My son was born with a tongue tie, but it didn’t demand the immediate attention of anyone in the hospital when he was born, nor did it cause any concern from his pediatrician until he began showing a delay in speech. We took the “wait and see” approach, exhausting every avenue before deeming surgery necessary.
But after the speech therapist determined he had limited use of words requiring “tongue tip mobility” like his T’s and D’s, we saw an Ear, Nose, & Throat specialist who confirmed the severity and confidently said it would not resolve naturally over time. We were told that, while the procedure was uncomplicated and short, he would need to be put under general anesthesia since you can barely expect a 2 year old to sit through a meal, let alone sit for someone coming at them with a pair of scissors going straight for their pie hole.
Honestly, what scared me most was the thought of my son being put under anesthesia, not the procedure itself. Cue an anxiety-driven trip to Google and I was about to let him live out his days not being able to lick ice cream or properly (and angrily) yell Donald Trump’s name with me at the TV while watching CNN. But fortunately, before I was too far gone, I decided to post my concerns with a local Facebook mothers’ group and discovered there was an alternative. Laser lingual frenectomy.
Sounds like something Dr. Evil would have used as a torture device, am I right? In layman’s terms, a dentist uses a frickin’ laser beam to release my son’s frenulum attached to his tongue. Perks include no general anesthesia, no need for sutures, and frickin’ laser beams.
So I woke up my tongue tied tot as the sun was rising and took off to the dentist hoping he would be too tired to care what was going on. Man, was I foolish. My son, who never feared the dentist in the two previous times he has gone, was completely rattled. I understood the dentist’s policy was to not have parents in the room at the time of the procedure, but I wanted to be there to calm my son’s nerves. To hold his hand. To assure him everything would be okay.
After (understandably) being shot down when I requested to stay, I was sent out of the room to the reception area where I heard him cry and fought every urge to run back, punch the dentist in the face, and haul ass with my son, never looking back. When I was brought back into the room, he was being held by one of the friendliest dental hygienists you would ever meet, and was wide-eyed, red-cheeked, and dead quiet. He cried for a few minutes after I took him in my arms, but not long after, he was rifling through my bag for his sippy cup and snacks.
He has a little ways to go until it’s healed. I will need to perform stretches on his tongue multiple times a day until his next checkup. I fear for my fingers every time I put them inside his tiny, tooth-filled mouth. But, hopefully, at the end of two weeks, my son won’t instinctively run from me in fear and I will still have all my digits.