Unfortunately, when a child is afflicted with a birth defect like a cleft palate or cleft lip, there are other physical manifestations of the birth defect that must be dealt with. One of the major physical issues confronting children with cleft lip/palates is that they may need serious dental attention. The cleft usually occurs between the cuspid (eye tooth) and the lateral incisor. Possible dental issues include: a missing lateral incisor, two lateral incisors on both sides of the cleft, poorly formed teeth (with misshapen crowns and/or roots), and displaced teeth. We want you to be informed about the potential issues related to your child’s unfortunate birth defect and be able to take the appropriate actions.
Your Child’s Dentistry Needs
Although this may seem overwhelming, children born with a cleft lip/palate can still have healthy teeth. Proper cleaning, good nutrition, and fluoride treatment is necessary. The teeth should be cleaned with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush, as soon as the teeth are visible. Early evaluation is critical, with many dentists recommending the first visit being scheduled at one year of age, or in some cases, even sooner. What dental work your child needs will be determined by the dentist, which can be as simple as preventative care, or can be extensive including dental surgery.
It may be necessary for orthodontic care to be sought, even before the child has any teeth. This is to assess facial growth and plan for the child’s short and long term dental needs. If the teeth do not fit together correctly, braces will most likely be necessary.
Birth Defects Attorneys of New Jersey and Philadelphia
Parents who have children with a cleft lip or palate are often confused about their legal rights and whether or not birth defects attorneys are necessary. In many cases, birth defects attorneys are not necessary, because the cause is usually natural. However, the FDA has recently announced that Topamax (Topiramate) has been linked to an increase in the development of cleft lips and palates. In this situation, it would be beneficial to contact the Mininno Law Office: Our experienced and caring birth defects attorneys off a free case evaluation and consultation. You may call 856-833-0600 in New Jersey, or 215-567-2380 in Philadelphia.