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How to Take Care of a Cleft Child

A cleft child in his regular life faces problems, which makes them feel alone. They need special care and special consult to get them back into the normal life. A cleft child needs:

Surgery: Usually a Cleft lip surgery is done at the age of 4 – 6 months and after 6 months of the cleft lip surgery usually the cleft palate surgery is done.

Pediatrician Care: A pediatrician/neonatologist is usually the first person to take care of a neonate born with a cleft and the first to talk to the parents. As soon as possible, refer each baby born with orofacial cleft to the cleft palate or craniofacial center, where each specialist evaluates the baby, delineates the best management options and treatment plan, and continuously revises individual procedures and treatment during follow-up visits.

Dental Care: Like other children, children born with cleft lip and/or cleft palate require proper cleaning, good nutrition, and fluoride treatment in order to have healthy teeth. Appropriate cleaning with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush should begin as soon as teeth erupt. If a soft children’s toothbrush will not adequately clean the teeth because of the modified shape of the mouth and teeth, a Toothette may be recommended by your dentist. A Toothette is a soft, mouthwash-containing sponge on a handle that is used to swab teeth.

Many dentists recommend that the first dental visit be scheduled at about 1 year of age or even earlier if there are special dental problems. Routine dental care can begin around 3 years of age.

Speech Therapy treatment: Speech therapy alone may be able to correct your child’s speech disorder. Therapy can be extremely effective for children with mild hypernasality, an articulation disorder, or speech delay. The goal of speech therapy will be to develop good speech habits as well as to learn how to produce sounds correctly. Speech therapy alone will generally NOT correct hyper nasality that is caused by moderate to severe velopharyngeal inadequacy.

Contact your nearest Outreach Centre for consultation.