The team approach consists of a dentist, a movement focused practitioner, and an oral function specialist. Before any release is done, a dyad (mother and baby) needs to have this team in place to be set up for the best possible success. These three specialist will communicate in order to provide the integrated care approach for the patient.
Oral Function Specialist
The IBCLC, SLP, and Orofacial Myofunctional Therapist (COM or OMT) address the oral function of the patient. The purpose of these specialists is to teach the optimal use and movement of the tongue, swallow, and muscles of the face. Pre and post procedure exercises are coordinated through these specialists.
Movement Focused Specialist
The movement specialist is an umbrella term that encompasses several different people that help with the patient’s integrated body movements. This can include a chiropractor, licensed massage therapist, osteopath, physical therapist or occupational therapist. The goal in seeing one of these practitioners is to address restrictions within the body prior to the release procedure as well as to integrate new body movement post release. Some infants and children require more help in this area than others. The article “Is Your Baby a Tether-berg or a Tether-floe” may help answer why some need more help than others.
Sometimes families find it challenging to decide which practitioner will help. We can help you work through those decisions. Remember that the baby and child are ultimately the ones who pick their movement practitioners. You’ll know you’ve made the right decision by the progress that they make!
Once the patient is ready for the frenectomy, the dentist will use a laser to release the frena. The dentist looks to the movement and oral functional specialist to coordinate mouth and body movements in order to obtain optimal function post release.