How Can I Tell If My Child or I Have a Crossbite?

A crossbite is a type of misaligned bite where the upper and lower teeth do not fit together properly when biting down. The prominent indication of crossbite symptoms is when the upper teeth fit inside the lower teeth in the back and/or the front when biting down normally. If you suspect a crossbite, seeking a professional evaluation from an orthodontist is imperative to ensure treatment is started at the optimal age.

What is a Crossbite?

It is a dental condition where the upper and lower teeth are not aligned correctly, causing some of the upper teeth to bite inside the lower teeth instead of over them. This misalignment can affect the front teeth the back teeth or sometimes both. Crossbites can range from mild to severe, and if left untreated, they can lead to various dental problems, jaw pain, and abnormal wearing of teeth.

Types of crossbites:

  • Anterior Crossbite: This occurs when the upper front teeth sit behind the lower front teeth when the jaw is closed.
  • Posterior Crossbite: In this case, the upper back teeth are positioned inside the lower back teeth when the jaw is closed.
  • Unilateral Crossbite: This type of crossbite affects only one side of the dental arch, either on the left or right side.
  • Bilateral Crossbite: Bilateral crossbite affects both sides of the dental arch simultaneously.

Cause of Crossbite

Cause of crossbite can be possible by various factors, including:

  • Hereditary factors: The cause of crossbite can be inherited, as the size and shape of the jaws and teeth can be influenced by genetics.
  • Jaw development issues: Abnormal jaw growth or development can lead to a misalignment of the upper and lower jaws, resulting in a crossbite.
  • Prolonged habits: Thumb-sucking, tongue thrusting, or other oral habits during childhood can cause the teeth and jaws to develop abnormally, leading to a crossbite.
  • Premature loss of baby teeth: Early loss of primary (baby) teeth can cause the remaining teeth to shift and lead to a crossbite.
  • Improper swallowing patterns: Certain swallowing patterns, such as tongue thrusting, can put pressure on the teeth and contribute to the development of a crossbite.

Crossbite Symptoms

Some common signs and symptoms of crossbite symptoms include:

  • Upper teeth biting inside the lower teeth when biting down.
  • Shifted jaw or facial asymmetry.
  • Wearing of the tooth enamel on certain teeth
  • Difficulty chewing or biting.
  • Jaw pain or clicking sounds when opening/closing the mouth.
  • Speech difficulties, especially with certain sounds like “s” or “th”
  • Gum disease or gum recession around protruding teeth
  • Increased risk of trauma or injury to protruding teeth

Crossbites symptoms can also lead to problems with speech, gum disease, and an increased risk of trauma or injury to protruding teeth.

Treatment for Crossbite

Treatment for crossbite aims to realign the bite and allow the upper and lower teeth to meet properly. The treatment options may vary depending on the severity and type of crossbite, as well as the age of the patient. Some common treatments include.

Dental appliances:

  • Removable appliances: These are custom-made removable devices that guide the teeth into proper alignment by applying gentle pressure.
  • Fixed appliances: These are fixed to the teeth and work by expanding the upper or lower jaw, allowing the teeth to shift into the correct position for treatment for crossbite.

Braces or clear aligners:

  • Traditional braces: Metal brackets and wires are used to gradually move the teeth into the proper position, correcting the crossbite.
  • Clear aligners (e.g., Invisalign): A series of clear, removable aligners are worn to gradually shift the teeth into the desired position.
  • Tooth removal or contouring: In some cases, removing or reshaping specific teeth may be necessary to create space for the teeth to move into the proper alignment.


In severe crossbite cases, jaw surgery (orthognathic surgery) may be recommended to reposition the upper or lower jaw, allowing the teeth to fit together correctly.

Early Detection and Treatment of Crossbites

Early detection and treatment for crossbites are essential for preventing potential complications and ensuring proper jaw and dental development. Orthodontists recommend that children have their first orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7, as this is when many bite issues, including crossbites, can first be identified.

During this initial evaluation, the orthodontist will carefully examine the child’s bite, jaw alignment, and the relationship between the upper and lower teeth. They may also take X-rays, impressions, or digital scans to further assess the situation and develop an appropriate treatment plan if a crossbite is detected.

Treatment for crossbite in children is often easier and more effective than waiting until adulthood, as the jaws are still growing and developing. Early intervention can guide the proper growth and alignment of the jaws and teeth, preventing more severe issues from developing.

Seeking Treatment for Crossbites in Adults

While it’s ideal to address crossbites during childhood, adults can also benefit from orthodontic treatment to correct this condition. Many adults seek treatment for crossbites because they may have gone undiagnosed or untreated during their younger years.

For adults, the treatment for crossbite typically involves a combination of orthodontic appliances, such as braces or clear aligners, and, in some cases, jaw surgery (orthognathic surgery). The orthodontic appliances are used to gradually reposition the teeth into their proper alignment, while jaw surgery may be necessary to correct severe jaw misalignments that contribute to the crossbite.

If you suspect that you or your child may have crossbite symptoms, it’s essential to consult with an orthodontist for a proper evaluation and to explore the most appropriate treatment options. Early intervention and timely treatment can help prevent more severe complications and ensure optimal oral health and function.


Early treatment while the jaw is still developing is ideal, as it is easier to guide tooth and jaw growth into the correct positions. However, crossbite symptoms can be treated at any age, and adult patients can also benefit from orthodontic treatment to correct a crossbite.

If you notice signs of a potential crossbite in yourself or your child, it’s crucial to schedule a consultation with an orthodontist for timely evaluation and treatment planning. Correcting a crossbite can improve oral health, function, appearance, and overall quality of life.

In Ahmedabad, Kids Dental Studio emerges as an outstanding choice for fulfilling your child’s dental health needs, especially if you’re seeking a pediatric dentist. Dr. Umangi and Dr. Kisha Mehta, the proprietors, are proficient pediatric dentists dedicated to providing children with top-tier dental care. With its exceptional service, friendly staff, and expert approach to pediatric dentistry, Kids Dental Studio has garnered high recommendations from parents across Ahmedabad.

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