There are several types of orthodontic issues that a young child could face. In young children, baby teeth are still developing and the jaw is still growing. When these issues are present, early intervention is key to assuring proper teeth and jaw development and alignment. Children as young as 6 or 7 should visit an orthodontist to make sure problems are not present and to monitor their growth and development. Doing this can prevent big orthodontic issues from developing.
What is a Crossbite?
A crossbite is a form of malocclusion that can cause serious orthodontic issues if it is not treated. This is when teeth in the upper jaw fits behind teeth located in the lower jaw or when teeth in the lower jaw fits behind teeth located behind teeth in the upper jaw. It will look like the patient has a lateral misaligned bite. In a normal bite, your upper teeth should overlap the bottom teeth slightly when you bite down. Dr. Jeff Hendrix, an orthodontist in Kennett Square, PA, believes in treating a crossbite as soon as possible. The earlier he is able to start treatment can help ensure results that will prevent complications later on in your child’s life.
The two types of crossbite are posterior and anterior. A posterior crossbite occurs in the back teeth and can be on one or both sides. An anterior crossbite, or underbite, is when the permanent upper, front teeth lock lingual to the bottom, front teeth. When a child is showing signs of either type, it’s very important to have Dr. Hendrix monitor the child’s teeth and jaw development. If left untreated, a crossbite can cause a number of oral health issues including:
- Worn down teeth
- Gum disease
- Bad chewing patterns
- Poor growth of lower jaw
- Temporomandibular joint disorders
- Will worsen over time
Treating a crossbite could involve many types orthodontic procedures, depending on your unique situation. The first thing Dr. Hendrix will need to do is perform a thorough oral health and orthodontic examination. He will then develop a custom treatment plan involving procedures appropriate for your individual situation and goals. If it is caused by only one or two teeth, the treatment options may include braces or Invisalign. These orthodontic treatment options will move the teeth into the proper position. If a crossbite involves a lot of teeth, it might be caused by a narrow jaw. If this is the case, Dr. Hendrix will want to use a palatal expansion appliance (palatal expanders). This will gradually widen the width of the jaw and thus, the teeth within that jaw bone.
Treating Adults with a Crossbite
Treatment for this type of malocclusion in adults may be more different. This is because the longer a crossbite is left untreated, it could potentially get worse. A simple treatment with braces or Invisalign may be the only procedure needed if the crossbite is minor. If the malocclusion has gotten worse over time, oral surgery may be required.
Why Choose Dr. Hendrix?
Dr. Hendrix is an AAO certified orthodontist specializing solely in the treatment of orthodontic concerns for children and adult patients. Dr. Hendrix helps patients build orthodontic treatment plans through a three-step process that helps them achieve their ideal results. Hendrix Orthodontics has two convenient locations in Chester County making us your family orthodontic specialists. You can expect excellence at Hendrix Orthodontics.