What is a crossbite?
A crossbite (also spelled cross-bite or cross bite) is an abnormal alignment of one or more of the teeth in one arch about the opposing teeth in the opposite arch. This can be caused by a deviation in the alignment of your teeth or the alignment of your jaw. While usually hereditary, crossbites can also occur as a result of certain types of situations. For instance, a crossbite can occur when the adult teeth begin to grow in before all of the baby teeth have fallen out. If this happens, the adult teeth cannot grow in properly, resulting in alignment issues.
Anterior Vs. posterior Crossbites
There are two types of crossbites that can occur, anterior and posterior. An anterior crossbite is similar to an underbite. It occurs when the top front teeth fall behind the bottom front teeth when you bite down. A posterior crossbite, on the other hand, occurs when one or more of the upper teeth on either side of your face fall inside the bottom teeth opposite of them. Posterior crossbites are usually corrected by expanding the palate, but sometimes by just moving one or two teeth.
Most seriously, the lower front teeth are much more likely to have gingival recession or other gum and periodontal problems if they are pushed forward by upper teeth in crossbite.
How can crossbites be corrected?
Anterior crossbites are corrected with an appliance that attaches to the permanent molars and pushes or pulls the upper front teeth forward. Usually this is a rather quick procedure that might take a few months. Once an anterior crossbite is corrected, it will usually stay corrected if the upper teeth cross over the lower teeth enough vertically.
Posterior crossbites are usually corrected by expanding the palate, but sometimes by just moving one or two teeth. See the article on Expanding Your Palate for more on this.
Correcting scissor bites are a bit more difficult and usually requires some braces, at a minimum on the involved teeth and the opposing teeth with a rubber band stretched vertically. More often, braces on all the top and bottom teeth in the area are more effective.
As you can see, crossbites can be a problem but can also be fixed with relatively little work.
We Care for Your Kids
At Great Grins for KIDS, we have kids of our own and understand how hard it can be to make sure they get what they need. That's why we are committed to providing great oral health to your kids - to make your life simpler. Remember, if your child experiences pain or irritation for more than a week, schedule an appoint with us to be seen. Pain and irritation that lasts for more than a week can be the sign of a more serious issue.
Please give us a call at (971) 470-0054 to schedule an appointment. We are always happy to answer any questions you may have!