Occlusion refers to the alignment of teeth and the way that the upper and lower teeth fit together. Ideally, all upper teeth fit slightly over the lower teeth and all teeth are aligned, straight, and spaced proportionally.
Malocclusion means that the teeth are not aligned properly and is most often hereditary. It can result in long term problems such as interference with the normal growth and development of the jaw. Abnormal swallowing patterns, impairment of chewing, and cavities due to the difficulty in removing plaque from crooked teeth are other common problems.
Orthodontic treatment using braces can correct malocclusion. Teeth are gradually shifted into their proper position through the use of braces. This slow and careful process takes place over a period of time but ultimately, the teeth are straightened and positions are corrected.
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