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Predisposing Factors to Dental Caries in Children With Cleft Lip and Palate: A Review and Strategies for Early Prevention Lam L. Cheng, B.D.Sc(Hons)., B.Dent.St., Stephen L. Moor, Cert Dent Thy, Academic Upgrade, B.H.Sc., Christopher T.C. Ho, B.D.Sc(Hons)., M.D.Sc. Objective: To review predisposing factors contributing to dental caries in patients with cleft lip, cleft palate, or both (CL/P). Design: Patients with CL/P have a higher susceptibility to caries compared with the population group without clefts. A review of the literature was undertaken to determine factors that could account for the compromised oral hygiene and the high caries prevalence in patients with CL/P. Results: After a literature review, modern strategies for the prevention of early childhood caries were developed and should be considered for integration into the overall management protocol of patients with CL/P. Conclusions: Preventive dental care is ever more so important in patients with CL/P compared with patients without clefts. KEY WORDS: bacteria, caries, diet, oral hygiene, prevention Cleft lip and palate (CLP) is the most common congenital craniofacial abnormality, affecting approximately 1 in every 700 newborns (Das et al., 1995; Bellis and Wohlgemuth, 1999; Mitchell and Wood, 2000). This prevalence rate varies with different ethnic backgrounds, and a rate of approximately 0.18% of pregnancies identified with cleft conditions has been recorded in Victoria, Australia, from 1983 to 2000 (Vallino ...
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