Orthodontics can be used at various stages of life to correct all different kinds of problems, from the purely aesthetic to the life altering. One of the problems of alignment that can occur at any age is a crossbite. Correcting a crossbite is one of the simplest things that orthodontic medicine can do, and we are going to discuss how to do so. First, let’s hear a little about what a crossbite is.
What is a crossbite?
The crossbite is a type of malocclusion that can affect both the buccal and the lingual side of the teeth. It can come in anterior or posterior forms, but is usually a problem that molars have. A crossbite is when the bottom teeth are further out than the top ones when you bite down. The top teeth are supposed to be just a little bit further out than the bottom ones, and in a properly aligned bite completely cover the bottom teeth. When it does not, and the bottom teeth stick out further than the top ones, we are dealing with a crossbite. Far from just an aesthetic problem, there are some real health issues that make crossbite a problem that you definitely want to take care of.
Why is crossbite bad?
Some crossbites are just little protrusions, and some are painful malocclusions that make eating and chewing very difficult. But even the slightest crossbite needs to be corrected, as closing the bite and aligning it is extremely important. If the bottom teeth stick out more, they will scratch the upper teeth up when you bite or chew, which will eventually cost you the cusps of the lower teeth, and will damage the enamel on the upper ones. A crossbite can also stress the jaw and the neck or shoulders, causing back pain, but this occurs only in particularly severe cases.
How to treat crossbite?
Crossbite is treated with a course of orthodontic braces. Very simple cases can be cured with an aligner or a removable device, but usually crossbite requires that you have traditional fixed braces. The average time spent in braces for a crossbite is around six months, but treatments as long as two years can also occur, depending on the severity of the situation. If you have crossbite, we suggest going to your orthodontist as soon as possible, or come in and have a consultation session with one of our expert orthodontic specialists, and see what we can do for you.