How to Prevent Cleft Lip & Palate During Pregnancy

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How to Prevent Cleft Lip & Palate During Pregnancy
Posted on 12/08/2021

At Brieden Orthodontics, we work hard to ensure our patients have great dental health, are educated on oral health topics, and practice a quality oral hygiene routine. This is especially important for our pregnant patients or patients who want to become pregnant. Our family orthodontist in New Baltimore wants to stress how important the pre-conception through pregnancy time frame is for a developing baby, especially in regard to preventing cleft lip and palate.

What is Cleft Lip & Palate?

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A Cleft lip is a birth defect that occurs when a baby’s upper lip doesn’t form completely and has an opening in it. Similarly, cleft palate is a birth defect that affects the baby’s palate (the roof of the mouth) in which it does not form completely and it has an opening as well. These birth defects are classified as oral clefts or orofacial clefts.

Cleft lip and palate both occur very early in a pregnancy. Between the fourth and seventh week of pregnancy, the lip will be formed, and just after, during the sixth to ninth weeks, the palate will be formed. A baby can experience both a cleft lip and palate or just one cleft.

Preventing Cleft Lip & Palate in Pregnancy

While you cannot always prevent cleft lip and palate, you can greatly reduce your baby’s chances of developing this type of birth defect. Our orthodontist in New Baltimore recommends the following prevention steps:

  • Take folic acid before pregnancy and throughout pregnancy;
  • Do not smoke or drink alcohol;
  • Schedule and attend a preconception check-up;
  • Achieve a healthy weight;
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about any medication you may be taking during pregnancy;
  • Once pregnant, schedule and attend regular prenatal checkups; and
  • Ensure all of your vaccinations are up-to-date to prevent unnecessary infection.

Contact Brieden Orthodontics in New Baltimore Today!

For more information about preventing cleft lip and palate during pregnancy, contact Brieden Orthodontics. Our orthodontist in New Baltimore will gladly answer all of your questions or concerns and confirm you are taking all of the necessary steps to prevent this birth defect. Schedule your next appointment today!