Update on the Tongue Tie. We have found a Dr!
If you have read my previous tongue tie posts (Tongue Tie) you know that both of my children and my husband were born with tongue ties. They were all officially diagnosed in December of 2011. In January my husband got his fixed by a laser dentist (Tongue Tie #1 is Fixed!). We were hopeful that this dentist would also be able to correct my children’s ties but for various reasons he was not the person for the job. Everyone kept talking about this Laser Dentist in Granite City, Dr Chen, who is just amazing and teaches the other local laser dentists. He travels a lot teaching and I kept being warned that he can be hard to get in to see because of his travel schedule. Plus, I was nervous that he wouldn’t be that good with children. I finally made the call to his office last week to see when the girls could get in to see him. The appointment was quickly set for just a week later! At least so far my fears of a long wait were not realized.
Today my girls had a consultation appointment. It was a beautiful day and the half hour drive there was very pleasant. When we arrived at the building I was a bit unsure if we were at the right place. Beside the road was a large sign identifying the Dr and that he is a laser dentist but it was a plain, brown building without even a sign on the door in the outskirts of town. No quite what I expected from this amazing world traveling dentist! I wasn’t sure what I would see when we opened the door. (I wasn’t even 100% certain it was the right place since there wasn’t any sign on the building but there weren’t any other building nearby). The women working in the office were very nice and down to earth. I felt very easy with them right away which is a good thing to feel when you are seeing a dentist.
I have been talking to and preparing the girls for this appointment for days. I have been working harder on my 4 year old since generally she has more trouble cooperating at the dentist. I should have spent more time on her sister I learned. They had planned that the girls would each be in their own chair and the dentist would see them each like that. Neither of them was interested in any arrangement that required that they let go of my hand so we quickly abandoned that plan. I decided to have my 8 year old go first since she loves the dentist and generally is the most outgoing but she refused to sit in the chair. Finally we agreed that she could sit in my lap in the chair (she always sits by herself in the dentist chair at her regular dentist and has since she was 3). Dr Chen introduced himself and worked very hard to engage the girls and get them to talk to him a bit. We discussed that my 8 year old had a lisp and he wanted to hear her talk but she refused. (Those of you who know her may be shocked that she wouldn’t talk!) My 4 year old clung to my arm the whole time this was going on. I think in part because her sister was so nervous. Finally he just looked in her mouth with a mirror and got her to do some tongue movements. Eventually she even spoke a bit although I never did get her to not mumble.
Then it was her sisters turn. I suggested to my 4 year old that she could show up her big sister and that was all it took. She loved that idea and jumped right into my lap and started chatting with the Dr. She lay very still and cooperated with all that he asked her to do. This scenario was exactly the opposite of what I expected from my children.
What I loved about this practice. No one acted exasperated or annoyed that my children wouldn’t behave as requested (except for me). When I suggested that they sit in my lap no one batted an eye about the unusual arrangement. We have encountered medical professionals who just couldn’t work if things didn’t happen the way that they wanted them to. Not here! But the best part came next. Dr Chen understands children and he suggested that we come in to observe the next time he did a tongue tie procedure on a child. He felt that this would make my girls handle their own procedure much better and he is right! What a switch from the other Dr who said my girls could watch him work on their father and then changed his mind at the last minute and never told us. Luckily there is one scheduled for next week so assuming that child’s parents give their permission for us to observe we will be going back to watch it. I know this will make such a big difference for my eldest especially.
So their procedures are not scheduled (my 4 year old started to cry this morning when I told her that her tongue tie wasn’t going to be fixed today) but we have a plan in place to get there and I am now very eager to get it done! I feel very good about this Dr and his whole staff. I am sure that my children will do well in his care and that he will respect us and accommodate what my family needs to make this work.
We also discussed lip tie today. My 4 year old has a severe one. I asked if he wanted to correct both ties at once and he said no. For one thing he felt like it was too much to ask of her at one visit. Also he said that if he did it now he might have to do it again when her permanent teeth come in. So we are to go back in a couple of year for him to check and he will tell us when the time is right for that to be corrected. He also then looked at my 8 year old again and said that she also has a lip tie (I didn’t know this) and that once her 4th top center tooth comes in he can decide if it needs to be corrected for her to have straight teeth.
One further thing he said was to not start speech till about 2 weeks after the tongue tie procedure but to go ahead and get a therapist set up now. So we will go ahead and do that if we can and have it in place for when the time comes.
One issue that came up that I don’t feel was addressed adequately was the MTHFR, nitrous oxide issue. People with MTHFR mutations are at risk for neurological damage from nitrous oxide and so I want to avoid using that with them but there isn’t anything similar. When I talked to the dentist about this today he didn’t have any ideas for me as to something else to use. I am talking to our family Dr about another kind of sedative that we might use if the procedure proves to be too upsetting. I know from experience that my 8 year old can get very worked up over minor medical procedures and I worry that she won’t be able to relax for this one despite our reassurances that it is pain free and simple. My opinion is that, while not ideal, a drug that will help her to relax is preferable to general anesthesia or nitrous oxide in her situation. One trick will be finding something that will work. We tried one in the past for a different medical procedure and it appeared to have no effect on her.
So that is the latest. I know some of you out there have been working on this for your children as well. How is it going?
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