Infant Tongue & Lip Ties

Tiny Ties, Big Impact: Unlocking Breastfeeding Bliss

Discover the key to your child's oral freedom with Dr. Poplin's Pediatric Dentistry. When a tiny piece of tissue, the frenum, hinders normal mouth function, affecting 10-20% of babies, it's time for a closer look. Dr. Poplin specializes in diagnosing and treating tongue and lip ties through a safe and quick procedure called frenectomy, utilizing advanced Solea laser technology.

Why Dr. Poplin?

Choosing the right dentist for your child's dental care is essential, and Dr. Jared Poplin brings a wealth of experience. With nearly two decades of experience using the Solea CO2 laser, Dr. Poplin has performed thousands of frenectomies and laser surgical procedures, in addition to countless laser fillings and crowns, with precision and care.

Dr. Poplin's dedication to excellence is evident in his commitment to ongoing education and training. He has invested in hundreds of hours of training, including mentorship with renowned experts like Dr. Larry Kotlow, Dr. Soroush Zaghi, and Dr. Bill Hang.

As an educator himself, Dr. Poplin shares his knowledge and expertise with other doctors, leading national and international trainings and speaking engagements on the use of the Solea CO2 laser.

Dr. Poplin's passion for providing exceptional care extends to his exclusive clinic for infants struggling with feeding issues. With a team approach that includes an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and Registered Nurse, Dr. Poplin ensures that every child receives comprehensive and compassionate care.

Dr. Poplin's top priority is to explore non-surgical options before considering any surgical procedures for infants. This reflects his commitment to the well-being of his patients. This conservative approach has empowered countless families to make informed decisions and achieve their infant feeding goals

Call to Schedule a Consultation

Discovering Newborn Tongue Ties: Recognizing Symptoms with Care

For mothers and their precious infants, lip and tongue ties can sometimes pose challenges in establishing a joyful and healthy breastfeeding connection.

When a baby's range of motion is restricted, effective latching and milk transfer become difficult. This may result in discomfort for moms, leading to issues like cracked nipples, infections, and breast engorgement. Infants, too, might exhibit signs such as poor weight gain, colic behavior, nipple chewing, or reluctance to nurse frequently.

The inability to properly flange around the breast due to restricted lip flexibility and the challenge of fully lifting the tongue to the palate can hinder successful milk removal. This is where a caring conversation with your doctor about a frenectomy, commonly known as tongue-tie surgery or tongue-tie release, becomes essential.

Breastfeeding Symptoms

Tongue-ties or oral restrictions cannot be diagnosed just based on pictures or symptoms alone. A full functional and structural evaluation is required.

baby breastfeeding

Mother’s Symptoms

  • Painful nursing

  • Creased or flattened nipples

  • Blistered or cut nipples

  • Incomplete breast drainage

  • Plugged ducts or mastitis

  • Inability to nurse without using a nipple shield

  • Decreased milk supply

Baby’s Symptoms

  • Poor latch

  • Poor weight gain

  • Reflux or frequent spitting up

  • Frequent gassiness and fussiness

  • Clicking or smacking noises when eating

  • Dribbling milk out of mouth

  • Frustration when eating

  • Inability to hold a pacifier

  • Prolonged nursing or bottle-feeding sessions

  • Mouth breathing

Suck Blister

This not always normal.

Poor Seal

Leaking while drinking from bottle is not optimal for feeding and cause infant to suck air.

Unable to Hold Pacifier

Tongue cupping and lift is required to hold a pacifier in.

Mouth Breathing

Open mouth breathing can lead to many significant health issues.


Small amounts of daily spit up, with no signs of pain or distress can be normal.


This can be caused by many reasons but sucking in air can be a cause.

Favoring One Side

Favoring a side is not normal. Babies are too young to have ‘favorites.’

Banana Shape Body

Body Asymmetry

Tongue Tie

Look at the lip tightness, blanching and thick lingual restriction (tie).

Lip Tie

These are not teeth! This white area is called blanching and means the lip frenum is so tight, it stops blood from circulating to the gums when lip is flanged.

Tongue Resting

The tongue should be able to freely lift and rest on the roof of the mouth when sleeping.

Navigating Long-Term Effects with Timely Intervention

Untreated lip and tongue ties can result in a range of long-term consequences, which may become more pronounced as a child grows and their oral structure develops.

Some potential difficulties associated with untreated ties may include:
  • Speech impediments

  • Dental misalignment and gaps

  • Receding gums

  • Discomfort during oral hygiene

  • Inadequate food cleansing

  • Increased risk of decay

  • Difficulty with solid foods

  • Airway complications

Embracing the Advantages of a Frenectomy

Undergoing a tongue-tie surgery offers a multitude of benefits, significantly impacting both infants and older children navigating oral or linguistic challenges.

Some of the advantages of a frenectomy include:
  • Improved breastfeeding

  • Improved bottle feeding

  • Improved symptoms of colic

  • Improved ability to transfer milk and gain weight

  • Reduction or elimination of acid reflux concerns

  • Enhanced ease in breathing

  • Better quality of sleep

  • Improved symptoms of head & neck tension

Rest assured, addressing these concerns with timely and attentive care can pave the way for a healthier and happier journey ahead.

Call to Schedule a Consultation

Navigating Your Baby's Tongue Tie Appointment: What to Expect

We understand the challenges that can arise when breastfeeding isn't going as smoothly as anticipated. That's why we've dedicated specific time in our schedule to evaluate babies for lip and tongue ties.

During your child's appointment, you can anticipate a warm and caring team of knowledgeable professionals ready to examine your little one and address any questions you may have.

Your journey begins with a brief visit with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and Registered Nurse. This specially trained professional will delve into your lactation and feeding history, capture images of your baby's oral anatomy, and offer non-surgical therapeutic recommendations as needed. Additionally, she'll guide you through post-procedure care, ensuring both parents feel confident before considering any further steps.

Dr. Poplin will then conduct an oral structural exam, providing recommendations and thoroughly discussing the risks and benefits involved. This is the perfect time for you to engage in conversations about potential treatments and ask any questions you may have regarding lip ties, tongue ties, and the frenectomy procedure.

If you demonstrate proficiency in post-procedure care and have a reliable care team to support your oral and feeding goals, a frenectomy procedure may even be offered on the same day as your evaluation. Our goal is to make this journey as supportive and seamless as possible for you and your little one.

Understanding the Frenectomy Procedure. What Should I Expect?

Deciding on a frenectomy for your child, following the evaluation for lip and/or tongue tie, is a significant step. We acknowledge the complexity of this decision and place a strong emphasis on providing education and support for you and your family during this crucial time.

Opting for a frenectomy at Poplin Pediatric Dentistry ensures your little one is in capable hands. Dr. Poplin is certified and experienced in utilizing CO2 lasers for lip and tongue tie releases, offering numerous advantages. This method boasts a quick in-office procedure (mere seconds per site), minimal bleeding, an unlikely need for sutures, and a shortened healing time.

During the procedure, your baby will be swaddled, and the Dental Assistant and Registered Nurse will be by their side throughout. Anticipate having your little one back in your arms within 5 to 10 minutes. While you wait, we invite you to relax on our comfy couch in the consultation room, where you can use one of our nursing pillows and prepare for breastfeeding if you wish. Your comfort and peace of mind are our top priorities during this journey.

Call to Schedule a Consultation

What is a tongue tie?

How tongue tie affects breastfeeding

What happens if a tongue tie is left untreated

Tongue tie aftercare

​​​​​​​Do suspect that you or your school age child suffer from tongue or lip ties?

Read more about pediatric and adult tongue and lip ties below:

Learn More

Frequently Asked Questions

Does my baby need a referral to see Dr. Poplin?

In order to ensure we provide the most accurate and comprehensive assessment and recommendations, we require any infant older than two weeks to have a functional feeding evaluation before scheduling an appointment with Dr. Poplin.

Please have your provider send a referral and/or report to prior to scheduling an appointment.

Can my baby have the procedure done on the same day as evaluation?

If you demonstrate proficiency in post-procedure care and have a reliable care team to support your oral and feeding goals, a frenectomy procedure may even be offered on the same day as your evaluation. Our goal is to make this journey as supportive and seamless as possible for you and your little one.

Working with a lactation consultant or feding therapist first, can greatly minimize the risk of feeding and lactation complications (such as re-attachment, oral aversion, low milk supply, breast refusal).

Is vitamin K required before my baby can have a frenectomy?

If your baby is less than 4 weeks old Vitamin K is required to have a frenectomy. This helps to protect your baby from excessive bleeding.

How long will the procedure take?

The procedure takes just a few minutes.

What happens during my tongue/lip tie evaluation appointment with Dr. Poplin?

A Milk Diva lactation consultant will spend approximately 15 minutes assessing and evaluating your individual concerns and questions. She will also provide hands-on education on proper post-procedure care in order to reduce the risk of re-attachment.

Dr. Poplin will then evaluate your baby and provide a plan of care for your baby. He will discuss risks and benefits of his recommended care plan.

If it is appropriate, the release (aka frenectomy) can be performed the same day. We highly encourage breastfeeding immediately after the procedure and provide a quiet, comfortable nursing room with a cozy couch and nursing pillow for your comfort.

Will my baby be getting anesthesia for the procedure?

We do not use anesthetic for babies. Topical anesthetics have a black box warning for infants and should not be used. Local anesthesia (a shot) could be used, but that has risks as well. Dr. Poplin believes these risks outweigh the benefits. The procedure usually takes less than a few minutes including time to take before and after pictures. As soon as the procedure is done, you can feed your baby.

How much pain will my baby experience after the procedure?

Our adult patients describe the pain after a frenectomy to feel like a pizza burn which lasts for 48-72 hours.

Do you accept insurance?

We'll gladly file a dental insurance claim on your behalf. It's crucial for patients to understand that dental insurance plans typically do not cover 100% of the fees. Instead, they generally cover between 50% to 80% of the average total fee, with variations depending on the plan specifics. Factors such as the amount paid for coverage or the specific contract between the employer and the insurance company often determine the percentage covered.

Prior to scheduling your appointment, we strongly advise reaching out to your dental insurance provider to verify if Poplin Pediatric Dentistry is included in your network. Should we be out of network with your plan, there's no need to fret! We can still file a claim on your behalf.

To ensure a smooth process, we kindly request that patients submit all intake forms, including insurance information, before their appointment. Should you have any inquiries regarding our insurance procedures, please don't hesitate to contact our office. We're here to assist you every step of the way!