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Understanding Crossbites


While it may sound intimidating, crossbites are a common dental issue that can be easily treated with proper orthodontic intervention. In this blog post, we will walk you through what crossbite is, what can cause it, potential complications, and the treatment options available.

What is a Crossbite?

A crossbite occurs when there is a misalignment between the upper and lower teeth. It results in the upper teeth sitting inside the lower teeth when the jaw is closed. In simpler terms, the top teeth are too far back towards the tongue, while the bottom teeth protrude too far forward. This misalignment can affect one or more teeth and be present on one or both sides of the mouth.

Causes of Crossbites

There can be several reasons for a crossbite, which vary from person to person. Some common causes include:

  • Dental Genetics: Genetics plays a significant role in a person’s dental structure, including the positioning of teeth. If a family member has a crossbite, there is a high chance that other family members may also have it.
  • Malocclusion: Malocclusion refers to the improper alignment of the upper and lower jaws. In some individuals, the size of their mouth and the position of their jaws may not match, leading to a crossbite.
  • Childhood Habits: Thumb-sucking, prolonged use of pacifiers or bottles, and tongue thrusting can all contribute to crossbite development. These habits can cause an imbalance in jaw growth and misalignment of teeth.

Complications of Crossbites

Ignoring a crossbite could lead to several complications, affecting oral health and overall well-being. Some common complications include:

  • Tooth Wear and Damage: A crossbite patient’s teeth may wear down quickly, leading to cracks and chips in the enamel. This can also cause sensitivity and pain while eating.
  • Gum and Bone Erosion: A crossbite can cause excessive pressure on certain teeth, leading to gum recession and bone loss. This can eventually result in tooth loss.
  • Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder: The misalignment of the teeth and jaw in a crossbite can strain the TMJ. This can cause discomfort, pain, and clicking sounds in the jaw joint.

Orthodontic Treatment Options

The good news is that crossbites can be easily corrected with orthodontic treatment. We offer various treatment options depending on the crossbite’s severity and the patient’s needs. Some common treatment options include:

  • Braces: Traditional braces are the most common treatment for crossbites. They use brackets and wires to gradually shift the teeth into proper alignment.
  • Clear Aligners: Clear aligners are an excellent choice for those who want a more discreet option. It uses a series of aligners to straighten teeth without brackets and wires.
  • Palatal Expanders: In some cases, a palatal expander may be recommended to widen the upper jaw, allowing enough space for the teeth to align properly.
    Surgical Intervention: In rare and severe cases, orthodontic treatment may not be enough to correct a crossbite. In such situations, oral surgery may be necessary to realign the jaws.

Crossbites are a dental condition that should not be ignored or left untreated. If you or your child have a crossbite, seek orthodontic treatment as early as possible. Leaving a crossbite unattended can result in severe oral health complications and affect your overall well-being.

At Ogden Orthodontics, our team of experts is dedicated to helping our patients achieve a healthy and beautiful smile. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and let us help you correct your crossbite.

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About the Author: Robert T. Ogden, D.D.S.

Dr. Robert T. Ogden D.D.S. is an independent orthodontist serving Central Florida since 1994, and is proud to be the affordable option for local families who want straight teeth that lead to perfect smiles, all backed by a kind and friendly staff that instantly makes you feel at home. We take the time to explain all of your options, from In-Ovation C clear braces or SPEED System metal braces to clear aligners like Invisalign™. Plus, our state-of-the-art offices are designed to make your visit as fast and comfortable as possible. Schedule your free consultation today!

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