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Solutions for Tongue-Tie and Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking dollAt Kiddies Infant Care, our greatest passion is helping our young patients enjoy optimal orofacial development (mouth, teeth & face). That’s why we’re dedicated to addressing two concerns that can interfere with orofacial development: tongue-tie and thumb sucking.


Also called ankyloglossia, tongue-tie is present at birth, and can affect the way a child breastfeeds, eats, talks or swallows. Infants with tongue-tie have a problem with the lingual frenulum. This is the small section of tissue that links the underside of the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. It might be too short and tight or attached way up near the tip of the tongue, which can restrict some specific functions and movement of the tongue.

Dr Kar Mun Chan (Dental Surgeon) offers an alternative to traditional surgery that is often used to address tongue-tie. She performs a precise and minimally invasive laser release of the tongue or lip ties.

The process involves taking a thorough medical and functional history. Next, Dr Chan will perform an intraoral exam and classify ties. She will discuss with you management options. If you agree to have your child treated, she will perform surgical management of your child’s tongue-tie with a Waterlase Laser.

Thumb Sucking

As babies have natural sucking reflexes, it’s no surprise that they often look to their thumb as a source of comfort. Infants and toddlers often suck their thumb to fall asleep. While it may look cute, thumb sucking can negatively impact a child’s teeth and oral development. Dr Chan provides customised treatment plans to help kids break the thumb-sucking habit. We also recommend some things you can do to help your child:

Identify the triggers – Young children often reach for their thumb if they’re feeling stressed. If you notice that particular situations, such as going to new places, produces anxiety, be sure to reassure your child.

Place limits – It’s not realistic for your child to abandon their thumb-sucking habit straightway. Instead, limit the times when they are allowed to suck their thumbs such as while watching television or in the car.

Employ positive rewards – Generously praise your child every time they refrain from sucking their thumb. You may want to provide incentives or small rewards such as a trip to the beach or park.

If you would like to discuss our tongue-tie and thumb-sucking solutions in greater detail, please contact us to book a consultation.

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