‘To bite or not to bite’ My Orthognathic journey.. the quest for beauty… normality…the ability to eat lettuce…

Introduction

My journey started March 2016 when I was chatting to my Dentist about the annoying pain in my jaw when I tried to open wide (erm yeah when the burger is like a double stack.. you know what I mean) and my jaw joint did this double click thing. She was like ‘hmmmmm’ let’s take some X-rays and see what’s happening. She noticed that I had a class 3 underbite and crossbite. Now if you look at my photo from 2016 you’re probably thinking ‘eh – she looks fine’ well us women we wear makeup aka war paint and I have to admit I used makeup to disguise my ‘odd’ features.

Now here’s a little bit about me, people will say I’m confident, an extrovert and nothing seems to bothers me.. but the truth is I’m not.. never have been and I suppose having an ‘odd’ face played a massive part of how I felt.. (put the violins away..ha)

Pic 1 – X-Ray showing the jaw placement

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Pic 2 – 2016 Selfie before it all started

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Back to the facts guys, sooooo the Dentist referred me to the Dental Hospital and more importantly the two people that would change my life forever. The Orthodontists, we shall call her ‘Mrs Wires’ and my Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon, who we shall call Mr Bones. Considering I walked in thinking we would talk, they would ask questions and the appointment would be like any other Dental appointment I was very surprised that it wasn’t. Now if you’re at the point where you’re unsure about this sort of treatment these consultations are important as nothing you ask or say is dismissed so please take advantage and ask away. Also if you have a slight over or under bite and think this treatment is for you please read on and understand this is MAJOR, the mental and physical impact is something I will try to get across but it’s not for the light hearted. Now Wires and Bones studied my face while I yapped on, they answered all my questions and even explained what the process entailed which was an eye opener (my google searches went crazy that evening – I can honestly say I was in a orthognathic tornado) so I went away thinking if I really wanted to commit to something so life changing.

Seriously guys, ITS MY FACE! I was like, do I really want to mess with my face, the same face that I’ve seen all my life.. the face my mama loves, the face that gets me out of speeding fines, the face my cat loves.. really?! Then I realised that my face wasn’t really ‘normal’ (this is where my besties would say I was never really normal) I hated my profile and always walked with my chin tucked towards my chest. At school I got bullied for it, my own siblings would tease me for my ‘witchy’ features and I kinda just learnt to live with it. It’s when I got older and realised I couldn’t ever bite clean through a sandwich, lettuce was pure evil, corn on the cob was a nightmare and trying to eat a chicken wing was nigh-impossible. Not to mention the anaconda style dislocation of my jaw whenever I was scoffing my face. Which led me to think of how it would feel to have a normal bite (here is where I look up at the sky with a dreamy gaze on my face..) I would be able to bite lettuce.. bite anything.. Not wear loads of makeup to make myself look ‘normal’ and actually hold my head up high – the possibilities were endless so I decided to say ‘yeahhhhh – sure.. sign me up for this Orthognathic treatment’ (immediately regretted this on 13 July 2018) and this is where is all started.

What is Orthognathic treatment?** (**Courtesy of the British Orthognathic Society)

An operation to reposition either the upper, lower, or both jaws, in individuals who have a large discrepancy between the size of the jaws in relation to each other, or in whom the jaws are abnormally positioned in relation to the base of skull.

Part 1 – Let the fun begin

Now I’m a cheery, positive beaming with sunshine kinda girl so when they said ‘oh we need to remove some teeth to make space’ I was like ‘yeaaaaaah sure, knock yourself out and gave them two thumbs up’. I had 3 teeth removed before the Orthodontist treatment could start. I had all 3 removed on the same day (Stupid I know) I was in so much pain but thought it’s part of the process so it has to be done and allowed it. Then Wires got to work with a few back to back sessions where they put these blue bands in between my teeth to make space for the sexy metal work to go in, which would soon become a part of me and my life. The braces went in, now I’m blessed with naturally plump lips so you couldn’t really see them until I gave you a proper smile. At this point you’re probably still thinking my pictures look fine, which in fact a portrait view was ok but I would never smile with teeth and never from a side view as that was the worst view of me.

Pic 3 – Blue Bands to create spacing for braces

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My Braces

Now guys there is nothing sexy about braces they are tight, annoying, sharp and you get EVERYTHING stuck in them but you soon get use to them. You learn the foods you can have Vs the ones you can’t.. the foods you should never have (damn you toffee) and most importantly how to take care of them. I use to carry all sorts.. toothbrush, toothpaste, tepee’s, picks and even travel mouthwash because you’re super paranoid about your braces saving food for later but also the feeling that ‘there’s something there’. I had an interesting time with my braces as the teeth they pulled out to create the perfect teeth setting they had to close; they do this with the metal work. I had a stubborn gap that wouldn’t close easily and I had innovative ‘loop’ created to assist in closure – it was very annoying as it stuck out my top lip but as always I thought ‘it’s part of the process’ and allowed it.

Pic 4 – Brace with Loop

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The whole brace life started 20 June 2016, I lived with my braces for a little over 2 years and during the process my face changed. They made the bite worse before they can correct it which meant in my case the top was pushed back and the bottom became more prominent being pushed forward (so it felt). Also due to the braces my eating changed so I lost weight the first year until I learnt to eat better but this made me look gaunt and my face features Sharpe. Sigh – it’s not an easy ride guys but there is hope so hold on. You need to keep eating what you can, as I learnt after my surgery how quick my weight dropped, do some research and ask your Surgeon questions. If you have access to a nutritionist they will create a plan for you but I didn’t gain much from my lady as I prefer actual food and not just ‘mush up a banana’.

Pic 5 – Gaunt Selfie

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Pic 6 – Braces

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Stage one – Braces**

Orthodontic braces fixed to the teeth are necessary to straighten the teeth in each jaw so that the two jaws can ‘fit’ together properly once the jaw discrepancy has been surgically corrected. This part of the treatment is undertaken by an orthodontist and takes on average about 18 months, during which time the patient is seen at regular intervals to adjust the brace.

Stage two – Surgery**

When the orthodontist feels the tooth alignment is satisfactory a final surgical plan will be agreed between the orthodontist and maxillofacial surgeon. Specially trained technicians carry out a simulation of the proposed jaw movements on plaster moulds of the teeth and, if required, construct acrylic splints which the surgeon may use at the time of operation to achieve the correct jaw repositioning.

The operation is carried out under general anaesthesia and involves a controlled surgical ‘break’ of either the upper or the lower jaw, or both. The incisions to uncover the bony surfaces of the jaws are normally made inside the mouth thereby avoiding external scars on the face. The mobile jaw fragment/s are then moved into the pre-planned position (using the acrylic splints as a guide), and fixed in the new position using bone plates and/or screws.

The operation will take between 2-5 hours depending on the complexity of the procedure. Normally patients are cared for as an in patient but if there are concerns about the airway, some surgeons and anaesthetists care for these patients in a High Dependency Unit (HDU) in the immediate post-operative period. Patients usually stay in hospital between 1 – 3 days post-operatively.

Part Two – Surgery Day

Fast forward to the Surgery date.. eeeeek.. Friday 13 July 2018 (yup.. my surgery was on Friday the 13th) I had my pre-op appointment few days before and I honestly felt sick up until the day. Now over the course of 2 years I built up a pretty great relationship with Wires and Bones (Wires more so) as you see them a lot. You see your orthodontist every 4 to 6 weeks so you trust them. But that trust meant nothing on the day of the surgery, the realisation hit me, yikes I’m about to get my face smashed in by this guy who is sat there cool as a cucumber and I’m probably never going to see ‘my face’ like this again! I was terrified, I am telling you now that Thor himself would not have been able to put my fear at bay and I was losing it.

There are some pictures of the day of the surgery which won’t show my apprehension but will show the change in face ready for the surgeon to reconstruct. Up until now I had researched my little heart out and thought I was prepared but oh my god I was wrong! I was losing it; I had worked myself up into a little ball of stress and panic, so much so I increased my blood pressure and the Anaesthetist had to give me some Diazepam to calm me down. I said goodbye to my bestie and went to meet the team; the team that would cause me so much pain that I’ll be scarred for life. The Anaesthetist jabbed me in the hand, sleepy time kick in and away to work they went.

Pic 7 – Day of Surgery 

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Honestly guys I woke up scared, panicked because I felt I couldn’t breath and I just couldn’t do anything to help myself. I remember voices, blackness, someone inserting a little tube to suck out the phlegm/ blood out my mouth then blackness back to sleep. Surreal and the scariest time ever – I remember thinking why didn’t anyone tell me about this? Why didn’t anyone write about it? Why why why why – this is also the moment I promise to ‘blog’ about it. To give a real account of my journey so if you are thinking about this treatment you have at least my case with all the details no one told me about.

Day One (13/07/18) – my operation was a long one, Bones is a perfectionist (I am grateful for this) and I learnt later they had to ‘roll my lip tissue’ to give me my plump lips back. I came out onto a recovery ward, bloody with a cooling mask and soreness. Not like ‘oh my god I’m dying pain’ just an uncomfortable feeling but I was still heavily medicated and in/ out of sleep. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if you are having this surgery allow those visitors that are positive and caring to be around you and leave those ‘sobbing mums’ at home as you need to stay in the right frame of mind. I had my besties with me (my homies) my little army of love and care which I am grateful for (more than happy to sell these mates if you need them… ha)

Pic 8 – Out of Surgery 

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Pic 9 – Thumbs Up

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I also did some prep before I went in. I took a white board and markers with me because off course you come out wired shut but you want to communicate so buy a white board, some coloured markers, if you’re techy download a text to speech app for your phone. The pain level day one is 11/10 complete suckage and I wish I never had it done. I couldn’t breathe through my nose or mouth, the pain was everywhere and there was NOTHING anyone could do to help me.

Pic 10 – White board

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Pic 11 – Thumbs up

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Day Two (14/07/18) – Yeah I’m fine.. Great.. NOT!! The night from day one to two as horrible, you’re not really awake or asleep, you’re aware the nurses are routinely checking on you but it all seems like a really bad dream that you just want to wake up from. You have meds to keep the pain level down, you’re just uncomfortable and you can’t do anything to solve it. RIDE IT OUT. Honestly think of your happy place, think of anything that will distract you from reality – I had back to back visitors that laughed at me and kept me sane but it was a difficult time. My nose bleed whenever it felt like it, I found out that they brake behind the nose so break my face into quarters, also the anaesthetist inserts a tube through the nose to your lungs to keep you breathing during the operation which causes trauma which contributes to the nose bleeds. So they had to block up my nose (there is a sexy picture below of this) and at the same time my mouth is wired shut. Introduce: PANIC PANIC PANIC I scribbled I can’t breathe all the time like a crazy patient but no one could calm me down. After several hours of panicking, spluttering blood and crying I had to stop myself, I slowed down the panic and realised I can breathe but it was just difficult. Pain level 10/10 and it all still sucks I’m afraid. I wish I could say it didn’t, wish I could say I was happy but I wasn’t. The regret was there and I just cried.

Pic 12 – Nose Bleed 

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Day Three (15/07/18) – Home time. I was discharged from the hospital with a bag full of medication, liquid meal replacement and juices. I was nil by mouth from midnight on my Surgery date so you can imagine I was pretty weak but I wasn’t hungry just tired. I drank little bits of water through a syringe aka The Plunger to keep me going. Pain 10/10 – tired, sore, fed up and regretting it all.

A little background info

Leading up to my operation I started to actively gain weight, I would eat more calories, train to stay healthy but was aware that I would lose weight after surgery. I went from 50kg to 68kg the day of my surgery. Guys it’s important that you stay on top of your weight buy scales and don’t worry about gaining a few pounds as trust me you’ll need it but it’s also fun to scoff your face before the big day. Go out with loved ones, family and friends. Eat, drink, laugh, smile, make memories – Trust me you’ll thank me for this as after your surgery you lose all of this. Anyway back to the journey where I have summarised the time into weeks as to be honest it was all turning into a blur for me. 

 Week 1 – Began on Monday (16/07/18) where I had my check-up back on the ward, Bones had a side kick who cut the really tight red bands holding my teeth together, this released some out the tightness but most importantly allowed me to open a few millimetres allowing me to breathe a little better, I was so emotional I cried because the past few days I felt like I couldn’t breath and I would have sold my soul to the devil to do so. The sidekick also gave me some advice, to drink my liquids (I must have looked pretty awful) I wasn’t even getting 20 calories and guys I was losing weight pretty damn fast. Now the pain I was managing and to be honest it was 10/10 the first week. It’s constant and I just slept it off. Now as I was sleeping a lot I got a sore back, butt and head so try to side up and rest on your side. Keep ice packs for the swelling, I bought some full face ones which helped loads but created the perfect photo opportunity for my loved ones to have a laugh at my expense, and try to drink what you can but I only managed water. Not going to lie it was a horrible time. Pain 10/10 – Yup regretted it still.

Pic 13 Blue Face Mask

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Pic 14 How my loved ones saw me!

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I slept, I could not tell the difference between night and day – it was a blur so I took meds, drank water and continued by zombie trance. Pain 10/10 and I was miserable. You have no strength to read, watch tv or do anything, you just sleep all the time. OH GUYS I FORGOT ABOUT THE DROOL!! You’re basically numb, inside and out, you can’t feel your mouth filling up with saliva so you drool ALOT. Due to the numbness you can’t feel the drool, your leaking nose or if you have something on your face plus I couldn’t taste anything in my mouth as that was also numb. The weird thing is I enjoyed Apple juice with ice cubes but I think it was my mind knowing what apple juice tastes like and not due to my taste buds working. Pain is 10/10 but from the pictures I don’t look totally deranged with pain or do I?

Pic 15 – Deranged or Not?

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The first week was dragging but some days I sat outside in the garden for some fresh air. You really don’t want people to look at you, well I didn’t so I stayed in but that’s not healthy so guys if you can go for a walk and get some air. I was ok with a baseball cap and my drool cloth!

Day Seven of week 1, I met Bones – ooooooooo I hated him. I wanted to lunge at him (if I had the strength too) but the look on his face when he was assessing my face was one of pure triumphant – he was happy with his work I suppose and he looked pleased. Like when you perfectly park your car or when you get the perfect poached egg (hmmmmmm poached egg) kinda pure delight at achieving something right first time.  So I wanted to know why he was so pleased, so I scribbled (yes I still had my whiteboard) Are you happy with the outcome? He beamed at me and said ‘very’ now a little confession from me – I never looked in a mirror full on, I had a little pocket mirror I used to ensure my braces were ok but never a full one as I didn’t want to see my face all broken – weird right?! You’d think the first thing a person would do is assess their ‘new’ face but nope, not me. I left the appointment ok and thought for the first time it’ll be ok, yes there is hope. Pain was still 10/10 but not a completely hopeless feeling. So guys I had lost so much weight in the first week, I slid down to 52kg and was shrinking by the day.

Week 2 – Still slept a lot, meds, soup via the plunger and weened myself of the harder meds as you start to feel like a zombie. Pain end of day was 9/10 as you get over the sharpness and enter the constant dull throbbing which never leaves. I found my swelling went down with ice packs and just a warm hand would help the pain element which I just massaged the face for comfort. I wouldn’t say I was happy but I didn’t feel so sad either. I would refer to my face as ‘broken’ as it was in a constant stage of ‘frozen’ I couldn’t make kissy face or angry face or happy face or any emotion to be honest as it was just frozen.

Gross alert – So I couldn’t breathe through my nose and left the hospital with my nose kinda stuffed with medical stuffing. Bones said it needed to clot (no blowing or picking the nose) the first few weeks the stuff they stuck up there disintegrated, I would get some nose bleeds but not much but one day the most traumatic and nasty nasty nasty nasty thing happened. I had the urge to sneeze, so I did, this slimy blood/ mucus/ slimy stuff came out, so I just lightly blew my nose and then had to pull and the world’s biggest (like the size of a grape… hard too) thing came out. Now I’m a lady, like I don’t past wind or burp or even pick my nose but all of a sudden this thing was happening to me and I panicked. Think I was more grossed out than anything but I soon learnt this was normal but guess what?! I COULD FINALLY BREATH THROUGH MY NOSE – HALLELUJAH!! I remember texting my besties the gross but great news it was that ground breaking.

Week 3 – You don’t see your orthodontist till a few weeks after as you all swollen and no good to them so I saw Wires for the first time in week 3. My face looked better, I couldn’t smile but tried but I was grateful to see progress and her smile ensured me she was very pleased. A massive hug to all the orthodontist team as they had carried me through each brace stage and someone of the nicest people I have ever met so thank you guys. Now you’re probably thinking ‘do the braces come out’ nope, they stay in for 3 more months so keep that cleaning up. Wires changed the top wire and removed the funky wire loop that was helping my gaps to close. I was still numb so I was happy for her to do what she pleased. I left pleased that it was going well, pain was at a 8/10 and my stitching was annoying but going ok. I’ve got pictures of it all and you can see it was pretty complex in there.

Pic 16 – stitches

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Week 4 – Now your swelling goes up and down. You can see from my pictures that my swelling was more on my right which also hurt the most. I used the ice face masks in the evening and kept massaging the face the best I could. I use to try and smile and stretch the muscles. It’s just so tight, which Bones explains is scar tissue and part of the healing process. But I could drink from a straw, a cup and didn’t need the ‘plunger’ I also felt a little better being in public as before this I wasn’t confident enough to venture out, I felt people would think ‘wow that’s really bad botox’ so this week I went to my favourite coffee shop. Have I mentioned I cannot taste? So your brain plays tricks on you, you sip on soups and drinks but you can’t taste them so you get bored but your mind is like ‘that’s tomato soup’. I ate because I had too as a basic life need not because I wanted too, it’s so depressing not being able to eat proper and it just adds to the emotional state. I started a list of foods I wanted to eat, I’ve added it to my pictures to show you what I was craving but guys it does suck. But keep going, Bones explained that due to the surgical cuts the bones need to knit so no chewing for 6 weeks but honestly guys you couldn’t chew even if you wanted too! Pain is a manageable 6/10 and mostly paracetamol and ibuprofen so thumbs up but no I don’t feel beautiful nor do I feel like me.

Pic 17 – The Food List

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Week 5 – I found myself back in the orthodontist’s chair having my check up and asking Wires for pictures for this blog. I also got a band to wear to help with alignment as you will see from the below picture the teeth are lower on the right – I had to wear this band for 12hours in the evening but that didn’t bother me because I GOT MY BRACE OFF DATE!! I smiled my little frozen face off I was that happy, so 25 September 2018 was the date. All I could think off was Mel Gibson from Brave Heart saying ‘FREEEEEEEEDOM’ and immediately told the besties because nothing was stopping me from celebrating. Pain is 5/5 but happiness is 10/10. Off course there are ups and downs but today no one will take this bliss away from me so today was a great day.

Pic 18 – mouth picture of alaignment

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Week 6 – I was seeing Bones weekly so he could check my progress, always supportive and always happy with the development. My swelling was going down nicely, still tight around the centre of the nose and upper lip. I was concerned when I made kissy face my nose would bend to the left, Bones explained it was the scar tissue and just massage it but I will let you guys know how that looks and feels as we go on. I still can’t taste much, the fruit in my smoothies I can but not the cheese in my mash or the spices in my soup. I am hoping the taste buds come back as from week 7 I have the permission to eat ‘normal’ so I’m excited about actually eating the foods I’ve been craving. I also got some mouth exercises with some sticks, I have posted a video to explain but the aim is to increase the amount of sticks slowly pushing the mouth wider. I can only get 10 sticks in which is about 2cm. Your jaws tight, you cannot seem to push past to widen the mouth. It actually hurts when you try too, like serious jaw ache so let’s see how I do but I don’t think this bit will be easy. Pain is 4/10 more annoying pins and needles with jaw ache.

Pic 19 – Sticks

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Week 7 – So guys this takes me to real time as I am hoping this blog is live and I can continue to give you weekly updates with pictures. We’re still several weeks from Brace off time and achieving that solid food bite but baby steps is what we aim for… below you can see the change over the last few years and a photo of me now. I don’t feel like me to be honest, physically of course I have changed but mentally this has been epic. I can honestly say my confidence hit rock bottom, I hardly make eye contact and I am dreading going back to work. I do venture out to do ‘normal’ things but I want to come home where I feel safe.

Pic 20 – Change

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Pic 21 – Me today, I never said I would give up makeup! 🙂

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The whole journey is something that has changed me forever so I hope I haven’t bored you to death but given you a true account (the best I could) of what double jaw surgery is and how a girl like me is dealing with it.

Week 8 – Lets get some food! – So this week I felt confident enough to venture out and eat ‘proper’ food. So I off the list I attempted Pizza, Baked Camembert and Cheesy Chips! Obviously not on the same day but spaced out. I found it was like chewing cotton wool, the chewing process is different because firstly you’re taking smaller bites and secondly your taste buds are picking up little. Strange. I noticed that as my bite is now correct I can ‘bite’ normally using the front teeth so biting into pizza was pretty cool and satisfying. Down side you get sore from chewing quickly and full super quick. I only managed one slice of pizza! I am still working on using the sticks to help increase how much I can open my mouth, unfortunately not much.. put it this was, I couldn’t win a burger eating contest at the moment but it’s an achievement getting to solid food state. I got sent a picture from 7yrs ago last week which I put alongside recent ones – I always say that I have softer features now but I suppose people looking at me will make their own mind up (Just don’t tell me!)

Pic 21 – 7yrs ago Vs Now

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Week 9 – This week has been a success with trying to eat more food that isn’t mash potato or a smoothie. I even had pizza but I can fill up on one slice and a few biscuits after. I lost weight after the surgery and to be completely honest I’m not repulsed by my figure now, suppose Bones was right when he said the weight loss would be acceptable with the ‘new face’. Annoying factor my top gum line is still numb, you can still feel the stitches and now that the top jaw is in its ‘right’ place I find I expose more tooth (and braces) and my lip keeps getting caught. Heaven forbid I have to flirt and smile, then it’s just a mess with lip, brace and my tongue trying to do something useful but I just look weird. Let’s leave the smiling for after the braces come off.

I have been focused on the mouth exercises but I cannot pass 10 sticks which is about 1 inch. It’s like my mouth doesn’t want to open wider, it hurts, but I have learnt to cut my food up smaller to fit the gap. I can’t feel the hard palate (top of my mouth) with my tongue or toothbrush so I assume this is still numb, chewing food is like chewing cotton wool balls.

I hate smiling with teeth at the moment, this is hard for me as I normally smile loads, I have a feeling its due to more teeth and now visible braces. I always say I feel exposed now but the I cannot complain too much as the brace off date is less than a month away! I have been told I walk with the chin tucked towards my chest (I did this all the time) so working on walking with my head up high so let’s see. Below is a picture taken a year ago vs one taken today at my desk.

Pic 22 – Profile Pic 2017 & Now

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Week 10My birthday week which if you thought I spent eating n celebrating you thought wrong! I’m still struggling to open and eat properly which is very annoying. I am however eating different foods including meats! Just takes me twice as long and I only eat half a ‘normal’ portion. The stitches in my mouth have dissolved and you can see faint loop marks but no pain. I never had visible gum or teeth when smiling but now I have, this is taking a little getting use too as its not natural for me. Really looking forward to braces coming off and eating more slow releasing foods like porridge as my energy levels are low. Now you can see more brace I’m acutely aware of foods getting stuck! I am learning to get on with the diet but it’s the ‘new’ face I’m not 100% with.

Week 11 – I had an Orthodontist update and a new piece of kit added to help position the teeth in their ‘final’ places! The plastic hoops are called ‘Power Chains’ and sit on top of the bracket, the force is bearable but it’s the food getting trapped between them that is a pain but I cannot complain too much as my teeth look great. Smiling more too, the picture below was taken in 2014 compare to this week. Now the only difference is camera quality as 2014 I had an iphone 6 and now I have an iphone X. Also my hair is a little blonde now vs Dark and Red but I still spend a lot of time just staring at the picture. I feel I am softer in the face and not so Sharpe. Strange how I think I look younger but correct me if you think I don’t J. I can open my mouth about 1inch but the pull on the joint is painful so I still keep to a soft food range. Really looking forward to removing the braces so I can actually bite into stuff.. peanut butter here I come!

Pic 23 – Birthday Week 2014 Vs Birthday Week 2018

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Week 12 – Mouth Stretches, Burgers & Toffee. The mouth stretches are not easy; I can only just manage 14 at a push. I have done some reading and picked up some tips, believe it or not singing and pronouncing the vowels helps and I really get carried away with this! My car karaoke game is strong even though I may look stupid to someone watching me in traffic. I tried some toffee but my braces were not having any of it so I stopped. My taste buds are back, I can taste all sorts and this makes me want to eat! Just got to get the mouth open to a reasonable size to squidgy food in!

Week 13 – I’m still on 14 sticks and the jaw lock is frustrating. Even yawning hurts, visited Bones and he says I’m doing well and it’ll happen in time. Suppose time heals all, I am still on a mushy food diet but this I would say is more out of comfort that must. I know I can’t open much so soft food in small amounts is easy to eat without looking stupid. I am eating differently, before the bottom jaw came out and I ate weird but I eat normal now which makes me less paranoid. A friend sent me a picture from my uni days and as you can see I was young, fresh faced and different. The picture on the left is 8years old vs now.

Pic 24 – Uni days Vs All Grown up-ish 🙂

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Week 14 – Well I can open comfortably at 1inch, jaw lock still in place and braces still on full show. I noticed that the gum line is slightly different on the right side. I think it’s still shrinking and there will be more symmetry later on. As I am showing more tooth and gum which I never did before. I notice my friends and colleagues looking more at my face now I am spending more time out and of course at work. Compliments are lovely but I’m so not up for eye contact or even worse a full on conversation where I am having to face a person. I’ve had questions regarding my weight, I have gained weight as it’s been 3 months but overall I like the way I look, I can also start going to the gym as normal now so back to boxing it is.

Pic 25 – Weight before vs Straight After vs Now

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Week 15 – Braces Off (OMG) – Well, well, well guys.. What can I say?! My braces came off!! So emotional, popped in to see Wires Tuesday, she got to work and clipped away. The feeling was a strange one, she took the metal out and then smoothed away any cement that was left on the teeth leaving my teeth feeling smooth like pebbles. I got sent away for a few hours and then went back to have my retainers fitted, I have to keep the retainers in for 48hours then 12hours a day after that. I can’t stop smiling, not because I want to show them off – I just am genuinely happy that the braces are out! It’s like the end of a story where they lived happily ever after but for me it’s more like what food can I eat that I couldn’t before. What can I say, food makes me happy!

Pic 26 – No braces

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Pic 27 – Smiles all around.. changes in face and how I smiled then vs Now

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Week 16 to 36 – Sorry its been a while – Well how things have changed, I can open pretty wide now, I can eat for longer and I would say I am back to ‘normal’. I do get Jaw soreness and after googling this seems to be part of the process and healing. I had a dentist appointment to replace some of my silver fillings to white as I feel the bite now gives a different angel of exposure into my mouth. I got asked by a mate if I notice the difference, the pic below is what I sent..

Pic 28 – 2017 Vs Now

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Week 39 – Monthly from Now – Thought I will move to monthly updates as this blog is looooooooong. It was my best friends wedding this weekend, knowing I had to dress up properly for the first time since the surgery gave me anxiety. With Asian weddings there is an added pressure of wearing head jewelry which I would avoid before as I did not have a symmetric face but I suppose now I do. I went ‘dolled’ ate the food and danced the night away – I was consciously aware the family and friends that knew me before did stare that minute longer but I’m getting better at holding my head up instead of hiding or tucking my chin down. Below is a pic – my profile is very different! Still CANNOT get use to that.

Pic 29 – All Dolled Up

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