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    Teeth that are naturally perfectly aligned camera.gif are rare. A poor fit and alignment of the teeth (malocclusion camera.gif) can range from mild to severe. Mild malocclusion causes no medical or functional problems and little cosmetic concern. But severe malocclusion may cause difficulty with eating and speaking. Some people are embarrassed or self-conscious about crooked or protruding teeth.

    Crowding is the most common type of malocclusion. In children, early crowding of permanent teeth can prevent new teeth from coming in properly or from erupting at all (impaction).

    Some mild types of malocclusion may improve as a child's jaw grows and changes. But there are many conditions that don't improve without treatment. These usually involve the size or position of the jaw (such as an underbite or an unusually narrow lower jaw).

    With or without orthodontic treatment, the teeth have a normal tendency to slowly drift toward the front of the jaw. This may lead to crowded lower front teeth (incisors).

    A poor bite doesn't usually cause tooth decay, gum (periodontal) disease, or temporomandibular (TMD) disorder. But teeth that are aligned properly are easier to keep clean.

      This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

      WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

      Last Updated: January 02, 2013
      This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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      How Do I Measure Up? Get the Facts Fast!

      Number of Days Per Week I Floss

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      Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

      You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

      You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

      Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

      SOURCES:

      American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

      This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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