Livonia General Dentist Discusses Cleft Palates and Oral Health

baby smilingChildren who were born with cleft palates require more in-depth dental care. If this applies to your child, then this article may provide some insightful information. In this blog, your Livonia general dentist, Dr. James Stewart, talks about the effects of cleft palates on a child’s oral health.

What is a Cleft Palate?

A cleft palate is a common type of birth defect that occurs when the hard and soft palates have an gap from an inability to close in the womb; approximately one in every 700 births result in a cleft palate, lip, or both. The opening begins on the upper lip, through one of the nostrils, and continues onto the soft palate. Cleft palates come in two variations: unilateral complete or bilateral complete.

A unilateral complete cleft palate only has one opening in lip through either the right or left nostril and both palates. On the other hand, a bilateral complete cleft palate affects both nostrils and palates. Though this ailment is correctable with surgery, it can pose some childhood oral health issues. Thankfully, with the help of your Livonia general dentist, your child can overcome said issues and still have a beautiful smile.

How a Cleft Palate Affects Your Child’s Oral Health

Since a cleft palate causes the lips to separate, dental growth and development may become affected. Typically, this separation changes how the incisors—and occasionally the canines— grow in.
Once your baby has sprouted his or her first tooth, take them to the dentist. During this visit, the doctor can begin to detect any dental issues that may arise in the future and keeps a record of each of those findings. With periodic visits, the dentist continues to track their dental growth until all of their baby teeth have erupted.
Additionally, the doctor notes the jaw growth and whether or not the child will need orthodontic treatment. In many cases, children who have had a repaired cleft palate require braces and other orthodontic care. However, in these cases, the treatment is quite successful, resulting in a flawlessly corrected smile.

Ask Your Livonia Dentist about Special Needs Pediatric Dental Care

If your child requires special pediatric dental care due to a cleft palate or similar reason, contact Dr. Stewart. He can examine your child to determine the best way to provide them with dental treatments. To schedule an appointment with your Livonia general dentist, call our office at (734) 425-4400. Also, visit our website to view services, testimonials, and print patient forms. We look forward to treating patients from Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Northville, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, and surrounding areas.