Braces are used to correct “bad bites,” or malocclusion (teeth that are crowded or crooked). In some cases your teeth may be straight, but your upper and lower jaws may not meet properly. These jaw or tooth alignment problems may be inherited or could result from injury, early or late tooth loss or thumb-sucking. Crooked teeth can be a real problem, no matter how old you are or what condition your mouth is in. You can use braces to correct misaligned teeth at any age, just so long as your teeth and gums are reasonably strong. The typical treatment duration is around two years, but your own prognosis will depend on how much work needs to be done to straighten your teeth and fix your bite.