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If your child has a cleft palate, make sure you keep all the necessary appointments and follow the advice of your doctors and orthodontists. Fixing a cleft palate can be a lengthy process, but general oral hygiene is important throughout. Keeping your child's teeth clean and healthy not only helps them pave the way for their adult teeth, but is important to help them speak more clearly. You may need to use a softer brush during your child's daily brushing, but your physician or dentist should be able to help you find the best tools and methods to keep your toddler's teeth healthy during the realignment.
Caring for the teeth of a child with a cleft palate requires early intervention, as a child with a cleft palate may have missing, misshapen, grafted or transposed teeth. Intervention includes early evaluation by a dentist and good oral hygiene care as soon as teeth erupt. Good oral care involves daily brushing, flossing, healthy diet and fluoride. Supplemental fluoride or fluoride treatments may need to be prescribed if this is not provided in your city water. It is possible that a child with a cleft palate may have orthodontic and surgical procedures over the course of months to years, during which the teeth may be moved and the bite, or the way that teeth fit together, is adjusted. It is important to work with a team of surgeons, orthodontists and dentists to ensure maximum care for oral health.
In a child with cleft palate, the tissue and teeth are there, just in a bit of a jumble. Surgeries can help put the puzzle pieces back together. Until then, think of the teeth as regular teeth and brush them using toothpaste and a soft toothbrush. Use the same rules as with any child. If your child is old enough to spit out the toothpaste, you can use fluoride toothpaste, otherwise use non-fluorinated toothpaste.