Help Spread a Smile for National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness Month

Help Spread a Smile for National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness Month

July is National Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness & Prevention Month!

Cleft and craniofacial conditions affect thousands of infants, children, teens and adults in the US each year. Some are born with congenital anomalies like cleft lip and palate, others with more complex, life-threatening conditions.

Cleft lip and palate is a congenital condition that occurs in the first three months of pregnancy which affects the upper lip and the hard and soft palate of the mouth. Despite extensive research about cleft lip and palate, their causes are still unknown.

Other conditions include:

  • Orofacial clefts: occur when the lip and mouth don’t form properly
  • Craniosynostosis: occurs when the bones in the infant’s skull fuse too early
  • Microtia: occurs when the external portion of the ear does not properly form
  • Anotia: occurs when the external portion of the ear is missing

So what can we do spread the word during the month of July?

  • Request official acknowledgement of the awareness month from your local government – city councils, town mayors, state legislatures, etc!
  • Ask your local newspaper to write an article highlighting people with facial difference – or even better write and submit one yourself!
  • Write to your state and federal representatives to advocate for cleft palate/craniofacial patients and insurance legislation to cover treatment costs. CPF can provide information packets to heighten their awareness of medically-necessary cleft and craniofacial care. Click here to learn who is your congressional representative! 
  • Ask your job if you can have a “dress down” fundraiser, where for a day is designated for employers to dress down if they make a donation for Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness.
  • Share inspiring stories on your social medial channels along with posting stories to the Cleft Palate Foundation (CPF) Facebook page or engaging with Smile Train’s Instagram. There are many organizations with the mission of helping this cause.

And please check out the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association and Smile Train for more ways to get involved and help spread awareness!


How are you supporting National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness Month? Share your stories, thoughts, and hopes with the Patient Worthy community!