Cleft lip and cleft palate are the most common birth defect in the United States – one of every 600 newborns is affected by cleft lip and/or cleft palate, according to the American Cleft Palate Association (ACPA). Most of these babies undergo surgery during the first year of their lives to repair a cleft lip, and require additional surgeries and treatments as they grow.
There are seven billion smiles in this world, but to parents, their child's smile is the most beautiful. Whether it's a baby's first smile, a sweet smile when they wake up or a smile you needed after a long day – there's nothing more heartwarming. The 7 Billion Smiles and Yours Is My Favorite videos highlight the importance of cleft and craniofacial awareness through the stories of children who were born with a cleft or craniofacial abnormalities. Told from the perspective of each child’s parent, we learn about Sofia, Colton and Penelope and why their smiles are their parent’s favorite out of all 7 billion smiles in this world.
Captured by Scott Dalton, the portraits below are a reflection of the joy, laughter and happiness that can come from a simple – yet powerful – smile.
“We tell her how beautiful her smile makes her and she agrees. She is perfect to us and that is all that really matters.”
“His smile helps show just how big of a personality Jackson has. I love everything about his smile and would not change a thing about it.”
“Mia is a ray of sunshine who loves everyone and never seems to have a bad day. Her smile shows just how full of love she is.”
“He is just constantly happy and can light up the darkest room with one smile. From surgeries, hospital stays and recovery, he has never lost his smile.”
“When Harper smiles, her entire face from her chin to forehead just lights up. She has no idea that her smile is different than anyone else's and we hope it always stays that way.”
“When I first met Charlie, I knew nothing would be the original face I fell in love with. I took photos to show him how beautiful he was starting the day he was born and how blessed we are now.”
About our Program
The Pediatric Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Program affliated with Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and McGovern Medical School at UTHealth specializes in the evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and long-term management of children with cleft lip and palates. The recognized cleft team specializes in care of children needing surgery to improve the appearance and/or function of patients’ lips and palates.
If you have any questions, use the online tool below to help us connect with you. To schedule an appointment, please contact our clinic using the information below.
UT Physicians Pediatric Surgery Clinic
6410 Fannin Street, Suite 950
Houston, TX 77030
Phone: (832) 325-7234