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Everyone should have a good set of teeth and this is especially important for cleft individuals. We are born with 2 sets of teeth: the milk/baby teeth and the permanent/adult teeth.
In cleft babies, maintaining a good oral hygiene is recommended as the baby teeth will be the basis and the guide for the permanent teeth to grow. Great care should be taken in brushing and keeping the teeth clean. When the first baby tooth erupts, keep it clean by using the end tip of a soft cloth/ towel or use the tip of a cotton bud. When the baby is ready to have a toothbrush in his mouth, clean the teeth using a small, soft bristled toothbrush. Make it a fun activity! Let the baby imitate you brushing your teeth.
Encourage the baby to drink water after having a bottle of milk. Discourage sweetened drinks and juices, and avoid sweets and chocolates. Sweet snacks in between meals is a bad habit.
Regular dental check-ups, once very 6 months, is encouraged. Make sure that the first dental visit is fun because a cleft child will be seeing a lot of the dentist whilst growing up. Do not traumatise the child by bringing him/her only when he/she is in pain.
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