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You love to enjoy your child's smile, but there are times when you notice something strange, especially when putting it on the breast. Maybe your little one has ankyloglossia or short lingual frenulum, something that prevents you from moving your tongue properly. It affects around 2-5% of newborns, it has been estimated that it is more common in boys than girls and that, although it is not hereditary, it is more common in children with family members who have suffered from it. Do you want more information? We solve all your doubts about the short lingual frenulum in babies and children!
In the next post on our site we will try to solve the ten most common questions about the lingual frenulum or also known more colloquially as the tongue frenulum.
1. Why is the frenulum important?
The frenulum located under the tongue is very important in all its movements (raising, lowering, advancing, posteriorizing, lateralizing, and as it grows and getting older, even vibrating or rotating) to perform complex and daily functions, such as speech and swallowing .
2. Who and when should the frenulum be monitored?
At birth, in the same hospital, in case of difficulty in grasping or pain to the mother's breast, doctors and nurses usually detect that the frenulum of the tongue may be too short and not very functional. If it is not detected at the same time, during subsequent visits with the pediatrician they may also detect difficulties.
3. How do you assess that a frenulum needs to be intervened?
They tend to be guided by three aspects: by observing suction difficulties during breastfeeding, direct exploration of the frenulum using lifting tools (such as the liper or fre lingual by parri) or by means of a questionnaire of questions.
4. How do you explore the frenulum?
By raising the tongue towards the palate, the specialist with his tools will be able to identify if the frenulum is far from the tip of the tongue and, therefore, leaving the tongue released or, on the contrary, it arises near the tip and limits his movements seriously. If it is long or short in length, as well as it will be able to identify characteristics of the tissue by its color and thickness to guide the best possible intervention.
5. What are the most common questions to ask in order to detect a difficulty with the frenulum?
The most common questions are usually the following six: Is there pain during breastfeeding? Have you had to use the bottle due to difficulty in breastfeeding? Are you underweight or struggling to gain weight? Is the crying continuous during feeding, making it difficult to hold on? Does he make loud noises and clicks with his tongue during the feed? In the case of using the pacifier, do you usually put it upside down?
Once the pediatrician or specialist has determined that the child has a lingual frenulum, parents have doubts about how to treat it and, above all, whether it should be operated on and what are the processes to follow. Here we solve all your doubts about these questions!
6. Is it advisable to perform a frenulum intervention?
When doctors, nurses or speech therapists detect the difficulty, it is frequent and highly advisable to do this small intervention to ensure that the tongue is perfectly released, since its wide and effective movement is of the utmost importance both for good swallowing and for future speech (especially in sounds like erre that require vibration without tension).
7. What are the most common interventions?
In the event that it is decided that surgery is the best option, the two most common operations are frenotomy or frenectomy, with laser or suture; This will depend on the criteria and devices of the doctor and the hospital and the type of frenulum, which according to the Pediatric Act of Mexico, can be divided into mild, moderate and mild.
8. Is it advisable to do rehabilitation in babies?
If we are talking about an infant, probably with the own use and light massage guidelines we will avoid scarring. Simple vertical and horizontal pressure massages 2 times a week, approximately 6 times a day and preferably before feedings.
9. Is it advisable to do rehabilitation in older children?
In older children, a rehabilitation with speech therapists will be recommended to help mobilize the tongue in all its new possibilities and ensure its correct healing and adaptation in speech and daily swallowing, since it will probably already have bad habits installed that will be necessary to re-educate.
10. What is the main risk after the intervention?
In order for the frenulum wound to heal properly, we must stimulate the tongue in all directions, otherwise the healing can rejoin at the same point, without achieving any improvement. When this happens we speak of ankyloglossia or poor healing and it is the main risk of this simple intervention.
You can read more articles similar to All your doubts about the short lingual frenulum in babies and children, in the Language category - On-site speech therapy.