Experienced parent showing feeding cleft babies
The Parent Groups for Newborn CLP Babies
There are four courses of ‘Parent Group for Newborn CLP Babies’ in a year, each course consists of three sessions. Contents of each sessions are as follows:
Contents of Each Session
1) Feeding & Choking / Cleft Treatment / Non-surgical Lip & Nose Correction / Public & Private Treatment Service;
2) Caretaking after Lip Repair / Scar Massage / Nasal Splints / Feeding of Semi-solid Food; and
3) Caretaking after Palate Repair / Speech Problems / ENT Problems / Dentition Problems / Child Nurturing.
Nowadays, participants are mostly parents of unborn CLP babies due to the advanced technology of 3D/4D ultra-sound scanning during antenatal checkups around pregnancy of 20 weeks. The contents of the three-session of Parent Groups covers the caretaking information of CLP babies from birth to 2 year of age.
In order to enhance the spirit of mutual support, the courses are hosted by experienced parents whose CLP children have undergone part of the cleft lip and palate treatments. They will provide power-point presentations of cleft information. They will also share with the new parents their own experience on pre & post-operation care taking. After the course, there will be follow ups, support and counseling to parents by the volunteers of ‘Along the Way with You Team’ and our staff.
In fact, many pregnant mothers or new parents, who know very little about cleft lip and palate, are worry ridden and feel very helpless when they first participate the activities of the Association. However, after volunteers’ sharing of their practical experience, the new parents get more information and mutual support is then formed among them. Thus they are more confident to help their CLP babies to go through the long journey of surgeries and treatments for clefts.
Besides, the Association also holds "Annual Reunion Day" for parents who have joined the four courses of ‘Parent Groups for Newborn CLP Babies’ during the year. In the activity, the participants will share further information on CLP babies’ caretaking, speech problems, ENT problems, dentition problems, surgeries and treatments in future, preparation for inter-personal communications and for schooling etc. The activity aims to give basic and all round knowledge to the parents so that they can give the best care and treatment to their children, get them well prepared for the future.
Oral Myofunctional Therapy Workshops
In cleft lip and palate patients, their maxillae tend to be under-development because of the interference of facial growth from the cleft deformity that is due to surgical repair of cleft palate during babyhood, in which palatal tissue is impaired and thus development of oral muscle is undesirable. What is more, the palatal scar contracture during wound-healing process will affect patients’ growth of palate, resulting in a depressed mid-face, lack of upper incisor exposure, crowding of the maxillary teeth and a reverse malocclusion.
Myofunctional Therapy can help cleft lip and palate children to correct incorrect tongue resting posture, tongue thrust swallowing patterns, open mouth rest posture and mouth breathing. It can help guide teeth into a more desirable relationship during a child’s early development (between the ages of 3 and 12) and enhance a child’s appearance and posture (which will last a lifetime).
Myofunctional Therapy Workshop was held on 2 August. During the workshop, participants will be arranged in parent-child groups of similar age range. Then the orthodontists and dentists will show them the correct oral muscle function exercise, and teach the parents how to help their children to do daily practice so as to achieve the optimal results.
Early Orthodontic Treatment Pilot Project for 6-12 years old CLP Children
Atthough cleft lip and cleft palate are repaired before 1 year of age, the patient’s growth of maxilla and upper jaw may be affected. When a CLP patient grows up, he may have their mid face and upper jaw underdeveloped causing underbite, “V-shaped” alveolus and misplaced upper frontal teeth, which results in speech problems, bite problems, undesirable appearance, low self-esteem, etc. Therefore, secondary treatments, especially timely orthodontics, are very important to CLP patients.
Orthodontic Treatment between 6-12 years of age can help CLP patients in the following ways:
1) Application of orthodontic expender – It helps to expend “V-shaped” alveolus to the normal “U-shaped”one, giving more space for the crowded frontal teeth;
2) Application of Reverse pull Headgear – It helps to pull the upper jaw forward during the golden time of growth and thus correct the under bite problem; and
3) Correction of misplaced or irregularly aligned teeth so that the problem of underbite will be further minimized, and consequently the complexity of jaw surgery will also be alleviated.
The Association is fortunate to have four kind-hearted orthodontists to provide early orthodontic treatment for children with cleft lip and palate at charity rates. The Association is also fortunate have sponsorships by four charitable foundations, provision of dental room by the Chai Wan Baptist Dental Clinic. We manage to implement this 'Early Orthodontic Treatment Pilot Project for Cleft Lip and Palate Children of 6-12 Years of Age' between 2019.1.1 - 31.12.2020. What is more, children from low income families are eligible for partial sponsorships of the treatment fees. Currently, more than 40 CLP children members of the Association are receiving orthodontic treatment under this pilot project.
Sharing among new parents
Speakers giving talk on Myofunctional Therapy
A child trying munchee - appliance for teeth bite
Early Orthodontic Treatment Clinic
A Child Wearing Reverse Headgear