In this short note, we prove the following analog of the Kővári–Sós–Turán theorem for intersection graphs of boxes. If G is the intersection graph of n axis-parallel boxes in $${{\mathbb{R}}^d}$$ such that G contains no copy of Kt,t, then G has at most ctn( log n)2d+3 edges, where c = c(d)>0 only depends on d. Our proof is based on exploring connections between boxicity, separation dimension and poset dimension. Using this approach, we also show that a construction of Basit, Chernikov, Starchenko, Tao and Tran of K2,2-free incidence graphs of points and rectangles in the plane can be used to disprove a conjecture of Alon, Basavaraju, Chandran, Mathew and Rajendraprasad. We show that there exist graphs of separation dimension 4 having superlinear number of edges.