WHAT IS A CLEFT LIP/PALATE?

A cleft lip is defined as a a split in the lip, and a cleft palate is hole in the roof of the mouth. Both are considered developmental conditions, which may be associated with a genetic condition or another syndrome. Every three minutes, somewhere around the world, a child is born with a cleft lip or palate. While neither of these conditions are life threatening, both can cause speech impairments, breathing problems, trouble with teeth, and difficulty eating. These are detrimental to a child’s development as well as his or her later life. Although cleft lips and palates can have a major impact on the quality of a child’s life if untreated, a few simple surgeries in a child’s early years can change his or her life.

THE CAUSE

Over the years, surgeries have advanced and become relatively uncomplicated. However, in many developing countries, families do not have the access to the proper care, resources, or doctors. Without treatment, children can suffer their entire lives and may never be able to support or take care of themselves. In extreme cases, some children are unable to even survive. By buying a bracelet or donating money, you are helping guarantee a better future for a child in need. Join us in our mission, and become a smile savior!

WHAT IS SMILE TRAIN?

Although cleft lips and palates can normally be treated within the first few years of a child’s life, many families are unable to access or afford the procedure. Smile Train is an organization that sponsors surgeries and recoveries for children with cleft lips or palates. By training local doctors in developing countries, their sustainable model allows them to provide thousands of free cleft surgeries. For more information, visit their website:  www.smiletrain.org.