After Care Instructions The success of tongue tie or lip tie laser surgery is dependent upon post-procedure stretching. The mouth is an amazing organ that heals very quickly. This can become a problem because reattachment of the frenum can occur if adequate stretching exercises are not completed. Quick and precise stretching creates the best results, stretches need not be forceful.
How to do the stretches: 1. Wash your hands and apply a small amount of organic coconut oil to your index fingers. (Do not use any gel that contains benzocaine for children under 2 years of age or when there is an open wound. Do not use regular Orajel or Ambesol.) Be sure to read the label of ingredients. 2. Lay your infant on your lap or on the bed with their feet facing away from your body. 3. To stretch the upper lip: Place your finger under the lip to the place you meet resistance. Then gently move your finger from side to side for a few seconds then roll from the gums up into the lip with your finger. It is appropriate that you touch the open wound as the reason you are stretching is to make sure the two healing edges remain apart. The stretch under the tongue: Place both index fingers deep into the mouth under the tongue and lift it up, moving the tongue towards the roof or palate of your infant’s mouth. Hold their tongue up for a few seconds before relaxing your fingers. It is important that their tongue is lifted straight up and not tipped back. After lifting the tongue up, use one finger to hold up the tongue while placing the other finger deep against the wound and again lift up while moving your finger to first one side and then the other again so the healing edges are kept apart from each other, then roll from top to bottom downward in the wound with your finger. 4. The first stretching exercise should occur the evening after surgery is performed. Then beginning the following morning, stretches need to be done every 3-4 hours (at least 6 times each day) for the first 21 days. No more than 4 hours should elapse between stretching exercises. After 21 days, gradually taper off exercises, doing one less session a day, so that by day 28 you are finished. A small amount of bleeding is considered normal, especially during the first few days after surgery. For pain relief you may use Tylenol, arnica or Rescue Remedy. For children over 6 months of age, Ibuprofen (as recommended) may be used.
Your infant will also benefit from sucking exercises. 1. Rub gently side to side the lower gum line. Your child’s tongue should follow the movement. 2. Allow your infant to suck on your finger. Gently pull your finger back – a gentle tug-of-war movement. This will improve the strength of their tongue. 3. While your child is sucking on your finger, apply gentle pressure to both the roof of their mouth (palate) and on top the top of the tongue.
Your lactation consultant is an amazing resource and is also vital to your success. Please follow up with a lactation coach after the laser procedure(s) are completed.
Call our office if: 1. There is uncontrolled bleeding 2. Your infant refused to nurse or bottle feed 3. Has a fever of greater than 101.5