Patients and Families
Smile Train aims to support cleft-affected families worldwide by creating, connecting, and sharing information about comprehensive cleft care.
Comprehensive Cleft Care Areas
Explore our site to find invaluable advice and resources.
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 always consult a doctor or cleft care expert for information about possible causes of their child’s cleft, treatment opportunities, and a timetable for cleft care.
Because a cleft can affect a child’s ability to suck and swallow, timely nutrition services are essential to preventing malnutrition.
Cleft lip surgery is ideally performed when the child is between 3 and 6 months, while cleft palate surgery is usually conducted between 9 and 12 months. Contact your nearest Smile Train treatment partner for a detailed consultation.
A cleft increases the likelihood that a child will have severe dental issues such as misplaced teeth, tooth decay, and gum disease. It is vital to start early with pediatric dental care involving caregivers and trained professionals.
Children with cleft palates often struggle to develop normal speech and language habits. Caregivers should seek early guidance on how to work with their child at home and have them regularly screened for possible speech therapy.
It is important that families work with their cleft team to address any psychological issues their child may be experiencing so that they can develop confidence and self-esteem.
Value of Comprehensive Cleft Care
A smile is only the beginning. Access to a full range of comprehensive care gives children with clefts the best chance at a healthy and productive life.
Comprehensive Cleft Care
Comprehensive cleft care ensures that all aspects of a child’s treatment – including nutrition, dentistry, hearing, speech and language development, social skills, and self-esteem – are attended to.
Comprehensive care brings cleft professionals from different disciplines together to offer treatment in the most impactful and cost-effective way, not only for children, but also their families.