What is a crossbite?

What is a crossbite?

Have some of your child’s upper teeth began growing behind their bottom teeth?

Upper teeth should all sit in front of the bottom teeth to form a normal bite, and if they don’t, it’s called a crossbite (malocclusion, bad bite).

Crossbites usually involve just a few teeth, however, the severity and number of teeth affected can be much worse.

A common issue for children, and best treatable in children while they are still growing.

Crossbites are usually hereditary, however there are some common causes, such as: abnormal tooth eruption, mouth breathing and thumb sucking.

What problems do crossbites cause?

Crossbites should be fixed, as the chances of other dental issues are greatly increased. Not only this, they may impact your child.

Problems may include but are not limited to the following.

  • Impactful upon their smile
  • Harmful to the gums (receding,
  • Uneven jaw growth
  • Uneven facial asymmetry
  • Wear down or cause loss of teeth
  • Pain

Crossbites can cause tooth loss, as the opposing teeth can become loose due to not fitting together properly.

Two main types of crossbites

Posterior crossbite

The back upper teeth sit behind the lower teeth. This issue can happen on both, or just one side of the mouth.

Anterior crossbite

The upper front teeth sit behind the lower front teeth. The rate for this occurring is about 4-5%, according to this journal.

How to fix a crossbite

It’s best to visit an orthodontist, as they are trained at dealing with teeth and providing the right treatments, based on the circumstances.

Treatment for a crossbite, depends on the severity of the condition.

Orthodontics Australia suggests using a fixed or removable expander for a posterior crossbite, and limited braces or a plate for an anterior crossbite. It’s also good to know that clear aligners can be used in some situations.

It’s highly advised that you should keep good oral care by brushing, flossing and rinsing your mouth while any treatment is undergoing.

What are the treatments?

Palatal or maxillary expander: The orthodontist attaches the device on the palate and attaches it to the upper teeth. The device has a key which is regularly turned to gradually expand the upper palate. This treatment is commonly used in children, while their palates are still growing.

Braces: Can be used as the solo treatment, or after a palatal expansion to straighten and fix teeth to achieve a correct bite.

Surgical rapid palatal expansion: The surgeon intentionally breaks the jawbone apart in multiple areas, so that they can be positioned effectively. A custom-made expansion device is then worn by the patient to expand the jaw.

You may notice gaps forming between your teeth, this is normal and can be fixed by braces treatment.

This surgery is used to widen the upper palate and usually the procedure takes several months.

Removable expander: When only minimal expansion is required to fix teeth, adults can wear this device over night to correct the issue.

It is always advisable to fix crossbite issues, as they can lead to many alarming issues, causing issues with your teeth, jaw (including joints), gums and facial asymmetry.

At AAA Orthodontics, our team works hard to make sure all our patients are met with friendly smiles and the most suitable personalised treatment plans are offered. We offer a range of orthodontic treatments to fix issues regarding the teeth and jaw. If you would like to find out more information on crossbites, or other issues, or would like to book an appointment, please click here.

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