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.

7 Billion Smiles and Yours Is My Favorite Videos

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.

Sofia's Smile

Colton's Smile

Penelope's Smile

Smiles Are Contagious Photo Gallery

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. Watch the video »

Eliana Smiling
“We tell her how beautiful her smile makes her and she agrees. She is perfect to us and that is all that really matters.”
Mia Smiling
“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.”
Jackson Smiling
“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.”
“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.”
Camden Smiling
“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.”
Charlie Smiling
“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.”

Patient Stories

  • Neal smiling

    Neal Wille’s Path to a Big Smile

    May 12, 2022

    Three-year-old Neal Wille is among the one in 700 kids annually around the world born with a cleft lip and palate. Today, he’s a ball of smiles and sunshine when his parents bring him to see the Texas Cleft-Craniofacial Team for follow-up care after his surgeries that were performed at Chil...

    Read More
  • Cameron

    Cameron’s Story: Multidisciplinary Team Supports Boy on His Long Journey of Healing

    May 9, 2018

    Cameron is on the “A” honor roll in his fifth-grade class, a significant achievement for any kid. Cameron is not just any kid. He is a survivor. At 10 years of age, Cameron has already undergone 24 surgical procedures. Cameron was diagnosed with an extremely rare genetic condition known as Mandib...

    Read More
  • Mina Margraf

    Mina’s Story: Teen Gymnast Overcomes Vascular Anomaly

    February 8, 2018

    Fourteen-year-old Mina is a champion. Every day, she overcomes obstacles to pursue her lifelong goal of becoming a world-class gymnast. But recently, despite her hard work and fierce determination to be the best, Mina almost met her match. Mina was born with a venous malformation on her right che...

    Read More
  • Jacob and Leah Yeglin

    A Smile So Sweet: Jacob’s Cleft Lip Story

    January 7, 2018

    On April 21, 2014, Leah Yeglin gave birth to her son, Jacob. Moments later, she began to sense something was wrong – and soon learned her intuition was right. A nurse informed her that Jacob had a cleft lip but, thankfully, was otherwise healthy. “It was a shock,” Yeglin remembers. “I thought tha...

    Read More
  • Thea

    Thea’s Story: Hemangioma, an Angel’s Kiss

    December 29, 2016

    During a routine well-baby checkup shortly after Thea was born, her pediatrician noted a small red spot on Thea’s temple, adjacent her right eye. Colleen , Thea’s mother, recalls, “Our pediatrician knew immediately that the red spot was a hemangioma, and he told us it would grow...

    Read More
  • Macy

    Macy's Story: Cleft Lip and Palate

    July 15, 2016

    As Kenzie and Ricky attended their routine 18-week ultrasound, they expected everything to go smoothly; however, they received unexpected information about their baby girl, Macy. Their unborn daughter was diagnosed with a unilateral cleft (a split occurring on one side) that extended all the way ...

    Read More
  • Anthony wearing a tie

    Cleft Lip and Palate Program Brings New Smiles to Life

    May 20, 2014

    Daniella Coca’s son Anthony was born with both a cleft lip and palate. Coca was five months pregnant when she received the diagnosis after a 3-D ultrasound, which afforded her and Anthony’s father several months to meet John Teichgraeber, MD, and his team, determine a plan of action and better pr...

    Read More
  • Teichgraeber -Mission Mexico

    Physicians Bring Smiles to Patients Abroad

    May 2, 2014

    Pediatric surgeons have the ability to bring smiles to patients and their families. Dr. John Teichgraeber, director of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in the Department of Pediatric Surgery, recently brought smiles and positive outcomes to patients in Mexico as part of a medica...

    Read More

Contact Us

Texas Cleft-Craniofacial Team and Pediatric Plastic Surgery Clinic
6410 Fannin Street, Suite 950
Houston, TX 77030

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Clinic: (832) 325-7234
Texas Cleft-Craniofacial Team: (713) 500-7302
Vascular Anomalies Team: (832) 325-7234

Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Monday-Friday except major holidays)

About Our Program

The Pediatric Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Program affiliated 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.

Learn More

To contact Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital, please fill out the form below.


Thank you for contacting Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. We have received your inquiry, and a team member will contact you soon.

If you need more immediate assistance, please call us at (713) 704-KIDS (5437).