For a young child, misshapen ears can pose a big problem even though no two ears are exactly the same, certain types of ear shapes can be the cause of teasing or even bullying. Fortunately, recent advancements have enabled correction of ear deformities before they generate this problem.
Infant ear molding is a procedure that lets you correct your baby’s misshapen ears while they are still a newborn. Unlike traditional otoplasty, our newborn ear molding procedure doesn’t require waiting until the child is older to fix the problem.
Our doctors are experts in infant ear molding, having trained under the pioneer of these techniques, and have helped hundreds of children achieve a symmetrical appearance before their first birthday. This eliminates much of the teasing and bullying children might experience as they grow older.
Here’s what you need to know about newborn ear molding and whether your child is eligible.
What Is Infant Ear Molding?
Infant ear molding is a process that corrects the shape of ears during infancy. It involves fitting your baby with an ear molding device to push the ear into the correct position.
Our doctors place the molding device on your baby’s ear, and you return in two week intervals to see how the ear has progressed. In most cases, babies require at least two to three molds to get the ears to the correct shape.
Overall, the whole process generally takes about six weeks.
When Should Newborn Ear Molding Be Performed?
Newborn ear molding is a procedure that works best right after birth, in the first few weeks of the baby’s life. This is thought to be because a newborn’s ears contain a lot of estrogen, making them moldable and soft.
This high level of estrogen begins to decline after six weeks, so it’s vital to start newborn ear molding as soon as possible after birth. That being said, some ear issues do correct themselves seven to 10 days after birth, so your doctor might recommend waiting a bit to see if the problem improves. If it doesn’t, they’ll probably recommend you start infant ear molding around 2 weeks of age. Unfortunately, studies have shown that infant ear molding is not as effective after 4 weeks, and we rarely perform ear molding after this time. Exceptions could include premies, whose ears remain pliable for a longer time.
What Can Infant Ear Molding Correct?
Because infant ear molding is versatile, it can treat a number of congenital ear issues. Some of the most commonly treated problems include:
- Constricted or cupped ears
- Protruding/prominent ears (aka “dumbo ears”)
- Cryptotia (when the top part of the ear is hidden under the skin)
- Lop ear / Problems with the ear’s outer rim
- Stahl’s ear (aka “spock ears”)
Our doctors will examine your child’s ears to ensure they are a good fit for the procedure.
Infant Ear Molding
Does your newborn have a congenital ear issue or other problem? Our doctors at Wellspring Craniofacial Group can help. Give us a call today at (512) 600-2888 to learn more about infant ear molding procedures and schedule your consultation.