Monday, 24 March 2014

Brace free teeth!

This will only be a little post because I'm shooting off to Germany for work this afternoon but I had to share my no brace face with you all!
I had them off this morning, and am just about to go in for my retainer fitting now.
It feels so weird having bare teeth. And the one thing that I do have to say, is that the braces come off so quickly! It's almost like oh is that it?!  Years of struggle, but also fabulous choices, happy memories and triumphs, all snipped away in seconds.
Now just a very good future ahead of me with working teeth! Bring on the skittles!!!!
I Will update properly once I'm back from Germany. But much love to all and keep on smiling Cassie you are doing so well beautiful! Xxxx
No Braces!!!!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Almost time to say bye to my braces

It's less than a week till my braces come off!

This has flown by! Mainly because I have been running round like a mad woman, but It really has come round quick! I feel a bit sad they are going really, end of an era. a good end though, but they have just become a part of me.

However, as there final parting gift, my braces have bestowed to me the mother of all ulcers/cuts on the inside of my lip. Thanks braces, I love you too.

I will do a proper update at the weekend with pics etc , but here is one of me and my man on a recent weekend break in London.

Much bracey love xxxx

Monday, 17 February 2014

4 Months Post Double Jaw Surgery

So I missed my 3 month mark due to extreme business and a brain like a sieve! But I have remembered my 4 month mark!

Haven't had the time to take some 4 month pictures, but i will do this week, in the meantime here are some of me at my sisters new years eve party!
Me and Lee

Me and My Sister

Me with the girls

Not drunk at all!!!

So my last appointment was on the 21st of January, not long after my 3 month mark, I had another wire change on the bottom to pull a tooth round and my power chains changed. My word did this hurt again! The tooth had moved virtually instantly.

My ortho said he was happy to get me booked in for my de-brace! So I was very pleased with that, but in a weird way not as pleased as I was when he told me I was ready for surgery. I suppose I'm just so used to my braces they don't bother me, I don't even really notice them or think anything of them, I smile away with them on and haven't been too conscious of them. Of course I'm happy to get them off but what I'm trying to say (not very well) is that my operation was a big deal for me, having my braces off isn't that big a deal for me.

So that is booked in for the end of March, a full day appointment, with de-bonding in the morning then my retainers fitted in the afternoon, so I will be taking a full day off work. Then I must book myself in for a scale and polish at my dentist.

I have been taking my bands off to eat and leaving them off for a while really. My teeth do sort of sit back to where they are meant to be, they do move and sometimes feel more uncomfortable/fighting back than other days but I guess that's just down to my teeth moving and my muscles getting stronger in their new position. I have noticed over the last few weeks that that feeling of resistance has eased and my bite feels more natural, like my teeth and jaws and muscles are all working together now and have accepted there new resting place. But we will see, teeth move and drift so I'm sure even after my braces are off I will still feel some form of movement.

Eating wise I am eating normally, anything I want I have. I am getting so much better at biting through things, last night I ate pizza like this for the first time and it was incredible! Such a good moment to pick up a bit of pizza and bite through it, not cut through with a knife, not rip with your hands, not mangle with back to front teeth, but bite through with my fully functioning teeth. It's been a long time coming but little victories like that make it all worth while.

I am also becoming a "Dinner Winner" more often within my household and any family meals.

A dinner winner is someone who finishes their dinner first, you have to put your hands up in the air and shout "Dinner Winner" It's not a race per say, just whoever finishes their first is dinner winner. I'm not sure when we started doing this in my family, or why, but I never won. That has all changed! I was a dinner winner with pizza last night, actually eating pizza like a normal person and being a dinner winner was brilliant!

I dont really get jaw ache anymore, occasionally when I'm banded and if I'm a bit stressed I get a slight ache, i think i must just carry tension in my jaw. But nowhere near enough as i used to, and I'm off my strong pain killers, haven't taken them since the day before my operation.

I do get popping/clicking when i open my mouth for the first time when taking my bands off, but that's normal and just a release of fluid stuff in the muscle from it being held in one position. once its clicked/popped the tension is gone and i can open my mouth normally.

I'm not happy with the lump i still have under my chin on my left hand side. I spoke to my ortho about this months ago and he said it was a bit on bone from my chin where they moved it down and that it would re absorb into itself over time. Well I'm not so sure, I don't have it on the other side so I'll mention it again when I go back for my de-bracing, and see what they say. I'd rather have another operation if necessary to remove that bit of bone than leave it there and be unhappy with it.

My numbness is still the same, I cant feel the left side of my bottom lip or chin, I'm getting used to it but it does really piss me off from time to time. Its just a weird sensation and it ruins kissing for me, well my brain does, because sometimes that's all i can focus on, need to train my brain to ignore the weird numb, tingly, heavy feeling. Hopefully it will come back but in the grand scheme of things I cant complain about a small patch of numb.

In other news I have a new job! yaaaay, still working in marketing, just moved to a bigger company with better prospects and opportunities. I start on the 3rd of March so fingers crossed it will go well. I also adopted 2 kittens in the new year from a cat shelter, they are so cute, they are called Moo and Meow, they are brothers and have so much energy and love to chase each other round my house. I love them so much, its really nice to have cats again.


Moo & Meow

I will update once the braces have come off and I have clean teeth, I imagine I will have a lot of staining from my coffee addiction, plus i hate flossing so I will probably have to undergo lots of horrible scraping and telling off at the dentist for not flossing!

Much love to all! xxxxx

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

8 Weeks Post Double Jaw Surgery

Wow, 8 weeks post surgery! I remember when surgery was a little flicker in my mind, the first proper consideration, the panic, the initial research and then off I went on this long old journey!

These last 8 weeks have flown by really, I've been incredibly busy with work and my MBA but I think like throughout all of this you need something else to focus on or you just get consumed by all things teeth and jaw related.

My eating has come on leaps and bounds since my orthodontist gave me the go ahead to start eating. At 2 weeks post op I was  given the green light to eat mush, so things like scrambled egg, mash potato and rice pudding. Things that I could move around my mouth but not chew.

By 4 weeks I could start to try and chew these things and by 4 I was ok to move on to things like soft pasta, ravioli, minced meat etc. From 5 weeks I've just been gradually building up my eating, cutting things up really small and just trying to chew. If its too difficult i just swallow it, but why not have a go is what i thought.

Right now I'm pretty much eating normal food, again any meat I'm cutting up small and trying to chew it, not forcing anything, but eventually my muscles will figure it out and I will get there. I have noticed all ready the vast improvement just on how i chew with my teeth at the back, they actually work properly, I chew efficiently now, which is so nice!

Biting into things is a whole other story, it is so weird! I'm still getting to grips with that. This will sound weird to people that haven't experienced mis aligned jaws and teeth, but I don't know how to bite through something with my teeth. I don't know what the movement is, or how much force to use or if you pull the food away as you bite or do you just bite down and it cuts through? I don't know, I guess it's just practice and really I have to stop a habit of a lifetime and stop cutting things up, I need to start biting into things to get my muscles going and learning how to do it. I've cut things up instead of biting through for so long it's second nature, but that could be my news years resolution, no cutting food! Just biting food!

Swelling & Numbness
My swelling is so very minimal right now, I still think i'm slightly puffier on my right side than my left, but that will go down with time, I notice it but i guess others probably don't. I'm still numb on my left hand side of my chin and bottom lip. I am getting tingle and pain and a very annoying sensation every time i eat something liquid like yoghurt or ice cream or even have a drink, where it feels like running water or that i've just dribbled it all out my mouth and down that left hand side of my chin.

My ortho tells me its a good sign, so i'm sure I can put up with it for as long as it takes so long as i get my feeling in my lip back. Not too fussed about my chin, just want my lip back. its not nice kissing and not feeling it! Plus putting lipstick or lipbalm on feels strange!

Orthodontist & Teeth
Every time i go back to see my orthodontist he was very pleased with the way my teeth are lining up and how I'm doing. At 4 weeks I had my power chain adjusted on my bottom teeth to help close some gaps up. At 6 weeks I had my lower wire changed, an extra long 8 chain power chain fitted on the bottom and a chain on the top to close a gap that had formed over the last 2 weeks. This was painful and I can honestly say, hand on my heart that the pain from the orthodontics both before and after surgery was far worse than any "pain" i felt after my surgery and during recovery. Surprisingly enough moving teeth hurt me more than moving bone did.

On my last appointment at 6 weeks out, my orthodontist said that I can expect to have my braces removed in 6-8 weeks! wahooooooo! There was no way i saw that coming! my next appointment is in 7 weeks, so I guess we will have a look and see where i am. I'm so surprised by how quickly after surgery my braces will be coming off, I think it just highlights the importance of having a good orthodontic treatment before your surgery, and that it pays to be patient and get your teeth right (the wrong way round) before surgery, because it just makes it all a whole lot smoother after.

How I feel about my face

To be honest I've been a bit naughty and i haven't really looked at my face a lot, like really scrutinised it. Obviously when i did the before and after pictures in my last post I saw what a big change there was, but i think i'm scared to look closely at myself in case i don't like it. But I do like it, maybe I'm scared that I will change back to how i used to look? I'm not sure on this one. I am really happy and pleased with how I look and I think the team have done such a good job and I don't think i will hear any nasty comments again.

Maybe my problem is that I'm not ready to embrace my new appearance and let go of the past and how I felt about my face before. Yes i came to love my face the way it was but I was never 100% happy with my appearance because of the problems I had with eating and with being called names. I still wait/brace myself for someone to say something about my face when I'm out and about. Nobody has made a comment since my operation, so I'm hoping that this is something that will fade over time, and I wont think about it any more.

Any Advice for before and after?

  1. Be patient - it takes ages, all of it, the braces, the wisdom teeth removal, the surgery, the recovery, but at each stage there are lots of little moments of joy that make it all worth while, like when my underbite was fully developed or when I first noticed how straight my teeth were getting.
  2. Get a waterpik/oral irrigator - I hate flossing, i did before my braces and I did with them and I probably will still hate doing it after my braces are off. My waterpik has been amazing in helping me keep my teeth clean and my gums healthy. It's not a substitute for flossing but it sure as hell makes my life so much easier! 
  3. Take pictures! - Take so many pictures of your teeth and your face, especially before you even get your braces on. I wish I had taken more before pictures because it is so bloody wonderful to be able to go back and see how much improvement has been made. It keeps you happy when it gets tough, to see how far you have come.
  4. Keep family and friends close - It is tough, it is hard, expect to be sad, frustrated, worried, scared but expect to be happy and excited too. It's so helpful to have family and friends with you to support you through all of this. They may not get you 100% but they will be there and so will this wonderful community of bloggers!
  5. Smile!!!! - Keep on smiling, you are doing the right thing and you will get through it. You smile and the world smiles with you! Show off your bracey teeth, be proud and be bracey! 

Monday, 2 December 2013

Double Jaw Surgery Results - Underbite is gone!

Hey all!

So I've been really busy with work and uni work and all the other stuff I do, so apologies for not blogging much. But here is a good old picture upload! Because pictures is what we all love best!

I will find some time this weekend to write up my journey  so far, but in the mean time here are some pictures. Now I do have to say they are pretty amazing. as i was putting them together i was just laughing because i still cant believe that that change has happened and i look how i look now, and that I used to function pretty well how i used to look and how my teeth were. It really is just incredible what my orthodontist and my surgeon has done. so big massive thank you them both.

I am a very happy lady! Much bracey love to all xxxxx

P.S the after pics below were taken at me 6 weeks out. I just did my hair different one day. xxxx

Before & After Double Jaw Surgery
Before & After Double Jaw Surgery
Before & After Double Jaw Surgery

Before Surgery - Underbite
After Surgery to correct underbite
Before Surgery - Class 3 malocclusion

After Orthognathic Surgery

Recovery day 1 - 14
Recovery day 1 - 14

Before & After Teeth

I have proper teeth!!!!!!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

2 & 3 Weeks Post Double Jaw Surgery

Just a quick update on my recovery so far...

At 2 weeks i was granted the most wonderful freedom of being able to remove my bands and eat mushy food such as scrambled egg, mash potato, yoghurt etc. No chewing, just pressing food against  the roof of my mouth, which is still kind of numb as are bits of my tongue.

This was wonderful and such a relief as I was well and truly sick of the liquid diet. It did feel strange at first and took me a while to figure out how to use my tongue and to move my lips round a form or spoon, but practice makes perfect.

My numbness hadn't really changed much at 2 weeks. I was sleeping on my front/side and propping my head up a bit. Taking my bands off also gave me the opportunity to have a really good clean of my mouth. It wasn't pretty at all! But over the course of the rest of the week i was able to remove all sort of disgusting debris!

My biggest concern was my speech, i was really struggling to pronounce words and sounds with my new mouth shape. I kept getting stuck on the sound and a few others. I also started working from home at 2 weeks, hence my lack of blog updates!

At 3 weeks I am able to start to chew soft foods, like really over cooked pasta, ravioli, minced meat etc. This has been lovely and I have found that most soft food is manageable as is anything cut up small enough. The actually process of chewing was again really hard to start with, i didn't know what to do, or how to move my mouth or tongue but it has gotten easier the more i try.

I dont chew everything i eat, again its all rather soft or small so i can jut swallow it if i like. My nerves are coming back to life in my mouth and teeth and they have been a bit sore. I can feel my braces pulling on my teeth again, that pressure you feel after an adjustment.

My dead lip/chin has been tingling so that is a good sign, although i do have quite a large lump developing under that side of my chin, so when i go to my ortho appointment next week I will mention it. Probably nothing, but best get it checked.

I have started back at work, it has been good to get back into the office but I really must be more organised and prepared with my meals, I think I'm loosing weight again. I lost 6 pounds in the first 7 days after surgery, nothing more over the following 7 but I think i have lost weight since. I don't own a set of scales so im not 100% sure but i can see it in my clothes, my mum bought hers round so I will have to go over an weigh myself this week.

I think the best thing to do is to

a) Get up earlier and eat breakfast
b) Be more prepared and take meals to eat at work
c) Have fortisip/complan in between a meal to boost my calorie intake.
d) Eat a birthday cake every evening for dinner!

Here are some updated pictures!

My man's way of keeping my weight up! yum yum!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Double Jaw Surgery Recovery - Days 10-12

Day 10 Post Op Recovery - Saturday 26th

I had a lovely lie in with my man this morning, I am getting better at sleeping on my side and position my pillows to hold up my head whilst not putting pressure on my face. It's a fine art i'm getting good at. So this means that i can kind of snuggle in and have a proper cuddle, which is lovely because I do like a cuddle and i really miss being able to be close to friends and family. I always feel tense when someone goes to hug me or kiss me or are just generally near my face. I'm in fear of being bashed and my jaws getting hurt.

This afternoon my wonderful friend Stacey and her daughter came round to carve pumpkins! It was so lovely to see them and my friends daughter (she's 5) said that i looked different, but good different and that I was talking funny, like i was growling. Which she found hilarious. So we explained to her again why Aunty Tasha was talking funny and using straws to eat etc (which she insisted on doing too) and she got it in the end, wasn't phased at all. I was worried I would scare her, but thankfully I have had virtually no bruising and my swelling hasn't been too bad either.

After pumpkin carving, we went for a little walk down to a local park to play on the swings, it was nice to get some fresh air and be out and about. Here is my friends amazing pumpkin creation, she has a real talent for this!

As i am getting so bored of my shake and soup diet I decided to mix it up a little and throw some custard in to the mix. It went down really well, i had to thin it out with some milk to get it up the straw but it was lovely, I had 2 bowls!

Day 11 Post Op Recovery - Sunday 27th

Today was a bit of a cleaning and washing day, i feel really good that I have enough energy to be doing the hoovering and sorting washing etc. Glad to get some normality back in my life, even if it is doing chores! I am fine bending over to picks things up, I don't feel any pressure building in my jaw or nose area at all.

In terms of numbness and tingles, not much has changed. I think I'm getting less tingles than i was a few days ago on my numb left side, but they come and go. I have had a few weird itches where my chin or lip feels like it needs itching but then when i go to i cant quite feel that bit of my face so i cant scratch it properly. Its strange! My bottom lip on my right hand side still feels sore when i touch it or when i kiss, i think its nerves coming back to life so it's a good thing and it's not an unbearable pain.

Pain wise, I dont have a lot. I sometimes take the equivalent to 2 tablets of ibuprofen in the evening if i feel a bit ache and sore but that's it. I've started to notice some sensitivity in my teeth and a bit more feeling occasionally in my gums and roof of my mouth so that's a good sign

Tonight i sat like a drooling dog and watched Lee eat his dinner. I'm so bored of liquid and it hasn't even been 2 weeks. Thursday cant come quick enough! I made some jelly because i thought i might be able to suck it through my teeth, i was wrong. It did however provide Lee some entertainment, watching me trying to poke jelly down the side of my mouth towards my back teeth and just getting jelly everywhere instead.

We then played eat like i eat and he had a go at drinking/eating things through a straw which was good fun. I feel very lucky to have him, he is so understanding and patient and brilliant. My mum and dad have been brilliant too, taking me places, keeping me fed and helping with dishes etc.

Some advice for any readers who are pre surgery, during recovery I really feel that you really need someone there to call on to help build you back up and cheer you up when you get fed up of soup or fed up of not being able to sleep properly or speak properly. Now whether that's a friend, family, partner, dog, cat whatever it doesn't matter, so long as you have someone you can contact when it gets tough. It's pretty easy to slip into negativity during this recovery process.

You build up to this surgery for so long, with the promise of everything being fixed and brilliant. And it will be, it's just that the recovery is a lot like the bit before surgery, it takes time. It's like before surgery you have your braces, extractions etc to get your teeth ready for your jaws to be moved. Then after surgery you have your mouth banded, liquid food etc to get your mouth and teeth ready for its new position, its new role as a fully functioning set of teeth and jaws. It takes time but I know it will be worth it in the end.

Day 12 Post Op Recovery - Monday 28th

I need an Internet shopping block! Recovery is costing me money!!! Particularly because it's almost Christmas! sort of. I'm really excited for Christmas, it's my shining light at the end of a jaw surgery recovery tunnel. I think by Christmas i should be able to enjoy my Christmas dinner, maybe not the obligatory bar of toblerone just yet, but most of the other Christmas goodies I'm sure ill be able to manage somehow! I'm also looking forward to my first Christmas in my house, getting all the decorations and tree up, it will be lovely!

My mum and dad took me out to a home ware shop today to get some bits for my sister as she is moving into her house in a couple weeks! It's funny talking to people outside of the family like shop assistants or the post man because obviously something is different about the way i talk and the way i look, they know it, i know it. I don't feel embarrassed, maybe a bit self conscious but i guess i feel like i should explain why I'm talking like this. I don't know why.

I also bought some new nail polish, i do have a bit of an obsession with my nails, and did this Halloween inspired look. There are some seriously amazing Halloween nails out there, like spiders and pumpkins, my free hand skills aren't that good yet, but practise makes perfect!

Halloween Nails

Another bowl of soup for dinner, and another shake for desert. Only 3 days till Thursday, till i hopefully will be allowed to eat mush. Yay!

This song has been my surgery jam and reminds me of my brilliant brother who although he hasn't been able to be here I know he has been cheering me on from Paris,  cant wait to see you soon Bif! xxxxx