How do I prevent baby’s tongue tie from reattaching?


How can I prevent reattachment after baby has a tongue tie release? If you’ve had to go down the tongue tie path, you’ve probably heard about reattachment. This is where the frenulum under the tongue regrows, which is normal, but the frenulum can grow back shorter, thicker, or tighter than the original frenulum. This can cause the same or worse symptoms that were experienced prior to the original release. Many release providers will have families do “stretches” under the tongue to help prevent the new frenulum from forming too soon or too tight. Providers should also be recommending manual therapy (like chiropractic, CST, or OT) as well as continued lactation support.

I’ve seen babies, though, who have done bodywork and the tie still reattached. We need to look at the whole infant structure and not just think of manual therapy as a box to check off in the tongue tie process. Manual therapy , but instead a method to help to restore mobility and range of motion to the whole body. I’m an IBCLC, so I only see babies, but I see a lot of babies who don’t have a full range of motion of the head and neck, and tension in a the lower back, that prevents them from moving their spine through the range of motion too. In reality, this tension needed to be addressed BEFORE the release to optimize the body’s function and prepare for the new range of motion the release gives.

None of these things happen in isolation. Tension anywhere causes tension everywhere. If you have tension in you neck and shoulders, your tongue isn’t free to move EITHER. You can try that on yourself....tense up your neck and shoulders and see what happens to how your resting tongue posture feels.

Bodywork isn’t a magic step that prevents reattachment. It’s an critical step that allows for mobility and strength and THAT allows a change in a frenulum as it grows.

Just like not all oral function providers or dentists are equally skilled, not all manual therapy workers are as equally skilled. And, in my experience, the bigger piece of the puzzle is what the parents are doing BETWEEN visits that also has a massive impact on the outcome. If a family sees a chiropractor or osteopath once, and then goes back to using the Snoo for 10 hours a day, mobility can not be restored, because a body has to go through the range of motion to develop the connection to their brain that allows them to continue to go through the full range of motion with ease.

So, a body worker to help with movement is really important, but is not a magician that it seems like some people are hoping for.....that they can prevent reattachment with a cell phone and a credit card, if they get CST one time done before a release. I think *that* is the misunderstanding.