Does Your Child have a Tongue Tie? Pediatric Dental Specialists of West Michigan are the Experts to Ask!


Dr. Katie Swanson and Dr. Stephanie Kloostra are West Michigan Favs

Board certified pediatric dentists Dr. Katie Swanson and Dr. Stephanie Kloostra have a pretty big fanbase in West Michigan.

They’re regularly voted a top 10 pediatric dentist in the Top Grand Rapids Doctors awards and their Facebook reviews are glowing.

This isn’t just because they’ve got the magic touch with kids. They’re also passionate about educating the community about issues that they can help solve for kids and babies.

Drs. Katie & Stephanie Treat Lip & Tongue Ties Regularly. Here’s What You Need to Know About It

Tongue ties are more common than you think. While these can be identified and fixed in infancy, they can go undetected or misdiagnosed for years.

If your baby has trouble latching, or your toddler has a speech delay, it could be because of a tongue or lip tie.

“There’s a misconception that they’ll grow out of it,” says Dr. Katie Swanson of Pediatric Dental Specialists of West Michigan.

“I see multiple infants and kids daily for evaluation and treatment of tongue ties,” says Dr. Swanson. “Many of these patients are referred by other providers, like lactation consultants and speech pathologists.

“We are very lucky in West Michigan to have some wonderful providers familiar with tongue ties and the effects they can have through infancy into adulthood.

“It is very important to have your child evaluated by a provider who is specially trained in this procedure to prevent a misdiagnosis or not diagnosing a tongue tie properly at all. We see this all too often, unfortunately!”

Both Dr. Swanson and Dr. Kloostra are certified by the American Board of Laser Surgery to treat lip and tongue ties. They’ve undergone extensive training to understand lip and tongue ties and offer in-house treatment (frenectomy).

Lip and tongue tie evaluation is even part of the routine dental examination at Pediatric Dental Specialists of West Michigan.

Finally Breastfeed With Ease or Watch Your Kid Graduate From Speech Therapy

Drs. Swanson & Kloostra love celebrating success stories with their patients and they want to get the word out about how common these issues can be, and how much kids benefit from treatment.

They are overjoyed when they see a mom breastfeed their baby without issues or get news that a young patient just graduated from speech therapy.

“We treat patients from the newborn stage to the teenage years, and you don’t need a referral to see us,” shares Dr. Swanson.

If you’re wondering if this could be your child, call Pediatric Dental Specialists.

Imagine the difference your kid will experience if they have a tongue tie that Dr. Swanson or Dr. Kloostra can fix. It’s like kids getting glasses for the first time – things will be so much easier for them to do!

And beyond that, there are health benefits to treating lip or tongue ties. These “ties” can lead to difficulty feeding in young kids, and sleep apnea and jaw development issues in older kids. This simple procedure could be so transformative for a kid!

Signs of Tongue Tie in Kids

Newborn / BabyToddlersOlder Kids / Teens
pain with breastfeedingswallowing/feeding issuesspeech issues
difficulty latchingstrong gag reflexobstructive sleep apnea
clicking sounds while feedingspeech issuesjaw growth and development issues
trouble gaining weightsnoring/mouth breathing
reflux, spitting up, gassyobstructive sleep apnea
colicky behaviororal hygiene difficulties

One Mom’s Experience With a Frenectomy at Pediatric Dental Specialists

Local mom Ariel Westervelt’s story is just one example of how this procedure can change everything for a child.

If your baby or child is experiencing any of the signs of a lip or tongue tie, contact their office (616-608-8898). They can evaluate if a lip or tongue tie is at play.

“Yesterday, Dr. Katie did one tongue tie and three lip tie releases for my infant son. I am so happy I went to see her!” shares Ariel Westervelt.

“My five week old son had gained weight normally, and the pediatrician didn’t notice any ties, but every feeding was a battle. He was so frustrated, would spill milk everywhere and choke, and fall asleep quickly into every nursing session.

“I brushed it off as my oversupply, but after five weeks, I did some research and came across lip ties as a cause of oversupply and found that my son had almost every sign of a lip and tongue tie.

“Here we are a day later, and I’ve seen a complete change in him! Every nursing session has gone so smoothly, no choking, no spilling milk.

“So glad I had Dr. Katie take a look and that she was able to help me and my son with the releases!

“I highly recommend that infants be evaluated by Dr. Katie or Dr. Stephanie rather than solely a pediatrician.”

Pediatric Dental Specialists Treats Each Kid Uniquely

If you met my first daughter and then my second, you might not even know they are related. One is shy while the other will definitely be going on to drama club. One needed minimal dental work while the other required a full head of braces.

Drs. Swanson and Kloostra realize that each child is unique and that no two mouths, or minds, are the same.

“Our team will work with parents and caregivers to identify those treatment approaches that are best for each individual child,” says Dr. Stephanie Kloostra.

Both docs are board certified and have received specialized training in child development and behavior enhancement. Their approach is customized for each patient. 

“We strive to provide comprehensive, compassionate dental care to all children from infancy to adolescence, including those with special needs,” she adds.

Pediatric Dental Specialists of West Michigan are Pros At:

  • Preventative & Restorative Dentistry such as oral health exams, cleanings, fillings and extractions.
  • Laser Dentistry which includes frenectomies (the name of the procedure to correct lip and tongue ties) as well as gingivectomies which is the procedure used to correct gum tissue, whether it’s for medical or esthetic reasons.
  • Sedation Dentistry, which helps kids get through their procedures if they have anxiety, for example.
  • Child development and Behavior Enhancement.

Drs. Stephanie and Katie Have the Credentials and Bedside Manner That Parents Dream Of

When we first became parents, did we think finding a trusted pediatric dentist was as important as finding a pediatrician? Hard no. 

But taking a kid to the dentist can be a very big deal. Kids can be apprehensive about doing new things, so just picking any dentist from a list isn’t going to work. You need to find someone who understands kids and makes the dentist experience maybe even a little…fun.

When you find someone kind of magical, like Drs. Stephanie and Katie at Pediatric Dental Specialists of West Michigan, you know you’ve hit dental gold.

Dr. Stephanie and Dr. Katie are such experts in making kids (and parents) feel at ease, I can’t help wondering if they’re actually related to the Tooth Fairy.  

“We started this practice because we wanted to give children and their parents a comfortable, positive experience,” Dr. Kloostra says. She often hears parents gush that their child has never done so well at the dentist or that their first visit went so much better than expected. 

Magic, we’re telling you.

The Dentists at Pediatric Dental Specialists of West MI Have Also Studied Psychology and Child Behavior

Doctors Swanson and Kloostra understand that no two mouths are the same.

Not only do these dentists treat children’s teeth and mouths differently in their Grand Rapids office, but they also treat children differently, thanks to additional years of special training in child psychology and behavior enhancement.

(It also helps that they’re moms, too, so they have first-hand experience with kids!)

Both doctors completed pediatric residencies at world-renowned children’s hospitals. There, they obtained extensive knowledge on child growth and development, behavior enhancement, treating medically-compromised patients, and treating children with special health care needs.

Eight Reasons To Try Pediatric Dental Specialists of West Michigan

There are plenty of reasons to love the team at Pediatric Dental Specialists. Get to know Dr. Stephanie and Dr. Katie with eight ways their practice stands out above all the rest.

1 – They Have a Tooth Fairy Cabin

The beautiful office is calm, inviting, and kid-centric with its Great Lakes vibe.

However, the pièce de résistance is definitely the log Tooth Fairy cabin built by Dr. Katie’s dad.

The cabin is full of toys and books – it even lights up with twinkling lights. Kids love that it even has a mailbox to hold notes and art for the Tooth Fairy.

2 – They’re Regularly Voted in the Top 10 Dentists in Grand Rapids

Pediatric Dental Services of West Michigan is kind of a big deal.

Drs. Katie and Stephanie are both continually voted in the top 10 dentists in Grand Rapids, a list built by parent recommendations. And what better recommendations than ones from actual patients whose kids have experienced this amazing place?

3 – The Dentists Speak Spanish

Dr. Stephanie even used to be a volunteer interpreter for the West Side Health Center (Cherry Street Clinic) when she was in college.

Dr. Katie grew up all around the world; be sure to ask her all of the countries she’s lived in.

4 – Their Prize Area Can’t be Beat

Patients simply cannot leave the Pediatric Dental Specialists office without a prize. 

“It’s really important after their appointment to recognize that they did a great job, worked hard, and deserve something special,” Dr. Katie says. 

In addition to a prize tower and sugar-free suckers (I’ve never heard of a dentist giving out suckers!), there are eight – yes, eight – drawers of prizes for kids of all ages.

From small stuffed animals to fashion rings, there’s something for everyone that is guaranteed to end their visit on a positive note.

5 – Exam Rooms Have iPads, Weighted Blankets and Everthing for a Comfortable Visit

The exam rooms have everything to make kids and parents feel relaxed. From knee-to-knee lap boards for infants to booster seats and iPads suspended from above, Doctors Stephanie and Katie have thought of every detail. 

There are even weighted blankets and fleece blankets to make kids feel safe and comfortable. Plus, each room is decorated with adorable wall decals and a stuffed animal for kids to cuddle or fidget with.

6 – In-Office Oral Sedation is Available

Say that three times fast! One of the things making Pediatric Dental Specialists of West Michigan unique is that they provide in-office oral sedation when appropriate to make a child’s experience more comfortable and safe.

It’s an accessible option that allows families to avoid general anesthesia in a hospital setting. But never fear – general anesthesia is also available in-office if you want it.

7 – Treating Lip and Tongue Ties is Painless

Dr. Katie and Dr. Stephanie completed extensive training beyond their pediatric residencies to diagnose and treat infants and children with lip and tongue ties, using a procedure called a frenectomy.

Frenectomies help with speech issues, feeding/swallowing concerns, and problems with jaw growth. Best of all, treatment helps children feel more confident and happy.

8 – They’re Big Supporters of Our Community

Check out their Instagram or Facebook feed and you’ll see that Pediatric Dental Specialists of West Michigan has enjoyed partnering with local organizations like Gold Coast Doulas, Junior League of Grand Rapids, and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

The goal? To prevent and catch disease and other oral concerns at an early age through education and awareness.

When It’s Time To Make The Call

The ADA (American Dental Association) and AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) recommend seeing the dentist by age 1 or within 6 months of the first tooth erupting. 

“We see kids EARLY to help parents PREVENT cavities!” says Dr. Katie. 

Whether you’re scheduling your child’s first dental visit or looking for a new dental home, Pediatric Dental Specialists of West Michigan provides preventative care, restorative care, laser dentistry, and sedation dentistry services from infancy through adolescence.

When it’s time (tooth-hurty to be exact, according to my seven-year-olds), make your appointment here or call 616-608-8898. Tooth be told, you’ll be glad you did.

Pediatric Dental Specialists of West Michigan

Featured Partner

2155 East Paris Ave SE, Ste 120, Grand Rapids, MI 49546

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *