Tongue Tie Awareness with #FreeTongueMovement

Social media is the most powerful method of spreading awareness and impacting change. Using no more than a # has congregated like-minded people to combat political injustice, gender inequality, civil rights, and charitable needs. #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo, #ASLIceBucketChallenge, and #BringBackOurGirls are just a few of the most popular and long lasting efforts of awareness that have exploded with every tweet, post, and share.

Despite an increase in professional education, there is a significant amount of inconsistent information regarding tongue and lip ties. Lack of uniform diagnostic criteria and treatment protocols has concerned adults and parents seeking medical advice and receiving confusing and often conflicting information. Given the power of a hashtag and the evidence that anywhere from 4-10% of the population has a tongue tie; social media awareness for this confusing diagnosis can help unite the impacted, enlighten the uninformed and ignite the medical community to establish uniform diagnosis and treatment protocols. Hence the birth of #FreeTongueMovement

What’s the problem?

Ankyloglossia, also known as tongue tie, is associated with or can be a contributing factor in numerous health issues. Including but not limited to: speech problems, breathing disorders, sleep apnea, poor oral development, periodontal disease, breastfeeding difficulties, colic, scoliosis, and more.

The confusion within the medical and dental community regarding the existence, prevalence and treatment of tethered oral tissues, has overflown into the public. Funding is needed for more research to establish a foundation for uniform medical and dental school education, treatment, and eventual insurance coverage. Lack of which has cause the false narrative of a “fad.” Implications of which have caused shame among those affected. Considering the success of many recent movements using hashtags on social media there is no better time to take action.

What is #FreeTongueMovement?

Social media groups are flooded with pictures posted by people looking for medical advice and diagnosis about their suspected tongue ties. Some have to travel miles to see a preferred provider, which is only designated by social media reference or listing. Identifying a release provider with adequate post-graduate training in tethered oral tissues can be difficult to navigate.

While utilizing the internet or social media in search or medical diagnosis and information is not ideal, it is a current standard. It becomes even more problematic when you seek medical or dental advice and are either dismissed or misinformed. One can invest in dedicated research in scholarly articles, reading Tongue Tied by Richard Baxter, and flying across the country to visit the leaders in the field, or awareness can grow to the point of affecting positive strides towards more education and standardized treatments. The later being the process that has impacted political policy, decreased stigmas and raised necessary funding for research and charities.

Free Tongue Movement is the perfect hashtag phrase to establish that:

  1. Tongue tie awareness is a movement towards increased health care options, research, and education.
  2. The goal of awareness is to support the many benefits of having free, or unrestricted, tongue movement.

How does it work?

Any relevant postings regarding tethered oral tissues (tongue, lip or buccal ties) should contain the hashtag #freetonguemovement for optimal impact. The more the hashtag is used in postings and then either shared or reposted the awareness grows.

If using a hashtag is not for you, but you want to help with awareness consider buying and wearing clothing with release positive statements on Etsy. Portions of the proceeds from all items purchased from the Free Tongue Movement clothing collection goes to support two great charities:

  • Le Leche League International– An international organization that supports breastfeeding families with resources and education
  • HealthWell– A charitable organization that provides under-insured families in need with funds for medical services

Wearing the clothing, supporting relevant charities, and increasing social media visibility are all viable methods of supporting the Free Tongue Movement.

Who should use #FreeTongueMovement?

#FreeTongueMovement is a hashtag for all. Whether you are a release provider, release team member, someone impacted by a tongue tie, or just interested in awareness the hashtag is perfect to share.

Takeaways

The confusion within the medical and dental community regarding the existence, prevalence and treatment of tethered oral tissues, has overflown into the public. Implications of a tongue tie fad have caused shame among those impacted. Considering the success of many recent movements using hashtags on social media there is no better time to take action. The #FreeTongueMovement hashtag can increase awareness and influence change rapidly. Free Tongue Movement apparel uses clever wording and phrases to embrace the benefits of release and empower those who have gone from tied to free, while supporting charities.

For more information about tongue ties check out our Ultimate Guide for the Tongue Tied, Dr. Ghaheri’s blog, Dr Baxters website, or The Breathe Institute.

Karese Laguerre is a Registered Dental Hygienist and Orofacial Myologist. In her years of working with various patient populations in the dental field, she encountered similar trends and limitations in dental malocclusion and mouth-breathing. The correlation between the two became even more relevant as her own children grew in age and with the pursuit of extensive hours in continuing education she achieved training in treating the primary cause, improper oral resting posture. She is passionate about the education of airway matters to the general public.

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