A child born with a cleft lip and palate will face 20 years or more of hospital care and surgery. This is a global problem with approximately 10 million people affected worldwide. Various models of care exist around the condition, and the best configurations of services within an economy need to be optimized. We provide examples of how centralized care can improve outcomes and provide an opportunity to establish national registries, and then emphasize the opportunities for building research platforms of relevance. The default of any cleft service should be to centralize care and enable cleft teams with a sufficient volume of patients to develop proficiency and measure the quality of outcomes. The latter needs to be benchmarked against the better centers in Europe. Two areas of concern for those with cleft are morbidity/mortality and educational attainment. These two issues are placed in context within the literature and wider approaches using population genetics. Orthodontists have always played a key role in developing these initiatives and are core members of cleft teams with major responsibilities for these children and their families.