How to fix a crossbite with braces?
How do you fix a Crossbite?
When left untreated, a crossbite can result in a number of oral health issues, including teeth grinding, teeth chipping, irregular wear to the enamel, tooth loss, neck pain, headaches, muscle tension in the jaw, speech impediments, and facial asymmetry. Fixing crossbite is important for maintaining dental integrity and optimizing oral health.
There are a number of different treatments for fixing crossbite, and choosing the right one depends on the type of crossbite, the number of teeth involved, the age of the patient, and the extent of related complications. Below, we’ll discuss some of the specific treatments for fixing crossbite, but in general, the goal of crossbite treatment is to help shift the misaligned teeth into their proper position.
Crossbite treatment options for children in San Diego
Crossbite can become apparent in children as young as 2 years of age, or whenever they have a complete set of teeth. But treatment intervention is not always necessary. In many cases, crossbites do self-resolve. If the crossbite remains, however, our San Diego orthodontist will likely recommend treatment sometime between ages 5 and 11, while the bones remain soft, the jaw and upper palate are still in development, and the permanent teeth are in the active state of root formation.
When crossbite treatment for children begins during this ideal time, the fix is often a fairly simple one. A rapid palatal expander (RPE) is a common dental appliance that is used to widen the upper jaw to create space and correct the crossbite. The RPE consists of two bands affixed to the last upper molars and connected by a metal screw that’s turned daily for 2 to 4 weeks and then left in place for 6 to 9 months. For less severe cases, a quad-helix appliance can also be used. The quad helix expander also requires about 6 months, but it is pre-expanded and so does not require active adjustment.
Crossbite treatment options for adults in San Diego
Fixing crossbite requires some degree of skeletal realignment, and this can be slightly more difficult in adults because their bones have hardened, but it is doable. Treatment options will vary depending on the severity of the crossbite, but in general, the treatment options for crossbite in adults include:
- Traditional orthodontic braces (or Invisalign) alone – to fix minor crossbite misalignment
- Traditional orthodontic braces with tooth extraction – to fix overcrowding and misalignment
- Palatal expansion prior to orthodontic braces – to fix more severe crossbite misalignment
- Crossbite correction surgery – to address more severe cases that cannot be addressed with other treatment options
If you have a crossbite, an orthodontist will be able to give you a clearer picture of which treatment option will be best for restoring your smile and optimizing your oral health.
How long does it take to fix a Crossbite?
The length of time it takes to fix a crossbite will vary from person to person. Some palate expanders work within six months or so, while braces may require as long as two years. In cases where an RPE is required before braces can be fitted, it may take up to three years before the crossbite is fixed. The best way to get an estimate on how long your crossbite will take is to schedule a consultation at University Dental San Diego and Orthodontics today (619) 582-4224.