Lots of kids don’t have perfect teeth, so don’t worry if yours aren’t straight. Take a look at most of your
classmates. Many of them probably don’t have straight teeth either. Sometimes teeth just don’t grow in
evenly. Your teeth might be crooked, or your upper and lower jaws might not be the same size.

Either way it’s called malocclusion, a word that comes from Latin and means “bad bite” Malocclusion is
just a word that dentists use to describe the shape of your mouth.

Today, braces are much less noticeable. Metal braces are still used, but you might be able to get clear
braces or braces that are the same color as your teeth. There are even braces that go behind your teeth
where no one can see them.

The wires that are used in braces today are also smaller and better than they used to be, and they’re
made of a space-age material that straightens your teeth faster and easier. The rubber bands that go
along with braces come in funky colors now, too.