Watch Your Mouth!: A Guide to Tongue Tie and Lip Tie

Tongue tie and lip tie are conditions that restrict the tongue or lip’s range of motion. Most commonly found in infants and young children, these anatomical abnormalities usually occur in tandem. They are also often easy to diagnose and treat by trained professionals. 

Tongue Tie


Tongue tie, or ankyloglossia, occurs when tight, connective tissue tethers the tongue to the floor of the mouth. With roughly three million cases in the U.S. per year, this condition is often genetic and is more prevalent in boys than girls. The duration can last anywhere from years to a lifetime. 


  • It can impair an infant’s ability to latch during breastfeeding and can thus impact his or her ability to gain weight. 

  • In young children, it can continue to affect their ability to eat correctly.

  • It may impact a child’s speech.

  • It can have a negative effect on the normal growth and development of the jaws and face.

  • It can contribute to problems such as mouth breathing, snoring, poor sleep and attention.


If your infant or child exhibits any of the signs listed above, you may be able to assess whether or not they may have tongue or lip ties simply by looking into their mouth.  What is the range of motion when they move their tongue side to side, up and down, or in and out? If you suspect your little one might have a tongue tie, be sure to set up an appointment with their pediatric dentist for a professional assessment.  Once they determine whether this abnormality is present, they will assess the severity and suggest treatment options. 


In some cases, as a baby gets older, a tongue tie may resolve itself. However, depending on the severity of your child’s condition, there is a surgical option. Tongue tie surgery, called a frenectomy, usually does not require anesthesia, and can often be performed in a matter of minutes!

Lip Tie


Similar to tongue tie, lip tie is a condition in which an infant or child exhibits a difference in the anatomy of his or her mouth. Lip tie occurs when the upper lip is connected to the upper gums by a tight and sometimes wide band of tissue. 


  • Newborns exhibit trouble latching during breastfeeding, subsequently impacting weight gain. 

  • The infant either becomes visibly tired or, in some cases, falls asleep while feeding. 

  • The mother experiences discomfort from breastfeeding her child. This can include pain, breast swelling, and blocked milk ducts.

  • There may be abnormally large spaces between the front teeth.

  • Cavities may form either from milk pooling under the lip or from difficulty in brushing the teeth.


If your infant is experiencing trouble breastfeeding, you can contact a lactation consultant and a pediatric dentist. Upon assessment, a professional will categorize your child’s lip tie based on severity and advise you if treatment is necessary. 


Just like tongue tie surgery, lip tie can be release can be performed by a surgical laser or scissor and is often quick and painless. 

Not all doctors are able to offer this service. However, due to Dr. Dan’s educational background and experience, Children’s Dental Specialities proudly provides tongue tie and lip tie assessments as well as treatment options. If your infant or child exhibits any of the symptoms listed above, make an appointment today!

Is Your Child Getting Enough Sleep?

Your child needs sleep, that’s a fact. But they require different amounts of sleep as they age. Here’s a quick guide outlining how much sleep your child during each stage of their development. 

0 – 3 Months Old 

Sleep can be hard to come by with a newborn baby. That’s because newborns need a total of 10 – 18 hours of sleep per day on an irregular schedule. Newborns will fuss, cry or rub their eyes when they need to sleep, so parents should pay attention to understand when to put them to bed. 

Newborns need 10 – 18 hours of sleep per day.

4 – 11 Months Old 

Around 4 – 11 months, infants are usually capable of sleeping through the night, with occasional disturbances. In addition, most infants will take 2 – 4 naps per day, which can last between 30 minutes and 2 hours. Parents should put their infants to bed when they show signs of sleepiness, rather than waiting for them to fall asleep. This will help them become more independent when falling asleep in the future.

Infants need 10 – 18 hours of sleep per day. 

1 – 2 Years Old 

Around 18 months, your toddler will begin needing less frequent naps, and may only take one nap, for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Many toddlers resist going to bed at bedtime, and experience nighttime awakeningsParents can help their toddlers sleep through the night by setting a consistent bedtime schedule, which helps set their internal clocks to a designated bedtime.

Toddlers need 9 – 16 hours of sleep per day. 

3 – 5 Years Old 

Preschoolers typically sleep between 11 – 13 hours per night, and only require one nap per day. As with toddlers, preschoolers can experience difficulty sleeping through the night, and some resist bedtime. Parents can help children get past this with a security item like a blanket or teddy bear, which can comfort children through the night. 

Preschoolers need 8 – 14 hours per day. 

6 – 13 Years Old 

As a child’s schedule increases with school and social activities, their need for a good night’s rest increases too. Typically, children don’t need naps, but do need to get a solid 8 – 12 hours of sleep per night.  Try limiting TV and digital entertainment before bed, which can make it more difficult for a child to fall asleep. 

Children need 8 – 12 hours of sleep per day. 

14 – 17 Years Old 

By this point, your teen should be able to sleep comfortably throughout the night, and may only need one nap per day, between 20 – 40 minutes. In fact, your child may come to value their sleep and need no instruction to go to bed. Try to emphasize the importance of adequate sleep with your child, and establish a bedtime routine that takes TV’s and computers out of their bedroom, and avoid caffeinated beverages at dinner so that they don’t have extra energy before bed. 

Teens need 7 – 11 hours of sleep per day.

Does Your Child have Trouble Sleeping? 

Poor and inadequate sleep can lead to developmental problems, mood swings, and impact your child’s ability to learn. Talk to us about your child’s sleep routine, and pay attention to your child’s nightly routine to see if there are any routines that may be impeding their ability to sleep.

Latest News from Children's Dental Specialties