At the Texas Tongue-Tie Center, we understand that the effects of a tongue-tie extend beyond infancy, potentially impacting older children in unique and challenging ways. For these children, a tongue-tie can affect not just eating and speaking, but also their self-esteem, as they become more aware of the differences in their speech or difficulties in performing common activities like licking an ice cream cone or playing wind instruments. Recognizing and treating a tongue-tie in older kids is a crucial step towards fostering their growth, confidence, and overall well-being.

In older children, a restrictive lingual frenulum — the tissue connecting the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth — can lead to speech difficulties, including the inability to pronounce certain sounds clearly. It can also cause issues with oral hygiene, as the reduced mobility of the tongue makes it difficult to sweep away food particles effectively. Additionally, social interactions and activities that involve the mouth and tongue, such as playing certain musical instruments, can become sources of frustration and embarrassment.

Our Approach to Treatment

Our team at the Texas Tongue-Tie Center takes a compassionate and comprehensive approach to treating older children. We begin with a thorough evaluation to assess the extent of the tongue-tie and its impact on the child’s daily life. This assessment includes a discussion with the child and parents about the challenges faced and the goals of treatment.

Using state-of-the-art laser technology, we perform a quick and precise procedure to release the tongue-tie. This minimally invasive method is ideal for older children, as it reduces discomfort, minimizes healing time, and provides immediate improvement in tongue mobility. Our laser technique also diminishes the risks of bleeding and infection, making the procedure safer and more comfortable.

Supporting Recovery & Development

Post-procedure, our commitment to each child’s success continues. We provide individualized aftercare instructions to ensure a smooth and swift recovery. To address the functional adaptation required after years of living with a tongue-tie, we often recommend a follow-up with speech therapy. These sessions help older children take full advantage of their newfound tongue mobility, improving speech clarity and overcoming any compensatory habits developed over time.

Additionally, we offer guidance on exercises to strengthen the tongue and improve its range of motion, further supporting the child’s oral development. Our goal is to not only correct the physical aspect of the tongue-tie but also to empower each child to engage confidently in social interactions, academic pursuits, and personal interests without the barriers they previously faced.