So here I am six weeks post-op double jaw surgery for my overbite. I can’t believe I have come through it so quickly. Here is a recap of my adventure:

Day of Surgery, September 3, 2013

I was actually not nervous about the pain or surgery itself, just how it was going to impact my family. I prepared as best as I could. I posted a YouTube video the morning of leaving for the hospital: Double Jaw Surgery

IMG_3790

Pre-surgery profile

Post-Surgery

I was surprised I wasn’t as swollen and bruised yet, and even with the plastic splint banded in between my teeth, I was still able to talk, although not understood. I had plenty of pain medicine in my anesthesia cocktail and was ready for a long nap. After about days 3-5, I experienced horrible hunger and weakness from either not being able to get enough nutrition or lack of desire for any liquids—which is all I can eat!

1 week post-surgery

So, after two weeks the surgeon removed my splint and I was given the ok to slowly return to soft, pureed food—NO CHEWING! Some that have double jaw surgery may have different experiences than I did, but my surgeon said my Class II overbite was pretty textbook and the swelling and healing was going well. The ice packing paid off!

 

New-profile, swelling still going down

New-profile, swelling still going down

At weeks 3-4, nerve and muscle spasms began to give discomfort and headaches through out the day and night. Since I weaned back on the liquid pain medicine to use only at night, I have enough to get me through those weeks.

And here we are week 6: Doc gave me the thumbs up to start chewing normal foods and stretching my jaws to get my mouth to open wider. I celebrated with my first salad: IMG_3968

Thanks for joining me on my journey so far. More updates later and if you have an experience to share or questions to ask, drop me a comment below!

Ciao for now,

—taraocity

Just returned from my last orthodontic appointment and big news to report—I got my finishing wires on! What that means is my teeth have moved in proper alignment (and in record time) that I am almost ready for jaw surgery. I was very fortunate I didn’t have major adjustments that would mean more time in pre-surgery orthodontia and that the care I taken with my teeth paid off in saving me months of brace life.

Here are some of the best tools I use for my orthodontia care:

41tM91n1HRL._SY300_

Oral B Vitality Pro Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush

This was the toothbrush given to me by my orthodontist—braces are expensive for adults when insurance doesn’t cover anything, so I’ll take a free toothbrush. Even if I needed to buy one, Oral B is the to go brand of choice. This one has a round rotating brush head which is best at getting to the back teeth and focusing on one tooth at a time for maximum cleaning. The replacement heads I change once a month and there are generic versions that will work just fine and at a fraction of cost.

5168WCOZj4L._SL1127_

Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser

I don’t know what I did before my Waterpik! This thing is amazing. Before it would take me 45 minutes or more to floss in between each tooth and bracket, and I still felt like I had food stuck between my teeth. I use this at least twice a day. It comes with multiple attachments and is compact enough to take on trips.

41Z2OCBqP9L

Gumm Soft Piks

Another favorite new product I wish I knew about sooner. These soft flexible tips glide between teeth to help remove particles and debris and the stimulation massages the gums which helps in teeth movement. I stash them everywhere, in my purse—my car to use after a meal and I use them to check my teeth after water flossing.

21cWo7XPdxL

Colgate Peroxyl Mouth Sore Rinse

I use this as needed, mostly to protect from infection after new brackets are placed on or if wires poke in back cause irritation.

31crOiKY2fL

Orajel Mouth Sore Pain Gel

Another as needed product, I use this for painful canker sores and cuts, especially inside my lips. Use a cotton swab to help control where you apply it. I made the mistake of touching my tongue and the taste and numbing sensation took a while to wear off.

These are products that made adjusting to brace life easier and you may find ones that work for you. The important thing to remember is to keep your mouth, gums and teeth as clean as possible, not only for good oral health, but it really can shave weeks to months off the amount of time you have your braces on.

In a future post I will share some food stories and tips for eating with braces.

I’d love to hear your experience with braces or questions you may have if you are anticipating getting them.

Drop me a line or two in the comments or email taraocity@gmail.com.

-taraocity

 

Jaw breaker

This year I embark on an incredible journey to have my jaw repositioned. It is a decision my husband and I discussed and agreed not to put off any longer.

When I was sixteen I was told my lower jaw needed to be broken to fix the misalignment that I was born with. Instead it was decided I would wear braces to straighten my teeth only. To be honest, I don’t know what mother could decide to have her child go through that kind of surgery—it sounded just as extreme then as it does now.

Now over thirty years later,  I am addressing the problem and fixing it hopefully for good. As I’ve gotten older I have noticed more problems with my jaw and beginning to feel “TMJ-like” symptoms. Even though there is no proof jaw repositioning cures TMJ, I believe proper alignment will improve alot of mine.

First step—Braces to reaalign my teeth and set then in place for the surgery. Just returned from my 8 week visit since I had them put on in December 2012 and things are progressing along nicely. My orthodontist said that my next visit won’t be for 10 weeks and then we will put on my finishing wire. I could have my surgery in six months.

More on adult braces, along with tips and tricks to be continued…..