic adjustments to help relax the muscles and prepare your child for any procedures. In many instances, the problem is corrected at this stage. That means no invasive procedures for your little one!

Step 4: Reassess Tongue Function

After pre-habilitating, a professional will reassess your child's tongue function to determine if any improvements have been made. If the tongue's movement is still restricted, additional treatment may be needed, such as a frenectomy.

Step 5: Release Tissue if Needed with Preferred Provider

If a frenectomy is necessary, your preferred provider will release the tissue that is causing the tongue tie. This could be a pediatric dentist, an ENT, or an oral surgeon. The procedure typically takes only a few minutes and can be done with a laser or scissors. Your child will be given local anesthesia to minimize discomfort during the procedure.

Step 6: Follow up with Your Team

After the procedure, it is essential to follow up with your child's healthcare team. This will help ensure that your child's recovery is on track, and any issues that arise can be addressed promptly. The chiropractor can continue to provide care to help your child maintain nervous system health and ensure that the tongue and jaw muscles are functioning properly.

In conclusion, addressing tongue ties in children with chiropractic care involves a comprehensive approach that includes a functional evaluation, building a team of professionals, pre-habilitating, reassessing tongue function, releasing tissue if necessary, and following up with your team. Working closely with your healthcare team and following their recommendations can help ensure the best possible outcome for your child.


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