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Before thinking about having children, I had no idea what an infant frenectomy was. Having a baby is a beautiful experience. Seeing your child grow is exciting and seeing that they are hitting milestones gives parents a sense of accomplishment that they are doing the right thing. However, there might be a time when you go to the child’s doctor and find that certain milestones are taking longer to hit or not hitting at all, which can make you concerned.
After my son’s three-month doctor’s appointment, my husband and I were to start introducing the purees into our son’s diet so that by the six-month checkup, the pediatrician would see how it was going. My husband and I started introducing our son to the purees as requested, but we noticed that our son was not interested in eating any of the offered foods.
This post is about infant frenectomy.
Three To Six Month Food Journey with Infant
We tried foods like applesauce, oatmeal, and banana, which were met with disinterest and resistance by our son. The only thing our son wanted to do was drink from a bottle. This raised a red flag, but we waited until our six-month checkup with his pediatrician since our son was still young and might not have been ready.
At the six-month checkup, the pediatrician was concerned that our son was not eating the purees or soft solids but wanted to wait a few more months since he was still gaining weight and nothing else was wrong developmentally. For a couple more weeks, we tried introducing the purees and soft solids, and my son still met the feeding with disinterest and resistance, and that is when I sought out a feeding specialist.
Discovering the Feeding was a Problem
After researching, I contacted the New Jersey Pediatric Feeding Associates to evaluate my six-month-old. Without their help, my son would not have started eating solid foods and feeding correctly.
The New Jersey Pediatric Feeding Associates are pediatric specialists who provide feeding and speech pathology. It is a small team of professionals who work with children to get them the assistance they need while also providing parents with the tools needed to aid in feeding or speech at home properly.
Frenectomy in infants
During the evaluation, it was clear that our son’s feeding was more complex than initially discovered. He had both lip and tongue ties that were severe and caused our son discomfort when opening and closing his mouth, which is why he never wanted to eat food and preferred the bottle. The lip and tongue tie was also preventing his teeth from cutting. My son was teething for three months, and from three to six months, you could see where the teeth should have been cut but could not.
Parents who can chest or breastfeed can discover the lip or tongue tie sooner, but for bottle-fed children, it can take more time for this to show up.
Our specialist recommended that we begin mouth exercises for a couple of months to see if that would help improve our sons’ feeding. If there were no improvements, surgery would be the best option to enhance feeding. The mouth exercises improved his range of motion; however, our son was still not eating simple solid foods that he should be eating by seven and eight months, so we proceeded with getting the frenectomy.
After our son’s nine-month check-in with his pediatrician, we all agreed this would be the best option to ensure his eating would improve. While he was still gaining weight, the frenectomy would ensure that our son would never have this issue in the future and strengthen his speech.
The New Jersey Pediatric Feeding Associates referred us to Scott A. Siegel, MD, DDS, FACS, FICS, FAAP, specializing in pediatric frenectomies in children under one year old. The Scott A. Siegel team was thorough, accommodating, and successful in frenectomy. The instructions for recovery were comprehensive, and the Siegel and NJPFA teams worked together to ensure that the recovery was going well or, if we needed to adjust, provide proper healing and feeding.
Lingual frenectomy before and after
The first week after the frenectomy, there were immediate improvements in our son’s eating. To go from not eating applesauce to eating cut-up chicken and rice was a complete surprise and a sign of relief. We went back to NJPFA for two appointments following the surgery and two appointments a month after, and our son had full function of his mouth and did not need to go back for additional therapy.
By our son’s first birthday, he was eating solid foods, drinking from a standard cup, and using a fork and spoon to eat. We were able to enjoy the cupcakes we got for him and have his favorite snacks without us having to worry about any discomfort or disinterest. None of this would have been possible without The New Jersey Pediatric Feeding Associates and Scott A. Siegel, MD, DDS, FACS, FICS, FAAP. Click here for more information about New Jersey Pediatric Feeding Associates. You can also find more information about Scott A. Siegel, MD, DDS, FACS, FICS, FAAP by clicking here.
If you want to see the vlog regarding this procedure, watch the video below on my youtube channel.