Understanding Cleft Lip/Palates

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A cleft lip and palate are birth defects that can happen because the baby’s lip or mouth does not develop properly during pregnancy. The upper lip is split and there is a lack of tissue for the lip to join. There are a few oral issues that can result due to a cleft lip or palate. They can affect both baby and adult teeth from the positioning, shape, size and number of teeth. A cleft lip can be treated surgically a few months after birth. The scar would just fade normally with time. However, a cleft palate is a more complex procedure and is delayed until the child is one or two years of age. At this time the upper jaw will have reached a normal growth to operate. If the problem is more severe, surgery may have to wait until 5 to 7 years old, to prevent any structural problems. If a surgery can’t fix the problem, occasionally a denture-type of an appliance can be used called an obturator. This will help close the gap (opening) and help the child to eat normally.

If you have any concerns about your child’s dental health care, contact us, your family dentist in Alliston at Dr. Parekh and Associates today!

– Dr. Parekh & Associates

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