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My major jaw surgery experience + my braces experience.

As most of you know I had major jaw surgery on September the 18th 2014 (which was also my 17th birthday!). My jaw surgery was optional, I could have it done and have a perfect bite, or I couldn’t have it done and I would still have an underbite. LET ME JUST HIGHLIGHT THAT THESE PHOTOS ARE HORRIFIC AND OLD SO PLEASE IGNORE WHAT I LOOK LIKE.

Growing up my teeth was one of my insecurities and I decided to have braces, I shall insert an image below of what my teeth looked like before brace (ignore what i look like and the face i am pulling, it just shows what my teeth used to look like).

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I had my braces in 2012. The first treatment I had was these blue bands at the back of my mouth which created little gaps between each of my teeth. Once I had those out I had a little mechanism. This mechanism was like a lock and key system, it was a massive brace and twice a day I had to turn it with this special key which slowly broke my top jaw and created a gap between my front teeth (it was larger than a £1 on its side!) and this was allow my teeth to straighten correctly as the dentist refused to take any of my teeth out as they were perfectly healthy as they were and I had this on for a month, below I will insert an image of what it looked like after this had happened.

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After this i had my top brace fitted in around April 2012, my experience with my top brace is very vivid but i remember it took me a while to get used too and understand but after about 3 weeks i was used to them and raring to go! just for your information these braces made me look horrid and a picture shall be shown below

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About a year later in 2013 i had my bottom braces on which is shown below. My experience with bottom and top braces wasn’t that bad. They only hurt when they were getting tightened and when i ate certain foods, but other than those two negatives the whole experience was positive

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During summer 2013 i got told that i may need an operation on my jaw to fix my underbite. An underbite is where my lower jaw was further out than the upper jaw. This surgery wasn’t needed but if i wanted a perfect set of teeth i’d need it done.

In may 2014 i finally had a date set for my double jaw surgery and wisdom teeth removal surgery which was the 14th of August. My summer was cut short due to this so i ended up doing everything in a short period of time, i went camping a week before surgery, i ended having my results meal 2 weeks early etc. A few days before my surgery i had a phone call saying it was cancelled as the theatre needed to be used to treat cancer patients. I was annoyed but at the same time i was thankful because i had more time to prepare myself and stuff myself with more food!

I had my surgery rearranged for the 18th of September, unfortunately i forgot this was my birthday, my 17th birthday i was having a major jaw operation! The day before my surgery i had my birthday celebrations, i had my cards, my presents, my birthday meal and celebrated my birthday then. On the 18th of September i had to be in the hospital by 7:30am so i could check in and get into my room. By 9am i had already signed the forms and was already on my way into surgery. The surgery took 5 hours long as it was such a complex and hard surgery to carry out. To this day i still don’t know what they did exactly but i know there is titanium metal plates in my cheeks and jaw.

Waking up from the surgery was the worst experience of my life, i woke up drifting in and out of consciousness not knowing where i was and there was no nurses around to tell me where i was which was upsetting as i had no clue on what was going on!. All i remember from just after waking up is looking at the clock and rubbing my nose because it felt like i had a snotty nose. I kept wiping my nose and i looked at my hand and there was blood everywhere!!! Turns out that i had tubes up in my nose during surgery and that i will have a bleeding nose for up to 10 days (which they didn’t tell me about). I got wheeled up into the ward and the rest of the day was a bit of a blur, all i can remember is being drugged up on morphine, anti sickness drugs, ibuprofen, paracetamol and steroids, so i was as high as a kite!! i remember having the odd visitor coming into the room and watching Monsters University about 299242 times during the night! Below is an image from about 15 minutes after i got back onto the ward from my surgery. After my surgery i had to take time off college, in total i had 4 weeks off.

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The next day I got discharged from the hospital where i had to venture for myself. I had to be looked after for the first 2 weeks after surgery, I needed someone to change my nose bandage, i needed someone to give me medication during the night, i needed someone to help me wash my face and myself and i needed help with giving myself fluids. It was like looking after a baby all over again. I had to take my fluids through a syringe as i couldn’t suck through a straw and i couldn’t open my mouth wide enough to take a sip to drink!

For the first 8 weeks after surgery i was surviving of Starbucks drinks, McDonald’s vanilla milkshake, water, beans and noodles as it hurt to chew things so i was on a very basic and strict diet! i learnt a wonderful new talent through this though, i have learnt how to eat food without chewing it, even though it did result in me chocking a few times!. During this amount of time i didn’t feel hungry, not once did i feel like i was starving hungry, which is very unusual for me because i’m constantly eating!

6 days after surgery i had an appointment at the hospital with my surgeon and he said that i had to learn how to smile, pout and put my lips together, after about 5 weeks i could do these perfectly! He also gave me some elastic bands to help me bite correctly, a picture below shows what these bands look like (i will be honest, i wore them for about 7 weeks then gave up!)

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After 8 weeks of surgery i was slowly starting to get back into eating, I remember eating pizza for the first time since my early birthday meal and i was so excited and happy! I was still eating soft foods. I avoided chicken, crisps, chocolate etc till around November time as it still hurt me to eat.

By January this year i was eating normally. I was still swollen and i will still be swollen for the next year and i still have a numb feeling in my face from my nose down. I cant open my mouth very wide but i have got so much better.

I had my braces taken off on the 4th of March 2015 after the dentist said she was happy with my jaw and she was ready for them to come off! Below i shall insert a picture of what my teeth looked like before surgery (on the right) and after surgery (on the left).

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After 3 solid years of jaw breaking’s, brace changes and surgery i am finally happy with my teeth. I feel like i can smile without people noticing the way my teeth are and i have had so many compliments over them! if anybody has been given the chance to have the surgery i’d say go for it if you’re prepared for the road ahead and if you know its going to benefit you in the future!, If anybody has an questions or advice on what the surgery is like, what it consists of or if you have any genuine questions then feel free to ask me! below i will insert a picture of what i look like now without the braces on! i can finally say i feel handsome and happy with my teeth and i am so thankful for Dr Jones for performing my surgery and my orthodontists Mrs Brown and Carol and all of the lovely nurses who helped me out over the last few years!11070546_1428260960801805_3580285720126064785_n

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