A crossbite is a tooth misalignment where either through genetics, a delayed loss of primary teeth or prolonged thumb sucking the teeth are shifted out of proper alignment and bone growth can be affected. There are generally two kinds of crossbite. The posterior crossbite occurs when bottom teeth extend beyond the upper teeth and the back teeth are out of alignment. The other kind is an anterior crossbite where the upper front teeth are behind the lower teeth. This is different than an underbite which affects all the upper teeth which fall behind the lower teeth when they are lined up correctly.
When Should a Crossbite be Fixed?
A crossbite can contribute to the jaw shifting, erosion of the tooth enamel, and unnatural jaw growth. Typically, crossbite issues can be corrected by using a palatal expander which forces the teeth wider. This would be used in concert with removable dental appliances which would widen the upper jaw. Then the patient would be recommended to use either braces or clear alignment trays to ultimately shift the teeth into their proper positions.
A crossbite treatment plan can begin before the age of ten if it is identified early enough. The corrective procedure can take anywhere from one and a half years to three years to complete. One benefit of starting the treatment protocol so early is the jawbone has not finished developed so the palatal expanders have an easier time manipulating the roof of the mouth to become much wider.
Clear tooth alignment trays have been used to correct crossbites. They have become increasingly popular because of their ease of care. Unlike traditional braces, they can be removed to properly brush and floss. With traditional braces, a reverse pull headgear appliance can be used to correctly align the teeth and correct the crossbite. The final alternative to treat a crossbite is jaw surgery. Talk to us about the crossbite treatment options.
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