European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 1–9 | Cite as

Role of obturators and other feeding interventions in patients with cleft lip and palate: a review

  • M. Goyal
  • R. ChopraEmail author
  • K. Bansal
  • M. Marwaha
Systematic Review



Newborns with cleft palate have a distorted maxillary arch at birth. Depending upon the type of cleft, infants suffer from a variety of problems, many of which are related to feeding difficulties. Feeding these babies is an immediate concern because there is evidence of delayed growth of children with cleft lip and palate (CLCP) compared to normal infants. Many methods have been devised to overcome these problems, including the use of special bottles, nipples, and initial obturator therapy.


A Pub Med search was conducted using the following search terms: feeding interventions in cleft lip and palate, feeding plate/obturator in cleft palate. All the relevant articles were studied and the reference list of selected articles was also studied. Effects of different feeding interventions in infants with cleft palate with special emphasis on obturators, based on descriptive reports, expert opinions, and available data from clinical trials was reviewed.


The combination of search terms generated a list of 74 articles out of which 51 articles were excluded based on analyses of abstracts and full texts. Three additional publications were identified by the manual search. A total of 26 relevant articles were selected which included randomised controlled trials and descriptive studies on feeding interventions and obturators.


A single intervention may not fulfil all feeding requirements of infants with CLCP. Combined use of different feeding interventions such as palatal obturator, Haberman feeder, and breast milk pump and lactation education may successfully meet the feeding needs of both mother and child.


Feeding Cleft palate Obturator 


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Copyright information

© European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Paedodontics and Preventive DentistrySGT Dental College, Hospital and Research InstituteBudheraIndia

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