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  • Writer's pictureDr. Marvin A. Abarca

Everything You Need to Know About a Pediatric Frenectomy

When it comes to pediatric dentistry, one of the most important procedures parents should be aware of is a pediatric frenectomy. This procedure can help ensure that your child's teeth and mouth develop properly, and if not done correctly could cause long-term issues. A pediatric frenectomy involves removing excess tissue from the inside of the upper or lower lip in order to improve oral function. It’s an incredibly common procedure for children who are having difficulty with speech development due to extra tissue on their tongue or lips restricting movement. In this article we will discuss what a pediatric frenectomy is, who needs it, how you can prepare for such a procedure as well as risks associated with it so that you have all the information necessary when making decisions about your child's health care needs.

Everything You Need to Know About a Pediatric Frenectomy
Everything You Need to Know About a Pediatric Frenectomy

A frenectomy is a minor surgical procedure that removes or releases the tissue that attaches the lips, cheeks, and tongue to the gums. It is commonly used in pediatric dentistry to improve speech development and oral hygiene. The two types of frenectomies are labial frenectomies and lingual frenectomies.

Labial Frenectomy

A labial frenectomy involves removing or releasing the tissue connecting the upper lip to the gum line on one side of the mouth. This type of procedure can help with speech issues caused by an overly tight upper lip such as lisping or difficulty pronouncing certain sounds like “s” and “z”. It can also improve oral hygiene since it makes it easier for children to brush their teeth properly without having to stretch their lips too far apart when brushing near their gums.

Labial Frenectomy
Labial Frenectomy

Lingual Frenectomy

A lingual frenectomy involves removing or releasing the tissue connecting either side of a child's tongue to his/her lower jawbone (mandible). This type of procedure helps with problems related to an overly tight tongue such as difficulty swallowing food, speaking clearly, eating certain foods, and even sleeping comfortably at night due to airway obstruction caused by a constricted tongue muscle. Lingual frenectomies can also help reduce snoring in some cases due to improved air flow through nasal passages during sleep time.

Pediatric frenectomies offer many benefits for children including improved speech development, better oral hygiene habits, increased comfort while eating certain foods, and improved breathing during sleep time which may reduce snoring episodes in some cases. All of these things lead to overall better health outcomes for kids who undergo this simple yet effective procedure.

A pediatric frenectomy is a procedure that can improve the health and comfort of children by releasing excess tissue from their mouths. While there are many benefits to this type of treatment, it's important to understand who needs a pediatric frenectomy and when to seek treatment for it. For more detailed information about how frenectomy treatment visit our Tongue Tie / Lip Tie page.

Lingual Frenectomy
Lingual Frenectomy

Who Needs a Pediatric Frenectomy?

Signs and Symptoms of Needing a Pediatric Frenectomy: A pediatric frenectomy is a minor surgical procedure that removes or releases the tissue connecting the lips to the gums. It may be necessary if there is too much tension in this area, causing difficulty with eating, speaking, or other oral functions. Signs and symptoms that may indicate a need for this procedure include difficulty latching onto the breast during breastfeeding; excessive drooling; inability to move their tongue freely; speech impediments such as lisping; and an overly large gap between their upper lip and gum line.

Breastfeeding problems with a tongue tie
Breastfeeding problems with a tongue tie

Several conditions can cause enough tension in the tissue connecting the lips to gums that necessitate a pediatric frenectomy. These include ankyloglossia (tongue-tie), which is caused by excess tissue attaching your child’s tongue to their lower jawbone, macroglossia (enlarged tongue), cleft palate/lip deformities, hyperactive gag reflexes resulting from enlarged tonsils or adenoids, scarring due to prior surgeries on the mouth or face area, temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), and misalignment of teeth stemming from improper jaw growth.

If you notice any signs or symptoms indicating your child may need a pediatric frenectomy, it is important to contact Dr. Marvin right away. Taking action early on can help avoid long-term complications associated with these conditions such as dental problems, speech impediments, sleep apnea, ear infections and breathing difficulties due to restricted airways which can have serious implications on your child's health later in life. Dr. Marvin will be able to diagnose whether they are suitable for this procedure. If your child is exhibiting any of the signs or symptoms that could indicate a need for a pediatric frenectomy, it's important to seek treatment as soon as possible.

Preparing for a Pediatric Frenectomy Procedure

Anesthesia Options for the Procedure

Depending on your child’s age and comfort level, there are several anesthesia options available during a pediatric frenectomy procedure. Dr. Marvin can discuss these options with you prior to the appointment so that you can make an informed decision about which option is best for your child. However, in most cases a simple laser procedure can be performed on children of any age, even infants. The tissue can be removed in a matter of minutes by the laser, with minimal to no bleeding and significantly reduced levels of discomfort for your child. In addition, laser treatment stops scar tissue from forming and makes it much less likely that the frenum will reconnect itself.

Recovery After a Pediatric Frenectomy Procedure

Pain Management During Recovery

After a pediatric frenectomy procedure, it is important to manage any pain or discomfort. Pain medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can be taken to reduce inflammation and provide relief from pain. Applying ice packs several times per day can also help with swelling and soreness. If any pain persists or worsens, contact Dr. Marvin right away.

Diet Restrictions During Recovery:

Soft foods are recommended during recovery after a pediatric frenectomy procedure in order to avoid irritation of the area that was treated. Foods like mashed potatoes, applesauce, yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies and soups are all good options for those recovering from this type of procedure. For older children, avoiding hard foods such as nuts and chips should also be avoided until the area has fully healed.

It is important to take it easy while recovering from a pediatric frenectomy procedure in order to allow the area to heal properly without further irritation or damage being done by physical activity too soon after surgery. Strenuous activities such as running or jumping should be avoided until given clearance Dr. Marvin. Following their post-procedure instructions carefully will ensure proper healing with minimal complications afterwards.

FAQs in Relation to Pediatric Frenectomy

When should a child have a frenectomy?

The laser pediatrc frenectomy procedure can be performed on children of any age, even infants to help improve their oral health and prevent future problems. Generally speaking, a child should have a frenectomy if they are experiencing difficulty with eating, drinking, speaking or breathing due to an overly tight frenum. Additionally, it may be recommended if there is gum recession in between teeth caused by an overactive frenum. In any case, it's best to consult Dr. Marvin for an evaluation before deciding whether or not a frenectomy is necessary for your child.

Is frenectomy painful for kids?

No, frenectomy is not painful for kids. The procedure is typically done under local anesthesia and most children don't experience any pain during the procedure. Afterward, there may be some soreness or discomfort but this can usually be managed with over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Parents should discuss their child's individual case with their pediatric dentist to determine if a frenectomy is necessary and what type of postoperative care will be needed.

What is frenectomy procedure in children?

Frenectomy is a procedure that involves the removal of frenum, which are small bands of tissue connecting the lips and cheeks to the gums. This procedure is typically performed on children who have a high-arched palate or tongue tie, which can cause speech impediments, difficulty breastfeeding, and other oral health issues. The goal of this procedure is to reduce tension in these areas so that normal movement and function can be restored. Frenectomy procedures are usually done under local anesthesia with minimal discomfort for the child.


Pediatric frenectomies are a safe and effective way to treat certain oral conditions in children. In general, most pediatric frenectomy procedures go smoothly with minimal side effects. Parents should discuss their child's individual needs with their dentist to determine if a pediatric frenectomy is the best option for them. With proper care and follow-up visits, your child can enjoy improved oral health after undergoing a pediatric frenectomy procedure.

At Little Champions Pediatric Dentistry, we understand the importance of a healthy smile and are here to help you achieve it. We specialize in pediatric frenectomy procedures that can reduce pain and discomfort caused by tongue-tie or lip-tie issues. Our experienced team provides personalized care for each patient so that they can enjoy lasting results with minimal recovery time. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help your child get on the path towards better oral health!

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