Resources for Toddlers & Children
Sometimes the body imbalances don’t self-correct and carry over as the child grows. Sometimes the issues are the result of TOTS.
Here are some of the signs that TOTS may be involved:
- Difficulty chewing/swallowing/gagging with solid foods
- Very picky with food textures
- Can’t protrude tongue far enough to lick an ice cream cone
- Delayed speech
- Mouth-breathing/snoring/noisy breathing
- Upper and lower teeth not fitting together properly (Open bite, crossbite)
- Excessive gag reflex
- Enlarged tonsils from the irritation of mouth breathing
- Unexplained need for ear tubes
- Poor sleep resulting in an ADD or ADHD diagnosis
BEFORE YOUR VISIT:
Similar recommendations are to be applied to a toddler as for an infant. If the child is still breastfeeding or bottle feeding, IBCLC evaluation will be helpful. Now that solids are being introduced swallowing may be an issue. Speech or lack of it may be a concern. An evaluation by bodyworkers that deal with these concerns like Speech and Language therapists or Oral Myologists can offer valuable therapy.
PREPARE FOR YOUR VISIT
The best way to prepare for the procedure is to have the medications that you will need on hand so you can focus on your child following the procedure.
Tylenol - You do not need to give any medication prior to the procedure. Dosage: Using the dropper in the manufacturer's packaging. This can be given every 6-8 hours after the procedure. The concentration of Tylenol should be the 160mg/5mL dosage. Some places may sell a concentrated form at 80mg/0.8mL - this is not the one to use.
• 6-11 pounds - 1.25mL
• 12-17 pounds - 2.5mL
• 18-23 pounds - 3.75mL
• 24-35 pounds - 5Ml
For children 6 months of age and older Ibuprofen can be used instead of Tylenol. Please follow the dosing instructions on the package or check with your primary care doctor.
You may use whatever works for your family. This includes homeopathic remedies like Arnica or Rescue Remedy, or nothing at all. Because numbing medicine is used during the procedure, and because the laser itself has some analgesic properties, not everyone needs a medication beforehand.
Depending on the age, the child can suck on ice chips or breast milk chips
Please note, these exercises are intended for children who are still breast or bottle feeding, or who have a minimal amount of teeth.
It's important to remember that you need to show your child that not everything that you are going to do to the mouth is associated with pain. Additionally, babies can have disorganized or weak sucking patterns that can benefit from exercises. Starting these exercises from the moment you make your appointment can speed up your recovery after the procedure. The following exercises are simple and can be done to improve suck quality. Aim for 4x/day leading up to the day of your procedure.
Slowly rub the lower gumline from side to side and your baby's tongue will follow your finger. This will help strengthen the lateral movements of the tongue. If teeth are present rub along the outside of the gumlines.
Let your child suck on your finger and do a tug-of-war, slowly trying to pull your finger out while they try to suck it back in. This strengthens the tongue itself. This can also be done with a pacifier.
Let your child suck your finger and apply gentle pressure to the palate. Once the baby starts to suck on your finger, just press down with your finger into the tongue. This usually interrupts the sucking motion while the baby pushes back against you. Listen for a seal break and then put your finger back up into the palate to re-stimulate sucking. Repeat as tolerated.
With one index finger inside the child’s cheek, use your thumb outside the cheek to massage the cheeks on either side to help lessen the tension.
AFTER THE VISIT
If Frenotomy is performed, use the medicine as discussed during the visit. The wounds will be moderately sore, like when you bite your cheek. It’s a good idea to.
Stay ahead of any pain that will occur, so use regular doses of the pain reliever for 1-2 days, then as needed. Once the scab is formed most of the soreness is gone.
The release will allow significantly more movement of the mouth parts. Expect the child to be disturbed by this new sensation. Muscles that have been restricted by the ties will start moving and may get sore, just like any muscle feels after beginning to use it.
Keep the diet very soft if solids have been introduced. The food will move around the mouth differently at first, so keep the portions small as the mouth learns new ways to move the food from the front of the mouth to the middle to the back and then swallowed. Expect some mild gagging and sputtering, which should pass soon.
Provide lots of cuddling with lots of positive attitude. The child needs to know it is safe and OK to have these very strange new feelings. If you act stressed the child will interpret this as a signal that these new differences are not OK and will react that way. So SMILE!
Expect to meet with an IBCLC if still breast or bottle feeding and an appropriate bodyworker as recommended to improve results.
POST OP THERAPY
Give the medicine as discussed. The wounds made will be sore, but tolerable. Watch the child VERY ATTENTIVELY FOR A FEW HOURS. Depending on age, some local anesthetic (like Novacaine) may be injected and some areas will be numb. Its easy for a child to bite a lip or a tongue, or pick at them with their fingers. So be prepared to watch them carefully on the way home.
For 1-2 days keep food soft and low acid. Cold things will feel good. Ice chips, Popsicles, yogurt will help. After the scabs form the diet can return to normal.
Therapy can be a challenge for the 1-5 year old. Tongue movement will be very important. You will be given instructions during your visit.
Expect to see the IBCLC or bodyworker for appropriate therapy as discussed.