“Education is truly the key to prevention and avoiding issues later in life related to oral restrictions like tongue tie. I’m committed to bringing this message to help as many people as I can. Because life is more than just my individual practice and the children I work with. There are so many others out there who need help.”
- Giselle Tadros, PT, DPT
Dr. Giselle Tadros is on a mission to help educate families and healthcare professionals alike on the benefits of physical therapy (PT) for babies dealing with oral restrictions.
You may even recognize her from her popular Instagram channel, Milk Matters PT, where she shares playful images and videos packed with tons of helpful information on PT, tongue and lip tie, breastfeeding, airway health, and more.
As a pediatric physical therapist, Dr. Giselle says 70% of the patients she personally works with at In-Home Pediatric Physical Therapy of NJ are babies with tongue or lip tie who are usually 6 months or younger.
When it comes to oral restrictions, Dr. Giselle says PTs can help with specialized exercises and stretches both before and after a frenectomy procedure (including wound care), releasing fascia (the layer of connective tissue throughout our bodies), relieving tension and stiffness in babies (movement is key!), suck-training and establishing a proper latch (a must for feeding), and more.
“For instance, if a baby is sucking the wrong way, they can’t properly feed and get the nourishment they need to grow and develop in a healthy way. Physical therapists can help reteach the muscles and get the brain responding through neuromuscular re-education — it helps you turn on and off muscles, and sequence them in the correct order for proper function.”
Aside from educating parents on the importance of recognizing the symptoms of tongue tie and seeking treatment, another important goal of Dr. Giselle’s is encouraging more PTs to work with oral restriction patients.
She says that PTs have all the baseline skills to support babies suffering from an oral restriction, and she wants to help more recognize it.
“There’s so much physical therapists can do to help support babies having feeding issues, poor weight gain, and more, which can all be caused by an oral restriction.
But oftentimes, physical therapists aren’t always top-of-mind among providers when it comes to helping babies pre- and post-release procedure. Many PTs themselves aren’t even aware of the vast need for them in this area either. I want to help change all of that.”
“I used to speak at different mommy groups about physical therapy for children, which is where I met Carmen Baker, who is an IBCLC [Board Certified Lactation Consultant].
She introduced me to the world of tongue tie, and I realized how many babies and children were suffering from this prevalent issue, and how few people — including providers — knew about it.”
After 20+ years of providing physical therapy (PT) to children in a variety of settings — including school systems, early intervention, out-patient pediatric and high-risk clinics — Dr. Giselle realized something that shaped the future of her pediatric PT practice.
For the last 5 years, she and her team of pediatric physical therapists and occupational therapists have helped families across New Jersey and New York with an at-home care model, which gives children more individualized attention than in a typical clinical or hospital setting.
“We’re grateful to all of the families who open up their homes to us to help their little ones. Not only are we able to provide one-on-one care, but it also puts mom and baby at ease to be in their own comfort zones.
And as providers, it allows us to evaluate the child’s true capabilities and assess function in the environment that is most familiar to them.”
In order to truly achieve the goal of education and prevention around oral restrictions, their symptoms, and long-term effects, Dr. Giselle says that PTs are just one piece of the puzzle.
"It’s become evident through my DMs, comments, and questions I receive from parents and patients on Milk Matters PT Instagram account that there needs to be more education around oral restrictions.
In order to prevent these issues from affecting babies into childhood and adulthood, we need to start first with education to have the greatest impact in the long-term.”
“Moms: Listen to your own intuition and instincts. It’s your SUPERPOWER! Moms just always have a way of hearing that little whisper in their heart and knowing something isn’t quite right with their child. It doesn’t matter if your doctor or even your partner doesn’t sense something is wrong. Listen to that voice inside and follow your instincts to find help.”
Giselle has been a licensed PT since 2000 and received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2007 from The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She has taught at Columbia University in NYC and has worked in several different settings including the school system, Early Intervention, Out-Patient Pediatric and High Risk Clinics.
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