Friday, 20 July 2012

Game Over. I win. - Day 439 (July 19)

50th post.... and they are freaking off.

No visible squares!

This post will be more about braces than anything else, because jaw surgery is pretty much a thing of the past! I got my braces off on July 19, and I've been high on life for the past 20 hours. Once you hit this point, smiling is contagious. Harmful, actually. So harmful that I don't know how I avoided a car accident on the way home since I was checking out my teeth in the rearview mirror for 60% of the drive back. The feeling is amazing. Why? Because I've finally finished my jaw surgery career, going from in my very first post to where I am now, 2 years later. I've learned so much from this experience, got in contact with a supportive community online, and it has been a thrill. You could say that having an underbite is a good thing because meeting people in the same boat who are just as eager as you makes for a great team. Thanks to every one of you, it would not have been possible to keep up the motivation without you all! :D

The effects of no more braces?

- I've been giving the analogy of having an orange peel in your mouth for a few minutes that is now taken out. Multiply that x 200.
- I instinctively pick my teeth as if there is food stuck under the bracket where my hook is. Nothing is there! It's like a 'ghost limb' effect, and it's playing with my mind.
- I forcefully use liquids to wash food out of my teeth as if there is food there. Once again, nothing.
- The enamel is probably coming off my front teeth based on the amount of times I have rubbed them.
- I can see my teeth and they are actually white! It pays off to constantly brush your teeth, and with braces this means a bit more attention is needed after eating a meal. Make sure all of the food gets out once you've finished a meal or else that little piece of meat is sitting there for who knows how long.
- Chewed gum without fear of having to keep it all in one piece so it doesn't separate on my hooks. It's marvelous.

What are my plans now?

- Teeth whitening. A combination of white strips and toothpaste using the Crest 3D Advanced brand has been recommended to me. I've read that white strips help make teeth white quickly. The toothpaste however, not so much since the contact between peroxide/whitening and your teeth is so little. The toothpaste is more to maintain the whiteness that the 2-3 week program gives you. I think the combination will probably give teeth its full white potential.
- I will make one more youtube video and post it here on this site. My laptop has been in the shop for weeks and once I get it back I will get it done!

To those of you reading with braces, please don't feel like I'm rubbing it in your face. Please understand that to feel this state of Nirvana means fully going through the whole process from start to finish and always holding strong. This whole process has been 2 years of braces, and one summer of jaw surgery recovery. Whatever your situation may be, as long as you follow through, the amount of relief and satisfaction is truly worth it. I can't stress enough how important that is before you feel like your smile is a million bucks.

It's a new beginning, and this process has made me ready.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Last post before braces off!! - Day 411 (June 22)

Where have I been? 

I've spent the first 3 weeks of my summer in Europe. 3 friends and I traveled to: Paris, Barcelona, Cinque Terra, Florence, Salzburg, Munich, Berlin, and Amsterdam over the course of 21 days, knocking off everything a city had to offer in 3 days or less. Backpacking and living in hostels was a crazy experience and I would certainly do it again. I wore my elastics too like a good boy.

A view on top of the Arc de Triomphe

I'm taking summer school from mondays to wednesdays and on thursdays I am studying for the Dental Admissions Test in a Kaplan prep course. Time with braces has certainly been an afterthought to life.

A day with my jaw surgeon

I had the opportunity to shadow my oral surgeon last friday, and it was a lot of fun. I did not get to see surgeries, but I did manage to be present for 5-6 wisdom teeth removals and 2 patient's teeth extractions. Dr. Tocchio and his staff are very friendly and they made it very comfortable. It was nice to see what goes on from another point of view other than the chair!


I went into the ortho on June 12. As he told me, I'm getting my braces off in July! The office is going to call me to fit a date in during the week of the 9th-13th, and I will get them removed! 2 days after it is required to come in and get molds, and fitted for a retainer.  I was given a small wire that's placed on my bottom 5 teeth in preparation. Here's the current state of my teeth:

As you can see everything is lined up. On the right side there is a small gap, but when braces come off, this may be difficult to imagine, but your teeth tend to slowly cave in, as the bottom and top rows of teeth angle inwards.

Once my braces are off I'll take a few pictures, create a video on youtube and that would be the completion of my jaw journey! 2 years flies by fast.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Awaiting the Braces Off Celebration - Day 333 (April 5)

 I just spent a good 2 minutes trying to figure out how long it has been since surgery. I counted 333 days. Time has certainly flown by, and so much has passed without an afterthought. In addition to school, I have traveled to New Orleans for Habitat for Humanity to help build houses during Mardi Gras, wrote my dental aptitude test in February, and decided to take another year of undergraduate studies. The only issue I have is the fact that I have braces. I've taken grad photos, and just last weekend I had a Kinesiology formal and flashed the metal everywhere. It was such a good time with a limo, banquet dinner, and open bar that it wasn't an issue.

Where's my progress right now? My bite is lining up very nicely, and my bottom row needs to be narrowed. My teeth are straight and there are no gaps. I just saw the orthodontist, he bent the wire inwards and it went back inside. Of course I asked for a date and I got July. July. Just as scheduled so I cannot really complain. All I can do is wear elastics 24/7. I found out that the point of elastics is to pull the teeth together so that they are always biting together to angle both top and bottom jaw inwards. Just a little tidbit. Here is what my bag of elastics look like. They are 5/16" (7.9mm) and light(2.5oz)

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Last Surgeon appt - Jan 7 (Day 244)

Happy New Year to everybody and Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays etc. I hope everyone enjoyed their time with their families, I got the chance to do so with my family in Florida, it was great. The weather was at a good 25-28 Celsius and beach time was a given. I just had an ortho appointment and jaw surgeon appointment a few hours apart from each other and here's the quick update.

Ortho - Braces on schedule to be removed in the summer still. He added 2 chains that are 10 teeth across on my bottom and my top teeth. These are meant to squeeze the teeth together and remove gaps between the teeth, and I'm actually feeling a bit of pain from them(that's a first for me.) I'm still using elastics 24/7 to pull the lower jaw back a bit, so I twist them like crazy to increase the tension.

Jaw Surgeon - It was my last appointment with my surgeon! It was far more anticlimactic than thought, primarily because it was another short 2 minute appointment, and on a Friday afternoon where my surgeon was an hour from closing. He basically said the braces have a little more to go, and the bite looks great! It was good to hear that. However, this wasn't going to be the last time I saw him. Since I am applying to dentistry school within 2 years, he agreed to let me shadow him for a day, which is amazing. So I'm going to see him again in March or so.

What's left? - I do indeed still have numbing on the same place on my left chin. It doesn't stress me however and I live life normally. I could probably never heal from this and still not be bothered. However, during our New year's dinner, my cousins let me keep a straggling piece of broccoli on my chin for a good half hour. My uncle came by and said, "Didn't anyone tell you that you have food on your chin?" To which my brother replied that we should take family photos without me knowing. I hope this doesn't happen during really important dinners in my future.

My teeth look real straight and I've become real confident with my smile, and will be more confident once the metal is removed.