Approximately one in every 2,800 babies born each day is born with Cleft Palate. That’s about one child every five seconds. In fact, cleft palate is the most common birth difference of the mouth and face.
A cleft palate can often be treated with surgery, but problems may still occur even with cosmetic adjustment, such as trouble speaking, hearing, eating, and speaking. The condition affects the palate, but also the mouth, face, and gums.
Because of these issues, a new study by the World Dental Federation (FDI) and Smile Train has been released, and with it, new guidelines for caring for the oral health of children and adults born with cleft palate.
That’s because people who were born with cleft palate have a higher risk of developing cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems.
If you or a loved one were born with cleft palate, these new guidelines serve to help you take extra care of your or their oral health. The guidelines were presented in the FDI Oral Health Campus webinar in a presentation titled Oral Health in Comprehensive Cleft Care, and are simple to follow, showing exactly what type of care is recommended at each age. These guidelines are mainly geared towards dentists, however, those with cleft palate are welcome to follow them at home as they pertain to cleft palate care.
Some of the materials covered in the guidelines include
Proper care of the obturator appliance worn by some persons with cleft palate
Routine oral health care
Care of orthodontic equipment
Encouragement to visit the dentist regularly
The guidelines go by age, so parents can follow along with age-appropriate advice, all the way to age 18 and beyond.
If you are interested in learning more about these guidelines, please visit the following link.
If you are at all concerned about caring for the oral health of yourself or of your child, please contact Dr. Abelar’s office to discuss your concerns. He can be reached at (858) 523-1400.