At the plate-fitting appointment, Dr. Loo will show you how to place and remove the plate. To obtain the best result, the plate should be worn 24 hours per day until the roof of the mouth is surgically repaired at 9 to 12 months. Most babies are able to wear the plate 24 hours a day right from the start and within a day or two are actually unhappy when you remove it. You will also be given instructions on how to fit the various tapes (stretchy and steristrips) and elastics.
The image on the right shows the Duoderm (plastic skin) or base tape that is fitted to the cheeks. The image on the left shows the lip tape, which must be placed very tightly, enough to see the lip blanch (looks white).
At first, you may find that the plate appears loose. You can use denture adhesive to help your baby hold the plate in with the tongue. Also, do not be surprised if your baby has a slight gag reflex at first. This is perfectly normal and goes away soon after placement. Soothe your baby and hold the appliance in with the top of your thumb while rubbing the lower front gums with the bottom of your thumb.
Associating food with the plate in the first few days helps your baby get used to the plate as well. Soak the plate in formula, insert the plate and feed your baby. This provides positive reinforcement for wearing the plate.