Hello bloggers, it's been around a month since I last blogged and it feels like much longer. I never imagined what it would be like to get to this particular blog and I have to say it's a pretty awesome feeling. First of all I've reached the sixteen week mark post surgery and my jaw (with the exception of today) has been the furthest things from my mind, I often forget it even happened. I've also finally adjusted to the look of my jaw. Although many people told me they could see no difference, I certainly could and it's taken a long time to accept it as my jaw!
Pain wise there has been none. However, when I take the first bite of most foods I get this electric shock like feeling from my jaw right up to my head. At first it was a horrific feeling but now I'm just used to it I guess and take little notice of it.
Last night I didn't sleep a wink, most people aren't sleeping due to the heatwave over Ireland that's sent the country into a frenzy so as not to miss any ray of sunshine but not me, I was overwhelmed to the point of sickness with the excitement of getting my braces off. I jumped out of bed at 6:30am and off I went. By 9:00am I no longer had braces. There is no feeling quiet like the feeling of walking out of the Orthodontists brace free.
Getting the braces off wasn't the most pleasant of experiences but also not terrible. They literally have to just pull them right off and I think I was more concerned with the crunching noise than any pain. Following this I returned to my own town for a scaling and polish. This was the toughest part, my jaw began to ache from trying to keep it open and the staining on my teeth from the post surgery Corsodol and obsessive tea drinking certainly didn't help. My dentist has limited me to three cups of tea a day so I'm going to work super hard to stick to that.
I then returned to the Orthodontist to collect my retainer which I didn't expect to receive today. It's a clear plastic retainer on top and bottom and I only have to wear them at night time. I will have these for six months before having a metal retainer put in. They don't seem to hurt or cause any discomfort.
My gums are pretty sore this evening as the Orthodontist had forewarned me. This is due to them working near the gums and is pretty normal. Considering everything else I got through I'm pretty sure this is no biggie.
Anyway onto the photos. Before surgery I didn't mind smiling 'open mouthed' but since surgery I became paranoid about my mouth looking far to full of metal. I began smiling with a closed mouth in photos. Now that my braces are off, I'm only delighted to be smiling widely and showing off the end result.
I have found a photo from September 2007, when I was only 18, before braces or surgery was even on the cards. It's from a Safari I was on in South Africa and I hate the photo but it gives you a good idea of the overall change.
I also have a photo before going to the hospital today and on return but they were taken before the cleaning. I'm far too hot right no to consider taking photographs, us Irish are not built for 30 degree weather! I haven't taken any side photos either as nothing has changed since the last ones.
I can really see an overall difference in how I look, in fact I barely recognize myself in the after photograph. Although this new look of not having braces will take some getting used to I am beyond thrilled with the results. I know I'm not perfect, nobody is but I can now look down the lens of a camera without being horrified about my braces, I can look in a mirror and be satisfied by what I see and most of all, the biggest bonus from all of this is that I have grown in confidence. I had lost a significant amount of confidence due to allowing another person let me feel ugly and unworthy but now I feel far from that and this confidence has spread throughout all aspects of my life opening up opportunities that I would never have had before. Since my surgery my quality of life has changed beyond explanation, I feel a happiness that I never knew existed. So to all of you considering surgery or on your journey, go for it, be prepared, be excited and be strong :)