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How Can A Cleft Palate Be Corrected?

Posted on 5/8/2023 by Dr. Chad Rebhun
 How Can A Cleft Palate Be Corrected?Cleft palates are not uncommon when babies are born. Twenty thousand babies are born each year in the United States with a defect in the soft tissue on the roof of their mouths called a cleft palate. Luckily, cleft palates can be corrected with surgery. Here is information about surgical repairs of a cleft palate or a cleft lip.

How Is A Cleft Palate Repaired?

There are several steps surgeons take in cleft palate surgery. First, the child has to go under general anesthesia to do the repair. While many parents find this troubling, babies and young children need to undergo surgery with anesthesia, so they sleep through the procedure.

The oral surgeon will begin to close the cleft palate in layers of stitches. Many kinds of stitches are dissolvable, which will make them easier for a parent to manage. Usually, it takes several layers of stitches to make sure the palate is completely closed.

Sometimes, after the surgeon closes the palate, they will need to rearrange muscles in the palate to make speaking and eating easier. After the incisions heal, you should notice your child is able to eat and speak more quickly and easily.

Aftercare After Cleft Palate Surgery

After cleft palate surgery, your child may need to stay in the hospital overnight or for a couple of days. They also will eat a liquid diet for the first two weeks after surgery. You can help your baby recover more quickly by making sure they don't put anything hard or sharp in their mouths and by rinsing their mouths out after eating. Most children can go back to eating a soft diet two weeks after surgery and their regular diet about 6 weeks after surgery.


You can prevent many cleft palate defects before a baby is even born. If you are thinking about conceiving a child, start consuming leafy greens, whole grains, or a multivitamin that includes folate. Folate or folic acid helps prevent cleft palates, so be sure you are taking 600 micrograms each day. That way, you'll be taking steps to prevent cleft palate.

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At Optimum Oral Surgery Group, Dr. Donald G. Rebhun has created this informative blog to help educate the community. Read the dental blog posts here.
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