What Causes a Crossbite & How Do You Fix It?

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What Causes a Crossbite & How Do You Fix It?
A crossbite can be easily fixed. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

A crossbite is a medical term for when a lower tooth grows on the wrong side of the corresponding upper tooth. This can occur with single or multiple teeth. A crossbite can affect an individual in many ways by impairing routine tasks. Thankfully, due to modern medicine, a dental specialist easily can correct a crossbite with orthodontic treatments and procedures.

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In most cases, a crossbite is a genetic condition. But, prolonged thumb sucking or severe tongue thrusting are two possible other causes. These two activities, at a young age, deform the palate and force the teeth to grow crooked. Other potential causes include crowded teeth and damaged jaws with missing teeth. All of these causes directly affect the growth of your jaw, which will cause a variety of effects that you need to have fixed immediately.


A crossbite can severely impair your ability to perform routine tasks, such as chewing, swallowing and even speaking. A crossbite not corrected can cause one jaw to grow larger than the other. As it gets larger, the jaw joint will be unable to function at maximum capacity, which can slowly lead to increasing problems.

Braces and Palate Expander

The first, and most common, solutions to fixing a crossbite are braces and a palate expander. These offer a non-surgical treatment route and, depending on the severity of your crossbite, will be the first options recommended by your dentist. Braces are available in ceramic, metal and invisible. Invisible braces now allow you to show your smile without being conscious of having braces. These are especially useful for adults who do not wish to work with braces on.


For the most extreme crossbite cases, your dentist may recommend surgery. This surgery would involve expanding expansion your jaw bones. These procedures would be performed before the facial bones fuse, which is at age 16 in females and 19 in males. Thus, the earlier the surgery, the better it is for you. (

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