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Maxillary Frenum
The section of tissue extending from the vestibule of the upper lip, to a point between and behind a child's two front teeth
is called the 'Maxillary Frenum'. In its usual position, it only extends to the front of the two teeth. However, in some cases
it passes between the two upper front teeth to attach behind them.
This is a normal anatomic variation for children between the ages of 12 months to 7years. It does not necessarily mean
that the child will have a 'gap' between her permanent teeth when they have settled into the arches. As the permanent
central incisors erupt around age 7 - 71/2, the frenum is squeezed out of the way, and the teeth are aligned normally. In
only about 10% of all children do the permanent teeth fail to align properly leaving a 'gap', and this is usually due to
undersized teeth compared to jaw space. Also, children will frequently have falls which result in a bumped lip with a
resulting minor 'tear' in the frenum. When it heals, the frenum has usually 'moved' to the more normal anterior, adult
position. No intervention, such as surgical excision, should ever be performed upon a frenum prior to the eruption of the
upper Lateral Incisors around the age of 10 - 11. If Mother Nature has not eliminated the problem by this time, correction
by the dentist is warrented.
Author: Joel Black DDS, PA, Diplomate and Fellow - American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Associate Member -
American Academy of Pediatrics Diplomate and Fellow - American College of Forensic Dentistry and Forensic
Examiners - - Pregnancy & Parenting Community
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Generated: 20 July, 2005, 10:17

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