Tongue Tied

Tongue tied.  Such a hot topic.  I mean it is right up there with Pippa Middleton’s wedding and Beyonce’e baby bump. Right?  I sadly did not know either of these pop culture reference until I read them in a People Magazine at my Doctor’s office today.  So a tongue tie is way more of a hot topic than Leonardo DiCaprio’s dad bod, right?  Just nod and go with me here.

If you have a little one who is speech or feeding delayed, you have at least once wondered or heard someone else talk about the tongue tie.  But how do you know if your little one has a tongue tie, and what the heck is the big deal about a tongue tie, and what can I do about a tongue tie?

I am in an all business mood tonight, so let’s keep this short and sweet.

How do you check for a tongue tie?  This is simple dimple:  have your little one stick out their tongue.  Do you see a heart shaped tip of the tongue, or is it round?

Image result for tongue tie
Image from tonguetie.net

If your child’s tongue has a line down the middle and has a heart shaped like edge, this is a tongue tie.

But why does a tongue tie matter?

Well, if your child has a tongue tie, you may see limited side to side tongue movement as well as tongue movement up and down.  You need these movements to be able to suck from a bottle, move pieces of food to your molars so you can chew them up before you swallow, and to make certain consonant sounds.

IMG_0927
No tongue tie on baby Gus.

So what do you do about it?

Some people choose to do nothing.  But, I am a big fan of the clip.  And as early as possible.  Like, yesterday early.  I say this because the sooner you get that tiny little piece of skin clipped, the faster it will heal.  I had a friend who did it in his twenties, and he was a train wreck for weeks.  I see babies get it done, and they are done crying in a few seconds and breast feeding happily within the hour.

I also recommend clipping early because habits have not yet formed.  Speech patterns do not exist.  The recognition that they cannot chew meat or fruit has not yet registered.  Those sweet little minds think they can do anything.  And we should keep it that way.

If you are wondering where you can get a tongue tie clipped, talk to your pediatrician or a dentist.  There are many dentists that will do it while you are there for your child’s check up.  If you are a mom of a babe with tongue tie concerns, talk to you pediatrician immediately!  Get that tongue moving!

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