I have a pediatrician that wants to refer patients to me for tongue-tie evaluation. She thinks that doctors and dentists make decisions based on appearance and she is more concerned about function, so she was very excited to hear about myo. Should I do a tongue-tie assessment without the full myo evaluation if the child is 4 or 5?
It is excellent that the pediatrician understands our role quite well. Whether to perform a simple tongue tie assessment or a more thorough exam would depend upon what is involved in your particular tongue tie assessment and your goals as well as the family’s goals. You should explain to the pediatrician that you consider each child’s situation individually. Some children may only need the tongue released and will function quite well afterwards, perhaps needing little or no treatment beyond the lingual basic skills of proficiency exam #1 of the Myo Manual program. Others may have chewing and eating issues that will require more sessions to target those concerns. Some may have lingering speech related symptoms such as the “dark /l/” commonly heard in certain tongue tied persons. If the child is four or older, I do as much of the standard myo exam as possible for several reasons: It gives us a baseline, and post release it offers a terrific boost to patient and family to see some immediate improvements. With the lingual basic skills, having the original videos of first attempts to compare with the abilities a few weeks later is certainly something every patient and parent (and pediatrician) would be interested in seeing. I found that a majority of the parents did want the child to have post myo treatment once they sat through the initial evaluation and understood the difficulties the child had been having in maneuvering his tongue for speech, chewing, swallowing, and cleaning up the oral cavity.