Ortho Appointment!

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Haha! I was wondering how on earth someone landed on my blog with this search query, so I did the search myself. Looked at 5 pages worth of Google hits and all I saw were articles on celebrity gossip websites about whether Kim Kardashian or Bristol Palin had plastic surgery.

How many pages of Google did this person scour through to get to this blog???  Never get lost in the internet, it can suck you in sometimes.

On another note, I just had my appointment with my orthodontist today! She said they’re starting to review my case, so she made moulds of my teeth. Basically she pressed this whole wad of greenish thing into my teeth. It tastes like mint but feels like play-dough, which is honestly quite a gross combination. Also, I vaguely remember her doing the same thing a year ago, when I just started my braces treatment.

Subsequently she put powerchains on both my top and bottom row of teeth. I have never had powerchains fitted on my bottom row before. Neither have I ever had to use elastics in my pre-op treatment. I worry about the day I have to start using elastics post-op and I have no bloody clue how to do it.

Anyway, I counted: I only have about 4-5 more ortho appointments before the big date! YAAAAAY.

Sigh

Yesterday was pretty disheartening.

I was trying to answer someone’s question, but he couldn’t pick up on a word I was saying. It was a pretty challenging word to enunciate with my bite, so I just tried my best and repeated it — six times. Eventually he gave up and my friend had to tell him what I said.

Later, I bumped into someone I hadn’t talked to in a while, so we chatted for a bit. Halfway through my sentence, she asked if I did something to my jaw. Obviously it was a little weird for her to be able to see the floor of my mouth whenever I opened my mouth, because my top jaw didn’t cover my bottom fully. In her words, it was kind of ‘scary’.

At night my family went to a Chinese restaurant for dinner. I couldn’t bite through anything for the life of me, and since they didn’t have forks and knives, I had to request for scissors, then proceed to cut my food up into bite-sized pieces.

If you ask me how often I think about my bite, I’d probably answer, ‘Every pocket of spare time.’ When I’m not actively focussed on a task, I would inevitably begin to consciously feel the discomfort of my heavy jaw hanging open, or the tenseness of my lips due to the constant effort I exert to close them (they naturally part due to the misalignment of my jaws).

But incidents like these make me so darn preoccupied with it!

Honestly I just want to get this over and done with, but 9th January seems so impossibly far away.

Pre-Op Treatment Thus Far

So I totally jumped into my first post without any kind of introduction whatsoever. So… let’s rewind a little.

I’ll be having my jaw surgery on 9 January, 2014. I’ve had braces since 1st August 2012, so I’m currently 1 year into my braces treatment. By the surgery, I will have worn braces for 1.5 years. I have been reading many, many orthoblogs and they have really helped to ease my anxiety, corrected my expectations and will probably help a lot with my preparation. Hence I decided to start this blog to document my own journey, and also help answer the questions of anyone who will be undergoing the same problem. 

Braces Progress

A heads-up for those who are considering undergoing treatment for their bad bites but haven’t started —- pre-op braces will worsen your problem!

“What?!” the internet people chorus, outraged. “Aren’t braces supposed to fix my bite, not worsen it?!”

Well, yes. But to fix your bite, the orthodontist has to worsen it first.

Let me explain.

As you may know, your teeth will have a natural inclination to ‘compensate’ for a bad bite. This means that if you have an underbite, your top row of teeth will be inclined outward and your bottom set of teeth will be inclined inward, so as to close the gap. Because pre-op treatment is focused on straightening your teeth to a suitable post-op position, your underbite/overbite will inevitably be worsened. Depending on how severe your prognathism is, this can really change the way you look.

My orthodontist warned me of this when I started on braces, but I was sceptical because my teeth already seemed pretty straight. I thought my teeth weren’t ‘compensating’ since I still had a gap between my top and bottom row.

I turned out to be really wrong. Apparently my teeth were already compensating but still unable to close my underbite (sigh). Hence my bite gradually became worse and worse as the treatment progressed:

14Sep2012

One month in braces
Ignore my messy hair and uneven skin tone, thank you.

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One year in braces

My smile has noticeably changed after a year in braces. My top row of teeth seems to have receded while my bottom row of teeth has advanced, so my teeth aren’t very visible when I smile. In the 1-year pictures of my profile, you can barely see my teeth at all. Compare them with my 1-month profile pictures, when my teeth were perfectly visible in my smile. Maybe it’s not very clear here, but it’s pretty observable in real-life, and people have pointed it out to me.

Also I pretty much can fit my entire pinky finger through the gap while my teeth are supposed to be clenched. …I’m not sure why I’m telling all of you this.

Other than appearance-wise, eating has become more difficult as well. All of it really is a pain in the ass, but something I’ll have to bear with. 😦

So there you have it! 5 more months of dental purgatory before the big date, here I come!!!