Tongue Tie Release Instructions
As with any cut, your baby’s body will want to heal the released tissue back together and make it as it was before the procedure. However, we want the site to heal in a new way to allow for increased mobility and function of the tongue. The following exercises will help ensure the release does not re-adhese. Be sure to do these regularly with a clean or gloved hand.
Important: the wound will appear yellow/gray/white for the first few weeks- it is not a sign of infection, but how a mucous membrane wound looks as it is healing.
- Lay baby on their back with their head towards you and feet away from you. It will help to swaddle the baby, and put a small rolled blanket under their neck to get a better view of the mouth.
- Bring the tips of both index fingers together and slide them under the tongue. Use the pads of your fingers to press on the base of the tongue next to the frenotomy site. Now stretch the tongue upward and backwards toward the roof of the mouth to open up the diamond shaped frenotomy wound. Hold this position for 5 seconds, five times daily for 2 weeks.
- Now take an index finger and gently press on the frenotomy site, rubbing side to side for 5 seconds, also 5 times a day for 2 weeks.
- A slight amount of bleeding in the first few days during stretches is ok.
- Stretches should continue until the diamond shaped wound looks pink like the rest of the mouth.
Pacifiers: Pacifiers may be used but for short intervals (up to 30 minutes at a time.) After 30 minutes, try to do the wound stretches before reintroducing the pacifier.
Improving tongue function:
- Tickle baby’s lower lip with your finger to encourage them to stick out the tongue.
- Slide finger along baby’s lower gums from side to side, all the way to the back, to get them to open wide.
- Get baby to suck on the pad of your (clean) finger- while doing so, press down on the tongue gently and pull your finger out slightly to make them work to get your finger back in (this mimics the movement needed for breastfeeding.)