How are Crossbites Corrected?
One of the dental misalignments or malocclusions(improper bites) that can be corrected with traditional braces or Invisalign is a “crossbite.” This one type of malocclusion; a misalignment of the teeth and/or jaws is extremely amenable to early correction.
A crossbite can take several forms, and an orthodontist can correct all.
A posterior crossbite, occurs in up-to 16 percent of children, and is a bite where the top back teeth fit inside of the bottom back teeth. This causes trouble with chewing food properly. Oftentimes, this is caused by thumb sucking , and or airway/allergy issues and mouth breathing habits.
An anterior crossbite, is less common, but means the upper front teeth sit inside the lower bottom teeth. These are usually caused by over-retained primary or “baby” teeth. That makes the lower teeth more prominent in your smile, and is often referred to as an “underbite.”
Dr. Herman’s advice is to fix any crossbites as soon as possible, because the jaw continues to shift and grows asymmetrically. If the jaw continues to grow asymmetrically then you have to have surgery later on… 16 years of age or older to correct it. So, by correcting a crossbite early on… you definitely can avoid pulling teeth and you definitely can avoid jaw surgery later on.
Correcting a Crossbite
We mentioned that braces or Invisalign can assist in correcting the problems of a crossbite. Other treatments include palatal expanders. These are devices placed on the upper posterior teeth and rest near the palate to widen the upper palate and the dental crossbite with light pressure, thus obviating the crossbite and allowing the lower jaw to seek the best position. These are used most often with children who are still growing.
The good news is that this treatment if done in a timely manner is almost always 100% effective, and as an additional benefit usually rules out the need for adult tooth extractions.
This early treatment is often called Phase I, and can take about one year. Your child may also be a candidate to completely bypass the palatal expander + braces and just do Invisalign First early on to correct the skeletal deviation.
In some cases, surgery is necessary.
This is only done if the growth spurt is missed, not corrected at an early age or more expansion than the palatal or maxillary expanders can handle is required.
We always advise that parents give your child the best opportunity for a healthy and beautiful smile! The American Association of Orthodontics recommends children meet with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7. We offer early evaluations for free, call or text our office to get scheduled today! (918) 492-4822.