Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook


Cross Bite and Open Bite in Two Brothers



Dear Orthodontists, Is it really necessary to undergo jaw surgery(such as breaking the jaw) in order to correct cross bite and open bite problems? Please let me know how I can educate myself as to all the options possible for treating these problems. Obviously I am not in favor of jaw surgery if it can be avoided! Needless to say I don`t believe any doctor would recommend it unless it is absolutely necessary.

If a kid is over 13 years old is there a chance that through helping the upper jaw grow we can avoid having to break the lower jaw?

Both my children under 14 years old have a problem with their bite classified as a skeletal problem. It is more severe in one of the children who has a cross bite and open bite. The other seems to have cross bite. In both cases an expander has been placed in their maxila in order to help the upper jaw grow. It seems to be working for the younger boy better.

I know it is a complicated problem and I appreciate any help you can give, even if it is to say go and read this book about it.

Thanks in advance


Open bite and crossbites related to mandibular prognathia are both complex orthodontic conditions that could require surgery of the jaw bones to correct. In general, surgery is not recommended for persons who are still growing. For boys this means up to the age of 21 and for girls 18. Jaw surgery is most successful after age 25.
There are a number of orthopedic procedures that can be done to improve both open bite and crossbite. These procedures seem to be more successful if done before the rapid facial growth period known as the pubertal growth spurt.

For more information:

Go to the Braces health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Mark G Hans, DDS, MSD Mark G Hans, DDS, MSD
Professor of Orthodontics
School of Dental Medicine
Case Western Reserve University