Sports professionals in the limelight are offered the perfect opportunity to give back, especially after overcoming their own adversities or that of a close family member. Peyton Manning, the famed football star, overcame a problem of his own after being born with a cleft palate.
A cleft palate is a physical deformity of the mouth, when the two plates of the skull that form the hard palate, also called the roof of the mouth, is not fully joined, causing a gap. As is the case with most children suffering from a cleft palate, Manning faced several challenges. As a baby, Manning had to use special bottles, because the hole in his palate caused the milk he was being fed to come out of his nose.
As a child, Manning had two surgeries over the course of 18 yrs to close the gap in his palate and to make sure it stayed securely closed as he grew. He also needed a bone graft to fill his upper gum line at age 8, which helped stabilize his upper jaw and allowed his mouth to support permanent teeth. Dental visits were a constant, as were braces, which he wore for over ten years (ages 4 – 15) to help straighten his crooked teeth as they erupted into the mouth which was further compromised with extra teeth. Cleft palate patients also often have issues with congenitally missing teeth which can further maximize the improper eruption of permanent teeth as a result of the jaw malformation prior to birth.
Peyton Manning’s struggles were not only physical but mental as well. Due to his many health issues and physical appearance, he was often bullied by other kids and called names. Through it all, he followed his dream to play football, which led him all the way to the NFL.
Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital
As a way of giving back, Manning teamed up with St Vincent’s Children’s Hospital in Indiana as an active participant in fundraising. In 2007 St. Vincent’s Children’s Hospital changed its name to reflect its biggest benefactor and became Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent. The hospital includes The Pediatric Craniofacial Center, which provides diagnosis, treatment, and support for children who suffer from disorders or deformities to the head and face.
The Pediatric Craniofacial Center at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent provides diagnosis and treatment for more than 60 disorders or deformities in which cosmetic and functional improvement would benefit the patient.
As orthodontic specialists who specialize in the growth and development of the upper and lower jaw, Becher & Gil Orthodontics in Austin, TX, has treated patients with cleft palate and cleft lip problems. For more information about our orthodontic services, contact our office for a complimentary evaluation to determine the best course of treatment to treat the specialized needs of a cleft palate patient.