Once your baby is used to the plate, you can start taping the upper lip. Please note, it is not wise to wear the tape without the plate in place as the tape will move the lip, nose and gums in the wrong direction if the plate is not controlling the movement. You will also find that if you leave the tape on for a long time without the plate in, the plate will no longer fit. The plate is very important to obtain the best surgical result for your baby and should be worn full-time. Taping begins by placing a piece of DuoDerm (plastic skin) on both cheeks; this base tape may be left unchanged for one week. Tape is applied onto the DuoDerm in 2 techniques:
- Stretchy tape alone (about 4.5 to 5 inches in length); or
- Steristrips and orthodontic elastics.
Dr. Loo will decide which is best and will demonstrate the technique for you. With either technique, you will attach the tape to one side high on the cheek about ½” past the eye and stretch the elastic or stretchy tape across the upper lip. Gently squeeze the sides of the lip together until they blanche white and the gap is as narrow as possible. Attach the other side of the tape high on the opposite cheek about ½“ past the eye.
Sometimes the cheeks react to the taping and a rash appears. We suggest you change the tape once a day and remember to keep the cheeks clean and thoroughly dry to minimize irritation from taping. If the skin irritation is persistent, contact our office. If you find the tape or elastic bothers the nose, cut a small U out of the tape or elastic below the nose. Usually this is only necessary for the first week while the nose gets used to the tape or elastic.