Cleft Palate's Don't Have To Cause Lasting Problems: 3 Ways A Pediatric Dentist Can Help Repair The Damage

If your baby was born with a cleft palate, they will face several medical procedures to repair the damage. In addition to that care, your baby may also require pediatric dental care to treat problems with the way their teeth erupt. With careful dental and treatment, your child's teeth will be able to erupt properly. When possible, dental care for cleft palates should begin early. Here are a few things you'll need to know about your little one's cleft palate and how it will affect their teeth.

How the Condition Affects Tooth Development

Cleft palates can affect dental development in a variety of ways. When a cleft is significant, there will be a visible separation. Babies born with cleft palates may have missing teeth, or teeth that develop on top of each other. There may also be a deep separation between the teeth, especially if the cleft is between the two front teeth. During surgeries to repair the damage, doctors will be able to determine the extent of dental work your little one will eventually need.

Orthodontic Care to Restore Development

Before your little one even has teeth, you'll need to schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist. During this initial visit, the dentist will assess your child's facial growth. They'll pay close attention to the growth pattern of the jaw bone. It's important to assess the jaw bone to determine if the teeth will fit properly.

You should see your child's dentist once a year. As the teeth erupt, your dentist will monitor how well they're growing in. They'll check to make sure that the bite is correct – meaning how well they fit together when the mouth is closed. During those early visits, your pediatric dentist will be creating a plan to restore teeth to their natural position.

Coordinated Treatment

If the dentist determines that your child is going to require surgery to restore the teeth to their proper placement, they may suggest a coordinated treatment with the surgeon in charge of your child's medical care. With coordination between the two teams, the surgeon and the dentist can make necessary repairs during the same surgical appointments. This coordination will limit the number of times your child will need surgery.

If your little one was born with a cleft palate, their pediatric dentist, such as Cobbe Dental & Orthodontics, and plastic surgeon can work together to repair the damage. If you have questions or concerns regarding your child's care, be sure to speak to your child's pediatric dentist.