Signs Of Tongue And Lip Ties In Toddlers – What To Look For

Tongue and lip ties are usually recognized and treated in infancy. But in some cases, they may be a bit harder to detect, and may persist into toddlerhood. If you think that your child may have tongue or lip ties, you’re in the right place. In this blog from Cavity Patrol Pediatric Dentistry, we’ll discuss a few of the most recognizable signs of tongue and lip ties in toddlers.

1. Difficulty Eating From Spoons And Chewing Finger Foods

Tongue and lip ties cause problems when nursing. But that’s not all. Once your child has moved on and has begun eating solid foods, they may still have problems chewing, and particularly when it comes to eating from a spoon.

If your child's lips and/or tongue are restricted by tongue and lip ties, this can make it harder for them to move their lips and tongue, and get all of the food off of a spoon. If your child tends to leave behind a lot of food, this could indicate an issue.

They may also have trouble chewing some finger foods. It may take them a long time to chew, or their chewing may be particularly messy. This could also indicate tongue or lip ties in toddlers.

2. A Heart-Shaped Or Notched Tongue 

This is one of the most recognizable signs of a tongue tie. When your child sticks their tongue out or curls it up, it should form a smooth curve, similar to a “U” shape. But if your child has a tongue tie, the tongue will instead form a notched or heart shape.

This is because the frenulum is restricting its movement, and is pulling the center of the tongue toward the base of the mouth. If you notice this issue along with your child having trouble sticking their tongue out all the way, they may have a tongue tie.

3. Trouble Forming Certain Sounds 

Once your toddler begins to speak, you may be able to identify the presence of a tongue tie based on their speech patterns. Lip ties don’t usually affect speech, but tongue ties do.

Specifically, tongue ties interfere with the ability to make certain sounds that involve the tongue contacting the teeth and/or the upper palate (roof of the mouth). This can include L, TH, S, Z, D, T, and a few other sounds.

Lots of things can cause speech impediments and difficulties, but if you notice this along with any of the other listed signs, you may want to discuss your child’s condition with their pediatrician, and have them checked for a tongue tie. 

Get Help From Cavity Patrol Pediatric Dentistry in Cypress

Worried that your toddler might have a tongue or lip tie? Dr. Chun and Dr. Julia are here to help. We serve patients all throughout Cypress, Katy, Towne Lake, Bridgeland, Elyson, and Lantana. 

Dr. Julia or Dr. Chun can assess your child’s oral health, determine if they have tongue and lip ties, and recommend the appropriate next steps, such as a frenectomy. Contact us online or give us a call at (832) 305-6507 to schedule an appointment at our office.

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