In the United States, researchers estimate that approximately 700 babies are born each year with a cleft lip or palate, making it the fourth most common birth defect. This malformation occurs early on during pregnancy, but thanks to modern treatment techniques and surgeries, it’s possible to repair a cleft palate. The team at Flanders Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics in Flanders, New Jersey, regularly works with children and their families to correct cleft palates. To request your consultation, call the office or click the online booking tool today.
A cleft palate is a noticeable opening that develops in the roof of the mouth while your baby is still in the womb. Cleft palates can affect the hard or soft palate and may develop on one or both sides of your child’s mouth.
Your child’s lip and palate develop separately, so it’s also possible to have a cleft lip without a cleft palate or vice versa. In some cases, children develop both a cleft palate and a cleft lip.
Cleft palate and cleft lip affect all genders. However, the condition is more common in children of Native American, Latino, or Asian descent.
In addition, research suggests boys are twice as likely to have a cleft lip without cleft palate, while girls are twice as likely to develop a cleft palate without a cleft lip.
Having a child with a cleft lip or cleft palate might worry you, but there’s nothing you can do to prevent it.
Scientists believe cleft palate and cleft lip develop due to a combination of factors, including environmental factors and genetics. For example, if you have a relative with a cleft palate, it’s more likely your baby will as well.
If your child has a cleft palate, they’re also at a higher risk of developing cavities. It’s also common for children with cleft palates to have missing, extra, or malformed teeth.
The majority of children with cleft palate also experience alveolar ridge defects, which may displace or rotate their permanent teeth. However, modern surgical treatments and orthodontic procedures can safely and effectively correct these issues.
Treating a cleft palate requires the expertise of multiple professionals, including dentists, orthodontists, speech pathologists, oral surgeons, and prosthodontists.
Following an oral exam and review of your child’s medical history, the team at Flanders Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics can develop a treatment plan tailored to your child’s individual needs that usually coordinates care with a team of experts and a series of surgeries.
Ultimately, the goal of cleft palate treatment is to improve your child’s physical appearance, ability to eat, breathe, and talk, as well as their overall quality of life.
To request a cleft palate consultation with the caring team at Flanders Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, call the office today or click the online booking tool.