Sunday, 13 October 2013

1 year since surgery!

Firstly, I have to apologise for being a rubbish blogger.  I know I haven't posted for a few months, but as it was my one year anniversary since my operation I thought I should post!

This is the first time I've been on blogger for a long time, and it was actually really weird coming back on and seeing people talking about jaws.  It kind of feels like a different world that I've now left behind.  I used to be obsessed with coming on here and looking at people's blogs and their photos, but now it just feels like a lifetime ago.

So 1 year on... I am completely happy with my new face.  I have no regrets at all.  I've had my braces off for about 3 months now.  I still wear retainers during the day (they're see-through though, you can't notice them), but I'm going to the ortho next week so I'm hoping he might say I only have to wear them at night.  I still have some problems with opening my mouth, it has improved but I can still only open just over two fingers wide.  I've got jaw exercises to do though so hopefully that will improve with time.  I don't get any pain or anything like that. 

I probably won't really post much on here anymore, unless anything particularly exciting happens.  I feel like this part of my life has come to an end now, and finishing this blog marks the end of that journey.  However, I know what it feels like to think about jaws every day, so I'm more than happy to answer any questions.  You can leave comments on here, and I'll make sure I get back to you.  Or you can email me on  I really hope my blog has helped some people who are before, during, or after jaw surgery.  I know that looking at other people's blogs really helped me throughout the whole process, so I hope I can do the same for other people.

Here are some 1 year photos.  As I always say when I post photos, I think they make me look a lot worse than I do in real life!  I'm just not very photogenic!  But if I do happen to take any nicer photos (which is unlikely haha) I will post them too.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

9 and 1/2 months post-op.... AND DEBRACING!!!!!

So firstly, I must apologise for having become a rubbish blogger... I never thought this was possible, but I have actually got to a stage in my life where I don't think about jaws every second of every day!  When I was in my pre-op days, I used to not understand it when I saw post-oppers blogging less and less, and was like 'How can you not be interested any more?!', but now that I am a post-opper, I've got to the point where it's not something I think about all the time.  Don't get me wrong, I am still soooo grateful and happy that I've been able to do this, but you do get to a point where it's not the main point of your life any more!  I was meant to post at 9 months, but never got round to taking photos, so it's ended up being about 9 and half months!
Anyway, onto exciting new... I GOT MY BRACES OFF ON WEDNESDAY!!!  I was so worried that when I got to the hospital my ortho would change her mind, but thank god she said it was ok to take them off!  I didn't enjoy the actual debracing process... the taking off the brackets part wasn't as bad as I thought, but the bit I didn't like was taking off the rings on my back teeth.  One of then just did not want to come off, and she was pulling away at it with her pliers for ages.  I felt like my tooth was going to come off with it!  But eventually it did come off, and then she got her little sander type thing and sanded off all the glue, and then she gave them a polish.  Since then I've also been to the hygienist to get them cleaned, but tbh they're not quite as white and glistening as I'd hoped... but still they're not too bad so can't complain really! 
The only slight bad news is that I have to wear my retainers all the time for three months, and then I should be able to switch to just nights.  However, my retainers are completely see through (which I wasn't expecting!) so you can't even notice them unless you look up close!  It's slightly annoying as I have to take them out every time I eat, or drink a hot drink, but it could be worse!  Apparently I still have a slight cross bite on one side, so they're hoping the retainers will sort that out, but tbh I don't really care too much, I'm just glad to be out of  braces.  I think because it's their job they kind of aim for perfection, but to me they look fine as they are!
I was meant to see my surgeon on Thursday, but actually ended up seeing a woman who apparently works with him instead.  She looked at how wide I can open my mouth and seemed a bit concerned (I can still only do 2 fingers), so they given me some jaw exercises to do, as well as some fat lolly stick type things, which I have to put between my back teeth!  I've got 12 of them, and at the moment I can fit 9 in at a push, but I've got to try and gradually increase it.  I'm going back in 6 weeks for them to see if it's improved at all.
Anyway, here are my debraced pics!  They're not the most attractive pictures of me, so I will try and take some when I'm a bit more made up!  But hopefully you can see my beautiful brace free teeth!  When I've got more time I will do some proper before and after comparisons.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

32 weeks (8 months) post-op

Sorry these are a bit late, and there also not very good photos.  My mum took some proper ones of me the other day but they were just too ugly lol, so I just quickly took some of myself (still not great but slightly better!)  So sorry for the wonkiness/darkness of the photos.

I've got an ortho apt on Wednesday, and hopefully will get a definite date for brace removal, so I'll update after that.

Monday, 6 May 2013

28 weeks - 7 months post-op

Hi all, just posting my monthly update.  Not much has really changed jaw wise.  I had a hospital appointment on Thursday, and my ortho just did some usual adjustments.  My next appointment is on 5th June, and at that appointment they will decide whether or not I can have my braces off... I think the chances are they will say yes...I'll be very angry if they say no!  Assuming they say yes, then I'm meant to be having two appointments on the same day at the end of June.  The first one will be to take my braces off (YAAAAAY!) and the second will be to do the moulds for my retainers.  So at the moment I'm waiting to get my two appointment dates sent to me in the post.  And once I know when I'm getting my braces off, I need to book an appointment to see my surgeon too, just for a check-up.

I also had two fillings done the other day.  My dentist had a hard time trying to do the fillings with my stupid half open mouth, but she did a good job and it didn't take too long.  I've got to have another one in a couple of weeks, but I think she thought she'd put me through enough doing two in one sitting!

Here are my 7 month pics...luckily they're more attractive than my 6 month ones!

Monday, 1 April 2013

24 weeks (6 months) post-op and an appointment update

I can't believe it has been half a year since my surgery!  Crazy!  Although at the same time it kind of feels like a lifetime ago... it's just the braces that remind me it wasn't!

Generally things are all good jaw-wise.  Still sooooo happy with how I look.  I don't like to sound big-headed, but the photos I put on here don't really do my new face justice, and I'm not saying I'm now the most gorgeous person it the world, but when I look in the mirror there is nothing I'm unhappy with.  Of course I'm not perfect, but to me, there is nothing there that I'm not content with, and that's exactly how I wanted to be.  I think before I had this surgery, people thought that I was striving for perfection, and that I wanted to be stunningly beautiful when I came out of it.  Of course, that would have been nice, but all I wanted was to feel content with the structure of my face, and although it probably still doesn't seem like a big change to most people who know me, to me it has made a world of difference.  I always said that this was about how I saw myself, not about how other people saw me, and that's so true.  If somebody said I don't really look much different or much better, it doesn't really matter, because to me I do.

The only slight concern I have is about how wide I can open my mouth.  It's still only about two fingers.  The other things is, that when I have my mouth open for a long time, like when I'm cleaning my teeth, I sometimes find it hard to close my mouth without having a sharp pinching feeling in my left TMJ.  It's not agonising or anything, but I sometimes have to stand over the sink with toothpaste dripping out my mouth while I slowly try and close it.  I've come to the conclusion that part of the reason for this is that I'm still subconsciously trying to push my bottom jaw forward a bit when I clean my teeth, because that's what I always used to do.  So now I just try and relax my jaw a bit more when I brush, and that seems to have helped a bit.

I went to see my ortho a couple of weeks ago.  She took three of my brackets off and replaced them in a slightly different position, but oh my God it bloody hurt!!!  The pain only lasts for a split second, but I think because I still think of my jaw as fragile, I have this irrational fear that she's going to pull the bracket and my whole jaw will come off with it!  I don't know how I'm going to cope when I have to have them all taken off!

Anyway, she moved some brackets, and thank God, she changed my archwire, so I don't have so many surgical hooks left any more.  The ones in the middle have gone, so my mouth is looking a lot more clear of metal.  I also don't have to wear my bands at all any more!  Yay!  

So the plan now is... I've got an appointment on 2nd May, then the one after that will be on 3rd June, and at that appointment she will get the more senior ortho man to come in and see whether I can have my braces taken off, and if he says yes, then they will come off at the next appointment, which hasn't been booked yet, but is likely to be in July.  So, overall, the whole thing has taken a lot longer than I expected, but it's only another 3 or 4 months I suppose.  I bloody hope he says I can have them taken off then, otherwise I think I might cry right there and then in front of them!!

The other thing my ortho kept talking about was the poor quality of my two front teeth.  Since I was a kid I've had problems with the enamel not forming on my teeth.  The result now is that my two front teeth have a rough, mottled front surface, and the bottoms are worn away.  My ortho was saying about me getting some veneers put over them once my braces are off, but as far as I'm concerned, this really does seem purely cosmetic.  So I will enquire about it next time I'm at the dentist, but I'll have to see how bad they look once the braces are off, and whether they look bad enough for me to justify spending hundreds of pounds on it!

Talking of dentists, I went to my dentist the same day, and as I suspected, I need three fillings.  However, because I still can't open my mouth very wide, the dentist said she'll have to do the fillings in three separate appointments because it will take her so long to do each one with my mouth only opening a small way!  Oh what fun!

Here are my 6 month pictures, I just took them myself and I'm not wearing much make-up so they're not great, but hopefully they give you some idea of my progress...  As I always say, things look a lot more wonky in pictures than they do in real life.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Silly me!

Sorry I've just realised that in my last blog post I put the title as 5 weeks post op!  Sorry, that was meant to be 20 weeks post-op!  I got confused with it being 5 months!  Sorry for any confusion!

Day 140 - 20 weeks post-op

Hey bloggers!  Sorry I'm a little delayed in my monthly post.  5 months was last Thursday (28th Feb), and my mum was staying with me for the weekend so I got her to take some photos.

General jaw update - pretty much the same as last time.  I can open my mouth about two fingers wide, I've been eating more difficult foods, e.g. I've been eating burgers (veggie ones so prob not as chewy as real ones) and I can actually get the burger, in a bun, in my mouth and bite it.  I've also eaten quite chewy cereal bars, and sandwiches with cucumber in.  So I'm slowly getting there.  I still have my stupid puffy left cheek.  I don't think anyone else would notice it, but I can still see it, particularly in certain lights and in photos.

I've got an appointment in a couple of weeks (21st March) where I think they're going to move a bracket to deal with the crossbite that I've apparently developed, so I'll update again after that appointment.

I so cannot WAIT to get these braces off!  I can see my poor beautiful straight teeth just longing to break out from their metal chains!!!

Here are my 5 month pics!  They're quite close up so not the most flattering, but I think it's more important that I give you pictures where you can really see everything.

This is how wide I can open!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Day 112 - 16 weeks post-op

Hi bloggers, not much to report, just waiting and waiting for my next appointment.  Also still can't open my mouth very wide, I should really do some exercises but I just forget about it.  Anyway, here are my 4 month pics...

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Destined to be a brace face forever...

I went to the hospital on Wednesday for the first time since November.  Since I had my op, several different people have said to me on several different occassions that I will only need my braces for about 3 months after the op because my bite is so good.  I'm 3 and half months post-op so I was thinking it would happen very soon...

On Wednesday I don't think my ortho actually did anything to my teeth, I think she just looked and realised that there's a problem that needs fixing.  She said I'm developing a cross bite on one side (I hadn't noticed this), so at my next appointment she's going to move some brackets and change the wires and stuff, and then after that I'll have another appointment, and then after that I'll get my braces taken off.  That didn't sound too bad... 2 more appointments and then de-bracing.  Well it didn't sound too bad until I went to the reception desk to book my next appointment.  Because doing the moving bracket stuff takes a long time, I need to have a 45 minute appointment, and the next time an appointment that long is available is.... 21st March!!!  And then my appointment after that has to be 6 weeks after, so it's on 2nd May.  And then assuming I have to wait another 6 weeks before they'll take the braces off, it will end up being at least June!

I know it's better that they fix it and get it right rather than try to rush it, and I'm not blaming the hospital or anybody that works there, but it's just so frustrating when they initially say you'll have braces for 4-6 months after surgery, and then they say that your bite's so good it will only be 3 months.  And then because of the lack of appointments, it ends up being at least 8 months!  I really wanted to have normal teeth by the summer, I can't bear another summer looking like a teenager :(

Anyway, the only good news was that I don't have to wear my bands in the day any more, I just have them on at night.  It definitely is nice not to have to keep taking my bands off every time I want to eat, so I suppose I should be grateful for that.  Don't get me wrong, I am always so grateful for everything that has happened jaw-wise... just being able to have it done at all, not having to pay for any of it, getting a cancellation for my surgery, not having any complications... I know I should be grateful and I really am.  It's just so frustrating when you get these time scales in your head and then it ends up being three times longer than you were expecting.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

I've got a lot of catching up to do...

Hello bloggers!  Sorry I haven't posted in so long!  I moved house about 6 weeks ago now, and despite the fact that I've moved somewhere where I don't know anybody, I've been surprisingly busy!

So... as you may have seen below, I've posted all my pictures from the past few weeks.  I'm now at 13 weeks and 3 days post-op, and have decided that now I'm past the 3 month mark, I will only post pictures every month, as I look pretty similar each week now.  I'm now kind of at the point where jaw surgery doesn't fill my mind every second of everyday... of course I still think about it, I still have the daily hassle of braces and bands and eating etc., but it's not the main focus of my life now.  I will still post when I have appointments though, and will post pictures every month.

Anyway, I've got quite a lot to update on so I thought I'd put it into neat little headings so that I don't just ramble...


I'm still sooooo pleased with my appearance.  As I've said a million times, my photos make me look more swollen and assymetrical than I really am, and if I actually looked like what I look like in my photos, I'd probably be a bit disappointed lol.  I've had a couple of people who didn't know me pre-op comment on my 'petite features', which I never would've got when I had a big nose and goofy gummy smile.

Braces and bands

I'm still wearing my bands, although I have been a bit naughty recently and taken them off for social occasions.  I'm going to the hospital on Wednesday (16th Jan) and am hoping they say I don't need to wear the bands any more.  Even more than that I'm hoping that they'll book me in for my appointment to get my moulds done for my retainers, because I think once the retainers are ready they will take my braces off.  All along they've said my bite is so good that I'll only need my braces on for 3 or 4 months post-op, and I'm now over 3, and my appointments have been delayed because of Christmas, so I think, and hope, it will be soon!


I can eat most things now, just not really hard things.  I can bite into things like a sandwich, but I couldn't open my mouth wide enough to eat a burger for example.  Which leads me onto my next point...

Jaw mobility

I still can't open my mouth very wide, I can't even get two fingers in.  If I try I can move my jaw from side to side, but I don't really feel the need to do this when I'm eating or anything so I don't really mind about that.  When I next see my ortho/surgeon I will ask whether it's normal that I still can't open very wide.


As I said in my last post, I've found it hard to gain my weight back.  I don't have any scales at my flat, but I will weigh myself on Wednesday when I'm back at my mum's.  I feel like I've put weight on, but we'll see what the scales say!


I do still have a tiny bit of swelling in my left cheek, but again this is more noticeable in photos and I don't think anyone would notice it in real life.


The only part that's still numb is the front of my top gums, like above my front teeth, but as I've said before I've been really lucky with numbness and didn't have much to start with.

Tooth sensitivity

Since surgery my teeth are really sensitive.  This is probably partly because two of my teeth are in desperate need of a filling, but even without that, all my teeth just feel so sensitive.  I tried brushing with my electric toothbrush, but it was just such a horrible feeling that I've got back to a manual (not my baby toothbrush though...although I do still have it!)

Meeting other jaw surgery people

When I was out on New Year's Eve, I spotted a woman with braces while I was queueing for the toilets.  I was a little bit drunk so struck up a conversation with her, and it turned out she'd had jaw surgery 7 months ago!  We had a good old drunk chat about braces and jaw surgery!

The other day I also met up with someone who I've been emailing for a long time... probably about 2 years now... about jaw surgery.  When I moved house we realised that I was moving to the same town as her, so we met up last weekend.  She's almost a year post-op now and out of braces, and it was so nice to be able to talk to someone who has been through it all.

Jaw surgery videos

The other day I decided that since my surgery is over, I'd quite like to know what actually happened to my face during the operation, so I went on youtube and looked for videos of jaw surgery actually being done.  Now, I've got quite a strong stomach but even I winced at parts of it!  It was very brutal... pretty much like something you'd see in Saw!  I certainly do NOT advise this to anybody who is pre-op, because it's not pretty!  But if you're post-op and don't mind blood and graphic surgery, it's very interesting!  It was amazing to see how they actually did what they did to my face!

Day 84 - 12 weeks post-op