Patients and Families
Smile Train aims to support families worldwide by creating, connecting and sharing resources about comprehensive cleft care.
Comprehensive Cleft Care Areas
Smile Train aims to support families worldwide by creating, connecting, and sharing resources about different areas of comprehensive cleft care. Explore our site to find invaluable advice and resources.
Cleft Care at Home
Comprehensive cleft care does not only happen at your local Smile Train partner treatment center. It is so important for children and caretakers to have access to resources related to their cleft care at home. Smile Train is dedicated to creating a variety of resources to meet every need.
Families should consult a cleft team member to be empowered with information about possible causes of cleft.
Feeding and Nutrition
Because cleft can affect a child’s ability to suck and swallow, nutrition services are essential to ensure the child receives proper nutrition.
Clefts form during fetal development and surgery is done to correct function and appearance. Surgery to repair the lip is usually done between 3-6 months, while surgery to repair the palate is usually conducted between 9 and 12 months.
If affected by cleft palate, the child is more susceptible to inflammation in the middle ear, which can result in hearing loss. Early screenings and simple treatments such as ear tubes are important preventative services.
Dental and Orthodontics
Clefts increase susceptibility to dental anomalies and malposition, increasing risks for caries and gum disease. It is important to start early with pediatric dental care involving caregivers and trained professionals.
Development of normal speech and language habits can be altered by cleft. Caregivers should receive early guidance on how to work with their child at home, and the child should regularly be screened for possible therapy.
Counseling and Support
It is important for families to work with their cleft team to address any challenges related to the cleft and its associate treatment so children can develop confidence and self-esteem
Depending on where you live, cleft lip and/or palate surgeries and comprehensive cleft care can be expensive.
Value of Comprehensive Cleft Care
The journey to living a healthy life for a child with a cleft starts with a smile. That’s just the beginning. Access to comprehensive cleft care gives a child the best chance of optimal treatment results–a healthy and productive life.
Comprehensive Cleft Care
Comprehensive cleft care ensures that all aspects of a child–nutritional status; teeth and jaw alignment; hearing, speech, and language development; social skills and self-esteem–are cared for throughout a child’s life.
Comprehensive cleft care brings cleft care professionals together from different disciplines to offer treatment in the most impactful and cost-effective way not only for a child, but also his/her family.