Children’s Tongue Tie Specialist at our Chelsea Clinic

There are many children who have difficulties related to tongue-ties and lip-ties, but unfortunately, these conditions are often not identified until later in life. They can cause speech and feeding difficulties, sleep issues, and a wide-range of other concerns.

Speech

A tongue restriction affects speech differently in each individual. Some children with a to-the-tip tie can articulate well (but may struggle with increased effort when speaking). Other children, with a less visible or posterior tie, may have a speech delay or difficulty saying  L, R, T, D, N, TH, SH, and Z.

Feeding

In childhood, these eating difficulties can persist and are evidenced by only eating small amounts of food, slow eating, packing food in the cheeks, and pickiness with textures (soft, mushy foods and meats are typically the most difficult).

Sleep

A tongue-tied child will often grind his or her teeth at night, snore, or experience other sleep-disordered breathing problems. Releasing a tongue-tie can help a child to sleep more soundly because the tongue will be able to rest on the palate, as it was designed to do, rather than falling back to narrow or block the child’s airway. Sleep-disordered breathing can cause frequent waking, restlessness, bed-wetting, failure to feel refreshed upon waking and accompanying difficulty focusing at school.

Because multiple factors often contribute to the problem, such as large tonsils, a narrow palate and tongue-tie, often a child will be seen by multiple specialists to try to remedy the problem which can be frustrating to both child and parents.Children with tongue-ties often have a history of multiple ear infections and needing ear tubes. All of these can be complicated by the mouth-breathing that frequently occurs in tongue-tied individuals, due to the low resting posture of the tongue. We have found that when there is a tongue-tie, sleep often improves dramatically after a simple in-office procedure.

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Issues to look out for:

  • Frustration with communication
  • Trouble with speech sounds, hard to understand, or mumbling
  • Speech delay
  • Slow eater or trouble finishing a meal
  • Picky eater, especially with textures (e.g. meat, mashed potatoes)
  • Spitting out food or packing food in cheeks
  • Thumb or finger sucking or prolonged dummy use
  • Restless sleep (kicking or moving while asleep)
  • Sleeps with mouth open
  • Snores (quiet or loud)
  • Mouth breathing during the day

If your child experience 4 or more of these symptoms it might be a good idea to see one of our Tongue Tie specialist.

Tongue Tie Indications in Children

How Does Tongue Tie Surgery (Frenectomy) Work?

Tongue Tie Laser Treatment LondonMore and more, parents are opting for a safe, fast-healing laser frenectomy. Rather than using scissors, we use a laser for all of our frenectomies at Happy Kids Dental because we believe the laser has superior healing properties.

At Happy Kids Dental we use the latest generation of technology - The Epic™ X Laser, developed by Biolase. This is a diode laser and is recognised worldwide as the best method for tongue tie and lip tie treatment.

There are multiple benefits to using this laser:

  • Efficiency - the procedure takes less than 30mins and no stitches are necessary.
  • A diode laser works with light energy so there is very little discomfort. There is almost no bleeding and some babies and children sleep through the procedure.
  • The laser sterilises upon touch, therefore the risk of infection is minimal, if any.
  • Healing occurs quicker and without complications. The result is healthy, well-healed tissue with less chance of reattachment (relapse).

At Happy Kids Dental we may only use topical anaesthetic during frenectomy, since it is a painless procedure when performed with a Biolase laser.

Process in Happy Kids Dental Tongue Tie Centre:

1. Initial Consultation

Our Specialist will carry out a comprehensive assessment for your child and will be able to advise if a Tongue or Lip Tie partition would be beneficial.

No referral is needed for this service - Self referrals are accepted.

Consultation cost - £150

2. Tongue Tie Release

If Tongue tie is advised - procedure will be carried out on the same or following day.

Tongue Tie release with laser - £350

3. Follow up appointment

1 week after Tongue or Lip tie release.

We carry out assessment to see if you noticed any changes in symptoms since the procedure was done and make sure your child's wound is healing well.

Follow up appointment cost  £95

Results

It’s important to understand that, when your child has a tongue- or lip-tie released, improvement isn’t always instant. It’s typically just the first step in treatment.

Just like any other muscle in the body, the tongue is used to functioning in a certain way. When it’s restricted by a tongue­-tie, the body adapts and other muscles have to help compensate. When a tongue­-tie is released, your child will have no muscle memory of how to use the tongue effectively without the restriction, so your child’s brain will need some time to learn the new skill.

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