Objective: To evaluate the effect of infant orthopedics (IO) on facial appearance of 54 patients with unilateral cleft lip and palate (UCLP), aged 4 and 6 years. Design: Prospective two-arm randomized controlled clinical trial in three Cleft Palate Centers in the Netherlands (Dutchcleft-trial). Interventions: Patients were divided randomly into two groups. Half of the patients (IO+) had a plate until surgical closure of the soft palate at the age of +/- 52 weeks; the other half (IO-) received no intervention. Main outcome measures: Facial appearance at 4 and 6 years of age assessed on full face photographs and photographs showing only nose and mouth. Ratings were performed on a VAS-scale by professionals and laymen. Results: At 4 years of age the full face pictures of IO+ children were scored to be more attractive than those of IO- children. However, this difference had disappeared at 6 years of age. At the age of 6, only professionals saw a significant difference on nasolabial photographs between IO+ and IO-. Regression analysis showed a minor effect of occlusion, lip revision, or type of nose reconstruction on the esthetic results. Conclusions: IO had a positive effect on full facial appearance of UCLP children at the age of 4 years, but at the age of 6, only professionals saw a positive effect of IO on the nasolabial photographs. This is irrelevant for UCLP patients since they deal with laymen in their daily life.