Having a crossbite means that when you bite your teeth together, they are out of alignment. When this happens, you have bottom teeth on the outside of your top row of teeth. This condition can lead to an asymmetrical, uneven look for the face and make you self-conscious about your smile. There are health reasons to be concerned with because a crossbite can lead to trouble chewing and wear down your teeth unevenly while loosening tooth enamel.
Crossbites tend to form during early childhood, and they are usually the result of genetics. This can also be caused by a delayed loss of baby teeth, abnormal eruption of permanent teeth, or sucking on a pacifier. The good news is modern orthotics has achieved a phenomenally high success rate in correcting this problem. If you find yourself or a child with a crossbite, the sooner you have it corrected, the easier it will be to fix.
A palate expander
Palate expanders have been helping people cure their crossbite for the past several decades. There are several palate expanders, and although they are most commonly used in pre-adolescent children, they can also be used in teens and adults.
Palate expanders are made into two parts; one on the right and one on the left. Each half is attached to the top back molars on their respective side of the mouth. These two halves are typically connected by a screw that sits high up in the middle of the mouth so that you have more room for your tongue. The patient is given a key to turn the screw on a specific schedule. Each time the screw is turned, it places pressure on both halves of the jawbone, which causes the jawbone and, therefore, the teeth to move further apart.
Every palate expander is custom-made to fit the patient. The orthodontist will examine the upper jaw and teeth before sending them off to a laboratory. This way, the laboratory can make a palate expander that will fit perfectly in the patient's mouth. There are several palate expanders, some removable while others are designed to remain in the mouth. Your orthodontist will work with you to decide which option is best.
Braces are another option for fixing a crossbite, and they are usually used in conjunction with the palatal expander but not always. Sometimes a crossbite can be fixed by braces alone because of their ability to realign the teeth.
Feeling better with a crossbite corrected
When your crossbite is corrected, your smile will be more even, your face will be more symmetrical, and you will be able to chew your food better. Your teeth will also last longer because your chewing will be more even, which means you will be less likely to chip a tooth or wear down enamel. Because of the lasting effects, this correction will have on your teeth. It is also likely that you will avoid complications and dental bills going into the future.
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