How To Fix Crossbite (Without Braces): The Most Effective Solutions

Written by Rawan Nazer | Medically Reviewed by Dr. Shaista Salam, BDS, Dr. Zein El Hammouz, DDS, MFD/RCSI

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Table of Contents

1. What is a crossbite?

2. Types of crossbite

3. Causes of crossbite

4. What problems does crossbite cause?

5. Crossbite treatment

What is a crossbite?

Crossbite is a type of dental malocclusion that affects dental alignment. This condition occurs when the upper teeth do not align correctly with the lower teeth when the jaws are fully closed.

How does the shape of a jaw with a crossbite differ from the shape of a normal jaw?

Yes, the shape of the jaw is different when comparing them. The ideal bite of the teeth is when the upper teeth line up in front of the lower ones when the jaws are closed. In the case of a crossbite, the jaw changes shape due to improper teeth alignment.

Types of crossbite:

  1. Crossbite of the back teeth (on one or both sides)
  2. Crossbite of some front teeth
  3. Crossbite on a single tooth
  4. Underbite (crossbite of the entire front teeth)

Lateral view of a posterior crossbite case showing a prominent hole between the upper and lower teeth as a consequence of the bite defect
ImagePosterior crossbite
Single tooth anterior crossbite real case in which the patient can not have an adequated bite
ImageSingle tooth anterior crossbite
Picture of a real case of underbite in which the upper front teeth are behind the lower ones

Causes of crossbite

  • Genetics- If one of the parents had a crossbite, then it is likely that the children will also have a crossbite.
  • Oral Habits - Mouth breathing and thumb sucking until late infancy.
  • Loss of one or more primary teeth before the eruption of permanent teeth.
  • Using a baby pacifier for more than three years of age

What are the problems caused by crossbites?

One of the symptoms of a crossbite is teeth misalignment. For example, one tooth may be positioned behind the other, or you may have several teeth that are not appropriately positioned.

Crossbite can cause aesthetic problems, chewing problems, toothache, headache, sleep apnea, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems.

Failure to treat the crossbite increases a person's susceptibility to other dental diseases. Since it is difficult to maintain regular dental hygiene, this also increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Crossbite treatment in children and adults

Crossbite treatment depends on several factors, such as the patient's age. The younger the patient, the better the outcome of crossbite treatment. Treatment also depends on the complexity of the condition.


Image of a single tooth crossbite case as part of the evaluation process prior to treatment

Crossbite can be treated through orthopedic interventions, and the type of treatment depends on the severity of the crossbite and the patient's age.

Here are some common methods used to correct a crossbite:

• Palatal expanders: Palatal expanders widen the upper jaw, creating more space for the teeth.

• Teeth Extraction: If crowded teeth contribute to a crossbite, extracting one or more teeth can create the space needed for the teeth to align properly.

• Jaw surgery: Surgical treatment is usually limited to severe cases where a skeletal problem causes the crossbite.

• Removable devices: Removable devices such as aligners in conjunction with functional devices can also correct the crossbite.

• Fixed Metal braces: Traditional braces can be used to correct crossbites. Braces also apply continuous pressure on the teeth to move them into the correct position.



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