How can I be prepared optimally for a tongue tie release?
In older babies, children and adults with a tongue tie, compensatory oral habits may be present. During pregnancy, a baby swallows amniotic fluid with a tongue tie, which means that hiccups may already be present. An older child and adults have exhibited compensatory behaviors for years as surrounding muscles and tissues compensate for the limited functional movement of the tongue. Think of moving food in the mouth from side to side, swallowing well without choking, wiping your teeth after eating and talking. Often the patient swallows with his tongue forward instead up and back, which is called a tongue thrust. This can affect the position of the teeth, jaws and the overall body posture.
The preparation for a treatment is therefore twofold:
1. Compensatory movements in the head and neck region can be quite “stuck” and therefore better checked and treated by a special therapist before a tongue tie release. We hear from patients that they have this done by a physiotherapist, manual therapist, orofacial therapist, chiropractor or osteopath for complaints such as incorrect posture, stiff neck, jaw clenching, grinding and headaches. Treating a tongue tie alone is not sufficient if the surrounding muscles keep the compensating behaviour and restrict functional movements.
2. Treatment also improves if the patient goes to a specialized speech therapist in OMT (oromyofunctional therapy) before and after the treatment. This can help to analyze incorrect oral habits and swallowing and train or unlearn these. If an OMT speech therapist is not available, the Kieferfreund app is an option to train and practice (see www.kieferfreund.com and https://www.tonguetieclinic.com/tongue-tie-therapy/https://www.tonguetieclinic.com/tongue-tie-therapy/)