The new Oral Health in Comprehensive Cleft Care guidelines were created to empower local cleft teams with training and resources to improve oral health and hygiene challenges that prevent oral disease.
Oral health nonprofits FDI World Dental Federation (FDI) and Smile Train have joined forces with support from GSK Consumer Healthcare to launch guidelines for oral health professionals and the wider cleft care team to help reduce oral disease and improve oral health in people born with clefts.
Through the release of these new guidelines, FDI and Smile Train hope to empower local cleft teams with training and resources to improve oral health and provide comprehensive oral healthcare. To learn more about the guidelines, the FDI Oral Health Campus is offering a live webinar on September 29 at 3:00 PM BST where they will be released for the first time.
In this webinar, the panel of FDI and Smile Train experts will present the Oral Health in Comprehensive Cleft Care guidelines, discuss the oral health challenges that people with treated or untreated clefts often face, and offer clear solutions to optimize patients’ well-being, ensuring that they’re able to eat, speak, breathe, and swallow.
Rehabilitation and care of children with clefts often involves the core specialties of nursing, plastic surgery, pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, and speech therapy. An agreed set of adopted protocols can ensure good interdisciplinary communication amongst the team and contribute to reinforcing the patient’s oral health, according to the two organizations.
“Children with clefts suffer disproportionally from oral disease, which can not only affect their overall health and well-being, but also their long-term development,” says FDI President Gerhard K. Seeberger, DDS. “Ensuring that the cleft care team is trained to help prevent oral disease is so important. FDI is delighted to share these new guidelines, which we hope will empower the whole team to deliver consistent, quality care to all patients living with clefts.”
“We aim to integrate oral health into the care pathway for children with clefts,” adds Smile Train President and CEO Susannah Schaefer. “Regular dental care for children with clefts is essential to help manage their increased risk for oral disease. It’s important for healthcare providers and caregivers to recognize the signs of oral diseases and know how to prevent them. This is the only way to enable people with clefts to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.”
Jayant Singh, GSK global category lead oral health, explains, “At GSK, we understand the importance of good oral health and hygiene for all, especially for those living with clefts. Comprehensive cleft care is a key focus of the work we support with Smile Train and FDI. We are so excited about the release of these guidelines, which we think will serve as a transformative and indispensable tool for the entire cleft care team.”