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