Reviewed by Dr. Jason Fluckiger, DMD

In the second blog of this series, The Impact of Tongue and Lip Ties on Speech and Eating Habits, we discussed how tongue and lip ties can affect oral functionality and overall well-being. 

In this blog, we will explore the importance of healing and rehabilitation after a frenectomy procedure. We will provide aftercare tips for adults and infants and discuss exercises that can help improve oral movements. 

Table of Contents

Frenectomy Aftercare

Proper aftercare is crucial for a quick recovery. Below are essential steps to ensure successful healing:

  1. Oral hygiene: Maintain good oral hygiene by gently brushing around the surgical area without disturbing the wound. 
  2. Pain management: Minimal discomfort is expected post-surgery. Pain can be managed with pain medication as directed by your oral surgeon.
  3. Cold compress: To alleviate swelling, apply a cold compress near the affected area for the first 24 hours.
  4. Dietary adjustments: Stick to soft foods and avoid spicy or overly hot meals that might irritate the wound.

Post-Operative Care for Infants

  1. Immediately after the procedure, you will be encouraged to be skin-to-skin with your baby. When your baby has calmed down, begin feeding. If your baby is bottle-fed, offer them a bottle when they have calmed down. Feed in a semi-reclined position.
  2. Your baby might get frustrated with feeding because the numbing medication takes time to wear off. It usually takes 30-60 minutes for the numbing to wear off. Continue to try feeding until your baby is calm and comfortable.
  3. Extra cuddle and skin-to-skin time is very beneficial during the healing process.
  4.  Pain medications should be used per the instruction of your oral surgeon.

Tongue and Lip Tie Exercises

The goal of rehabilitation exercises post-frenectomy is to encourage the newly freed tongue or lip to move correctly, maximizing its long term range of motion. 

  1. Tongue stretch: Gently lift and extend the tongue upward towards the nose, hold for a few seconds, then move it towards each corner of the mouth.
  2. Tongue push-ups: Press the tongue against the roof of the mouth and hold it in place for a few seconds before relaxing.
  3. Tongue sweeps: With the tongue extended, sweep from corner to corner along the lower gum line.
  4. Lip elevators: Gently lift the upper lip towards the nose and hold before releasing. Do the same by pulling the lower lip down.

Doing these exercises can reduce excessive scar tissue formation. Perform these exercises for a minimum of 6 weeks, 6 times per day. 

Specialized Exercises for Infants

After a frenectomy, infants need special care to help their delicate mouths heal properly. Parents and caregivers play a crucial role in performing these exercises. 

  1. Healing stimulation: Apply a small amount of coconut oil or breast milk onto a clean finger. Gently massage the surgical area several times a day to encourage healing and prevent the formation of excessive scar tissue.
  1. Sucking training: Help the infant practice proper sucking motions, which are vital for both feeding and early speech development. This can be done with a little fingertip pressure at the palate to stimulate a natural sucking reflex.
  2. Tongue mobility: Encourage the infant’s tongue to move in various positions, such as sticking out and lifting to touch the upper gums, to improve mobility.
  3. Lip movements: Assist the infant in lifting the upper lip and pulling down the lower lip to enhance flexibility and strength, ensuring that these movements are done gently.

Your oral surgeon will provide demonstrations and additional specialized techniques to aid in your infant’s oral motor skills development.

Follow-Up Care

Regular follow-up appointments are necessary to monitor the healing progress and ensure that any potential issues are caught early on. 

  1. Regular check-ups: Schedule follow-up appointments with your oral surgeon to ensure proper healing.
  2. Speech therapy: In some cases, especially for children or individuals with a history of speech impediments, speech therapy may be recommended.
  3. Patience and consistency: Healing and improvement in mobility can take time and effort. It’s important to be patient and consistent with the exercises.

The benefits of a thorough aftercare regimen cannot be overstated. By sticking to these guidelines and performing the recommended exercises, patients can enjoy the full benefits of a frenectomy, ensuring improved oral function and overall oral health. 

If you or your child recently had a frenectomy and have concerns about your healing process, do not hesitate to contact our office for personalized advice and support.

AZ Max – Your Oral Surgeon in Mesa, AZ

Don’t let a simple condition like tongue or lip tie impact your quality of life. If you or your child are experiencing speech and eating difficulties, contact AZ Max Oral Surgery, your trusted oral surgeon in Mesa, AZ. Our team of experienced professionals can provide an accurate diagnosis and offer effective solutions to improve oral movements and prevent long-term complications.

We are dedicated to helping you achieve optimal oral health and function. To book an appointment at one of our 5 locations, call (480) 830-5866 or complete the online booking form.

If you are searching for an ‘oral surgeon near me’ or an ‘oral surgeon in Mesa,’ choose AZ Max for expert care and compassionate service.

Stay tuned for the last blog in this series: Tongue and Lip Ties: Myths vs. Facts