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To understand what a crossbite is, you have to imagine that your mouth is like a box. The upper jaw is the lid of the box, and the jaw is the box. For the system to work properly, the lid must be slightly outside the box. Thus, the teeth of the upper jaw have to bite on the outside of the mandibular teeth.
Many children present cross bite, which can be anterior, posterior or on both sides. But why does this happen?
The most common cause of cross bites is poor development of the upper jaw. Why is it not developing well? It occurs due to a combination of factors such as:
- Inherited pattern of facial growth, several members of the family present this crossbite.
- Low position of the tongue, common in children who breathe through the mouth or have a short lingual frenulum that does not allow them to move their tongue well. The pressure of the tongue against the palate is a stimulus for its development.
- Habits such as thumb sucking or prolonged use of the pacifier.
- Dental malpositions, the teeth are born badly placed, the upper ones inside the lower ones and act as a brake for the development of the upper jaw.
There are three types of crossbite:
1. Anterior cross bite. When we look at the child in profile, the jaw appears very prominent and gives them an 'old-fashioned' appearance. The child presents the upper incisors behind the lower ones. This makes them ineffective when cutting food.
2. Posterior crossbite on one side. When looking at the child from the front, we can see that the chin is not centered with the rest of the face, but rather that it is displaced to one side. If we look at how the teeth bite, we can see that on the side towards which the jaw is deviated, the upper part bites inside the lower part.
3. Cross bite on both sides. At the level of the face there is no sign. But when we explore how the child bites, we find that the springs on the upper part, both on the right and on the left side, bite inside the lower ones. They are children who have a very narrow palate.
The same child can have a combination of several types of cross bite. If you detect any of these signs in your little one, it is recommended that an orthodontic specialist dentist evaluate it. Crossbites should be diagnosed as soon as possible, since it is one of the bite alterations that should be treated at an earlier age, when it is easier to modify and encourage the growth of the upper jaw.
You can read more articles similar to What is crossbite and how does it affect children, in the On-Site Dental Care category.