Crossbite? Here's A Look At Your Treatment Options

A crossbite occurs when several of your teeth do not line up properly. Often, this is a condition that you are born with and it is diagnosed when you are a child or teen. However, there are other times when a crossbite can develop later in life as a result of trauma or changes in your bone structure as you age. In either case, it's important to address the issue since it can otherwise lead to difficulty chewing, jaw pain, and abnormal wear on the tooth enamel. Here's a look at the ways your dentist may recommend treating and correcting your crossbite.

Dental Expanders

If your crossbite is due to either your upper or lower jaw being just a little too narrow, your dentist may recommend wearing an appliance known as a palate expander. This is most effective when you are still a teen or young adult whose bones are soft. The expander is a device, usually made from metal, that is placed against your palate and slowly pushes outward on the teeth, nudging them towards the edge of the jaw bone. You may need to wear the expander for a few months or up to a year, depending on the severity of your crossbite.


If only a few teeth are not lining up correctly, your dentist may be able to correct the issue with braces. This is a common solution for adults who have developed a crossbite due to trauma and shifting teeth. The braces will be fitted to your teeth and slowly adjusted, about once a month, to ease the misaligned teeth into their proper places. Braces can cause some mild discomfort, but it's generally manageable by sticking to soft foods, sipping ice-cold beverages, and occasionally taking over-the-counter pain relievers.


The most severe of crossbite cases require surgical repair. If you were left with badly misaligned teeth after an accident or have a birth defect that impacts the position of your jaw, this may be your only option. Your oral surgeon can move the jaw bones, graft additional jaw bone into place, or make any number of other modifications depending on the unique nature of your crossbite. Rest assured that all other options, such as braces and dental expanders, will be considered before surgery is used.

To learn more about your crossbite treatment options, schedule a consultation with a dentist who specializes in orthodontics and oral surgery.