In teeth straightening, we often focus on its impact on the appearance of our smiles. Teeth are often crooked, crowded or protruding, gappy or crowded. But bite alignment issues cause significant problems for many people —these malocclusions impact more than just appearance. 

One of the most common bite issues is crossbite. Crossbites occur when the upper and lower teeth don’t align correctly when the mouth is closed. Thankfully, orthodontic treatment can often fix this.  

Invisalign is the world’s most popular clear aligner treatment. It’s comfortable, convenient, and subtle and can straighten teeth with minimal impact on your lifestyle. But can Invisalign fix a crossbite?

This guide explains everything you need to know about crossbite and how and when Invisalign is used to treat this malocclusion. 

What Is a Crossbite?

When your mouth is closed, your upper front teeth should sit just in front of your lower teeth, while the teeth on both arches at the sides and back of your mouth should align. You may have a crossbite if your teeth are misaligned anywhere in your mouth and the upper teeth fit inside the lower ones. 

There are several different types of malocclusion, including overbites, underbites, open bites, and deep bites. A full orthodontic assessment will determine which type of malocclusion you have. 

What Causes Crossbite?

There are several possible causes of crossbite. Genetics can play a big role. The size and shape of your jaw are often passed down from your parents. If your jaw is too small, it can cause crowding, and your teeth may develop at an angle. 

Thumbsucking, sucking on a dummy, and tongue thrusting during childhood are all common causes of crossbite and other malocclusions. 

While sucking a thumb or dummy is normal in early childhood, continuing this habit as the jaw and teeth develop causes the upper teeth to narrow. This, coupled with the tightening of the facial muscles, impacts the development of the jaw. Over time, this becomes a crossbite.

Other factors include delays in the formation of baby teeth, illness, injury, the loss of teeth, and teeth erupting in the wrong position. 

The Benefits of Fixing a Crossbite

If you have a crossbite, it may affect you in several ways. Both your smile and facial features can appear asymmetrical. You may have difficulty biting or chewing your food. This can, in turn, impact your digestive system causing stomach or bowel problems. 

When teeth don’t align correctly, they can wear down quickly. You will also be at a greater risk of developing chips, cracks, and infections in your teeth. The position of your teeth may also impact your ability to clean them effectively. This increases the risk of cavities and gum disease. 

A crossbite can also affect your speech. Forming certain sounds can be challenging, and you may have a speech impediment like a lisp. 

Finally, when your bite doesn’t align correctly, it strains your jaw. This causes tension in the temporomandibular joint, which connects the jaw to the skull. You may also experience pain and discomfort in your face, head, neck, shoulders, and back. 

Fixing a crossbite can positively impact all of these areas, giving you a healthy-looking smile and improved oral health for life. 

How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign is the world’s leading clear aligner system. You will wear a clear tray on your teeth, like a mouthguard. Invisalign aligners are made from a specially designed thermoplastic that applies pressure to your teeth. This constant force is very slight, but over the course of your treatment, the very slight movements add up to a noticeable change. 

Every Invisalign treatment is completely bespoke. We use the latest digital technology to take scans of your smile. These are uploaded to the powerful Invisalign software, and we will create an accurate treatment plan. 

The laboratory will then create your custom aligners. You will need to change your aligner every two weeks throughout treatment. Each aligner step differs slightly from the last and builds on the slight tooth movements it created. 

Invisalign is translucent, meaning barely anyone will see your aligner while you’re wearing it. Because Invisalign is removable, you can take it out to eat, drink, and clean it easily. 

Can Invisalign Fix Crossbite?

In many cases, Invisalign is effective for treating crossbites. There are several factors that affect the effectiveness of the treatment. Many of these can be determined during your initial consultation. 

In cases where Invisalign isn’t suitable, we may recommend a full treatment with fixed braces or a two-step process using braces and aligners. 

What Factors Affect If Invisalign Can Fix a Crossbite?

The first thing we need to consider is the extent of your crossbite. Like any other dental alignment issue, we look at how far we need to move your teeth to correct their position. 

To correct a crossbite, we need to extend the upper arch of your teeth until they align with the lower teeth. Invisalign can fix mild to moderate cases of 2mm or less.

Other factors include your age and your commitment to the treatment. To achieve the expected results, you will need to wear your aligner for at least 22 hours daily. Because they’re so comfortable, sleeping wearing an aligner isn’t an issue. 

How Long Does It Take for Invisalign to Fix a Crossbite?

Invisalign achieves excellent results quickly. Although some Invisalign treatments can take as little as six months, fixing a crossbite takes one to two years. 

What Other Treatment Options Are Available?

Invisalign is convenient and discreet, but fixed brace options have their benefits too. Fixed braces can help in more severe cases, and you don’t have to think about removing them or remembering to put them back in. 

We use tooth-coloured braces with subtle brackets and wires attached to the front of your teeth. During treatment, the wire is tightened. 

Incognito braces are like traditional braces, but instead of being attached to the front of our teeth, they’re discreetly hidden on the back where nobody can see them. 

Invisalign in London

Crossbites cause several health and lifestyle issues, but there is a solution. In many cases, Invisalign can fix it. Invisalign is comfortable and barely visible, meaning you get the perfect smile without people noticing. Call us today to schedule your consultation.