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Who is on Team Tongue Tie?

Where to go to have your baby (child, or self) evaluated and treated for oral ties.

First, understand that not all providers are trained in ties. So if based on symptoms and your own understanding of your baby and what you’ve learned about the topic so far, you suspect a tie, you would want someone who can perform the necessary proper exam to identify it and its impacts. If you took your baby to their doctor because you knew something was wrong with their breathing, and they didn’t provide a thorough exam of their lungs, you’d think, “well perhaps I should see a pulmonologist” if you still suspected something was truly wrong and you hadn’t received a valid reason why.

Sometimes you need to ask outright a provider's level of knowledge and educational background with respect to diagnosing and treating this condition. As stated previously there’s some level of controversy, or at minimum, much disagreement about the diagnostic criteria, methods, treatment approaches, and market for treating TOTs but I won't be discussing that here. The reason I bring this up again is to make it clear that there are going to be times when providers are going to allow their bias and lack of training to inform their diagnosis and advice. (As with ANY area of clinical practice! Not saying it's right, just saying it happens, and it's almost inevitable! I am sure I am/have been guilty of this wittingly or unwittingly.)

Some questions to ask to get a feel for your provider’s basis on which they’re making their recommendations:

  1. Have you seen/treated babies with this condition and what did you advise? How does that usually work out for families?

  2. Are you experienced with working with this condition, or is there someone in the practice who deals with this regularly?

  3. Have you taken any education in this area specifically? (This one’s pretty direct. I don’t know if many folks would actually ask their provider this, but in case you needed permission to do so, here it is.)

Dentist or ENT (release provider)

I specifically say go to a release provider because in my opinion, they’ve invested the time and resources to become trained in release procedures because they want to help families reap the benefits of the release. Devil’s advocate: someone might say, surgeons want to cut (we hear it often in the ortho world) but the bottom line is that again, medical practitioners of any specialty have a responsibility to the patient. They must never perform a procedure for which there will be no benefit. Additionally, they are the professionals who are “allowed” to diagnose ties. Other providers can assess, provide referrals, guidance and insight. Be advised: many release providers are offering the procedure in the very same appointment time as the consult if the tie is identified and deemed