A tongue or lip-tie release provides the freedom the tissue needs to function normally, however after-care is important to ensure that this freedom is maintained and that the infant/child learns how to properly use this freedom. Think of it like physical therapy after any other muscle surgery, and the tongue is arguably one of the most important muscles in the body! Also, moist wounds heal fast and effectively (think Bacitracin on a cut), and this holds especially true on a young healthy child. Since the body will treat the release as any other wound, it will want to reattach the tie back the way it was. Proper after-care will encourage the tissue to heal the way we want instead, with minimal to no reattachment.
After treatment, the site is generally sore beginning 4-6 hours after treatment (think pizza-burn). While the surgical site will continue to heal for 2-3 weeks, soreness usually subsides within 24-48 hours. Properly dosed Tylenol is usually sufficient for comfort. Please refer to our dosing guide or consult your pediatrician before giving Tylenol to newborns. There are no restrictions to breastfeeding after treatment, and in fact the comfort of feeding generally far outweighs any perceived discomfort in using the tongue/lips (and will give them a nice passive stretch in the process)! If your little one still seems uncomfortable after being given Tylenol, try other comforting activities they generally enjoy, such as skin-to-skin contact, a warm bath, and/or a frozen water-dipped washcloth or breastmilk ice-chips/slush.
We believe strongly in the importance of a team approach to treatment of tongue-ties. We recommend at least one follow-up visit with a lactation consultant, speech therapist or myofunctional therapist after treatment, in order to assess and guide you and your child toward maximizing function of the newfound freedom in tongue movement, and to break any old compensation habits that may otherwise continue to limit their tongue's functionality.
Stretches should begin the next day following treatment. They should be performed at least 4x per day until the tissue is fully healed (generally 2 weeks for the lip, 3 weeks for the tongue). Please refer to the videos below for stretching techniques.