Many people believe that orthodontia only involves straightening the teeth, which of course, is one of the benefits of orthodontics. However, sometimes realigning the teeth also means correcting the bite, known as a malocclusion. In Santa Rosa Beach and DeFuniak Springs, FL, Dr. Michael O'Donnell, Dr. Courtney Wright, and Dr. Chris Farrugia with Great Florida Smiles and Orthodontics are happy to share solutions to correct your smile.
Orthodontics aims to correct a multitude of misaligned teeth and bites, including a crossbite. A crossbite occurs when a few of your upper teeth settle between or behind your lower teeth. If behind your lower teeth, this is referred to as a posterior crossbite, and if settled between your lower teeth, your orthodontists in Santa Rosa Beach and DeFuniak Springs, FL, will refer to this as an anterior crossbite.
How Crossbites Develop
The most prominent time for crossbites to develop is during childhood, often as a consequence of:
- finger sucking
- sucking on a pacifier
- irregular growth of the permanent teeth
- losing baby teeth at a slowed rate
Problems Of Untreated Crossbites
Crossbites will not realign once they form, but can only be corrected through orthodontic treatment. This malocclusion may not only affect your confidence in your smile but also:
- Tooth decay
- Jaw and tooth discomfort
- Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ)
- Unexpected loss of enamel
- Irregular jaw development
- Difficulty speaking
- Your jaw drifting off-center
You may not experience all of the effects of an untreated crossbite, however, the longer it's left untreated, the higher your chance is of increasing the severity. Orthodontics includes treatment for growing concerns of crossbites and can prevent further issues.
Common Treatments For Crossbites
Depending on the type of your crossbite, orthodontia offers several appliances to treat the malocclusions, such as:
- palate expanders—placed on the roof of your mouth, palate expanders aim to create more space for the upper jaw; this allows the lower teeth to fit behind the upper teeth.
- braces—typically in the form of metal, ceramic, or clear brackets to manipulate the teeth into a better position to correct crossbites. Braces can also be used in tandem with a palate expander and sometimes small elastic bands to enforce alignment.
- Invisalign—used in more mild cases and in replacement of traditional braces, but this is the least common orthodontic treatment
- jaw surgery—only necessary for severe instances of crossbites, but the jaw is reset to fit correctly. It's also reasonable to expect braces will be placed both before and after surgery to secure your teeth in the proper positioning.
Receive Orthodontic Treatment
In Santa Rosa Beach and DeFuniak, FL, Dr. O'Donnell, Dr. Wright, and Dr. Farrugia use orthodontics to treat your concerns relating to crossbites and other malocclusions. To meet with one of our orthodontists at Great Florida Smiles and Orthodontics, give us a call today at (850) 622-5888 for our Santa Rosa Beach location, or at (850) 892-2500 for our DeFuniak Springs location.