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PT for Tongue and Lip Ties

What is a Tie?

A tie is when there is thick or tight tissue in the mouth, typically seen at the tongue, lip, and cheeks. Ties, also called tethered oral tissues (TOTs), leads to decrease movement and function of the baby's tongue, lip, and cheeks causing difficulty feeding. This can also cause increased tension and tightness.

Why PT?

Physical therapist's are known for decreasing pain, improving motion, increasing strength, and improving posture. A baby with ties needs all these things too. Pediatric physical therapists can further specialize in tethered oral tissues and treat the whole-body effects. Physical therapists perform body work, provide infant massage, mobilize joints, release fascia, and teach muscles how to work properly.

Does PT help?

Ties can lead to weakness and tightness of the face muscles, uncoordinated movement of the tongue and jaw decreased movement of the neck and shoulders by increased tension, a head tilt and head flattening, and body asymmetry, Physical therapy treats these common effects of having a tie through stretches, exercises, fascial therapy, infant massage, and muscle retraining (neuromotor reeducation).

Do I see a PT first?

Seeing a TOTs PT improves the way your baby moves, decreases tension and tightness, improves tongue motion, and introduces suck training. The first time your fingers are in your baby's mouth shouldn't be directly after surgery. PT guides you through the stretches you'll be doing post-release, making it less scary for you and baby. Seeing a PT first improves surgical outcomes.

What's the Goal?

Optimize movement of the tongue, neck, and body, make sure you are comfortable with oral exercises and baby gets used to having fingers/toys in their mouth, address conditions like torticollis, plagiocephaly, and high or low muscle tone, educate parents on the surgical options and local release providers, provide appropriate developmental movement, and provide wound care post-surgery.


Need breastfeeding help?

While Dr. Cheyenne isn't a lactation consultant, one of her best friends is!

Check out their collaboration and comprehensive care model. 

Tied Together, Lactation + PT

The Tie Guide.

Start here by downloading an 8 page guide on all things ties, therapy, and lactation.

Why milestones therapy + wellness

Dr. Cheyenne, our PT, has gone through excessive training to safely and effectively treat infants with tethered oral tissues. She completed the prestigious mentorship program with Dr. Gigi along with multiple in person and online courses.

The ability to feed depends on the ability to move the tongue and the body. MTW addresses everything from suck training and proper latch to improving movement and coordination. This is all done in a treatment plan made specifically for your baby to reach your goals.

Get your questions answered

If you are frustrated, have any concerns, or not sure what to do next, MTW is here for you.

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