My Child Has a Crossbite. Now What?

My Child Has a Crossbite. Now What?

If your child has been diagnosed with a crossbite, it’s imperative that you get it treated as soon as possible. If it’s not treated, it can lead to many problems, such as jaw pain and chewing issues.

At Millennium Park Orthodontics in Chicago, Howard Spector, DDS, and our dental team are experts in treating this condition. In this blog, Dr. Spector explains what can cause a crossbite, some of the problems that can develop if it’s not treated, and how it can be corrected.

What is a crossbite?

In a normal bite, the upper teeth should overlap the bottom teeth all the way around. With a crossbite, one or more teeth line up on the inside of the bottom teeth. The two main cases of crossbite are posterior and anterior crossbite. With posterior crossbite, the upper back teeth line up inside of the lower back teeth. With anterior crossbite, the upper front teeth line up behind the lower ones.

The biggest factor for crossbite is genetics. In most cases, the lower jaw grows faster or bigger than the upper jaw, which causes the upper teeth to tuck in behind the lower teeth. Other causes can include thumb-sucking for too long, teeth coming in abnormally or late, missing teeth, and even using a bottle or pacifier past the infancy stage.

Why is treating crossbite important?

It’s absolutely imperative to treat a crossbite. Not treating it can lead to a host of problems, such as the following:

Crossbite is best treated while the mouth and jaw are still developing, so if your child is diagnosed with the condition, they should be treated as quickly as possible.

How is crossbite treated?

The first phase in treating crossbite is usually using a palate expander. This appliance stretches across the roof of the mouth. When scheduled, you turn a dial, which widens the expander slightly. After the prescribed amount of time, the expander should widen the jaw to the point where the upper teeth no longer line up behind the lower teeth.

If needed, the next step is usually to use Invisalign® or braces to straighten the teeth. Your provider may also suggest other options as part of your treatment, such as removing specific teeth, but the details of your treatment will depend on your individual case.

If you’ve been diagnosed with a crossbite, or you think you may have one, we can give you a thorough examination and discuss your next steps. To learn more, book an appointment over the phone with Millennium Park Orthodontics today.

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