All finished!

z.2017-08-03 Before and after

The official before (2011) and after (2017) photos!

The day has arrived!  The final step of the process was to build up my two incisors which were smaller and pointier than the other teeth.  So a couple of weeks ago I went to the dentist and had temporary crowns fitted and impressions taken – bit of drilling but not horrible.  Then I went back today and they had made me the permanent crowns which were a bit wider than my original incisors so that there wouldn’t be a gap beside them.  It was so quick to fit the permanent ones, literally took five minutes!  Amazing seeing my teeth all in a straight line for the first time, very exciting.

So the last thing tomorrow is just to go back to the orthodontist and get the night retainer for my top teeth remade, as now the teeth are a slightly different shape the old one won’t fit.  Then they’ll trust me to just keep going with that, and I should have one checkup a year after having the braces off (next April) before they officially discharge me!

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Braces off! (Finally!!!)

2017-04-09 Braces off!

Once again flying home from studying abroad in Spain for the orthodontist… but this time it was definitely worth it – after 4 years, 7 months and 9 days, I finally got the fixed braces off!!  Very odd to see my teeth again, I’d almost forgotten what they looked like…

The only drawback is I have a retainer to wear during the day until my dentist can build up the two teeth either side of the front two which look slightly smaller than the rest.  And unfortunately I’m not back from Spain again until July so that means I’ll have to wear it for three months.  But once that’s done I’ll only have the night retainer and it will properly be all finished!

day retainer (2)

So when I get up and before I go to bed I just swap the retainers over and give the one I’ve been wearing a clean with some soap and a toothbrush.  They told me not to use toothpaste to clean them as it contains abrasive particles which can damage the retainer, and to use separate toothbrushes for brushing my teeth and for cleaning the retainer to avoid cross-contamination of soap and toothpaste.

It was a bit annoying at first to have something in the roof of my mouth again and I did have a slight lisp for the first day or two but I soon got used to it.  The best thing is not having to use four toothbrushes any more every time I brush my teeth!  Now I just use a normal one plus a little one to go between my teeth.  So the next thing is to try biting into an apple for the first time in four years…

A flying visit

Very strange having to fly back from my year abroad just for an orthodontist checkup!  But I can understand why they don’t want me to see anyone else after they’ve been treating me for about 6 years, I don’t want anything to go wrong.  And as I don’t have to pay for the treatment I can’t begrudge paying for a few extra flights.

My orthodontist seemed pleased with how I’m getting on, she just made a few adjustments and gave me some different elastic bands that are a bit more annoying but I only have to wear them at night so it’s not too bad.  She also said I should be alright to try playing my saxophone again!  Which is funny as my dad is playing at a Christmas market tonight with a few others and said I should come and join if I’m allowed to play it – but as I haven’t played it for a good few months I think I need to get used to it again first!

3 months: first run!!

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So today is three months since my jaw surgery!  The last 6 weeks have flown by.  I’ve gradually been able to eat more crunchy foods and now I’m basically back to a normal diet, apart from I still can’t really use my front teeth to bite into things.

The most exciting aspect of the 3-month milestone is that I’m now officially allowed to do proper exercise again – which of course meant I had to go for a run!  It felt fantastic, I’ve missed it so much.  I’ll have to get out orienteering now to explore the area a bit more.  The only thing left to wait for now is to find out when I’ll be able to play my saxophone again…

Day 41: 6 weeks, here we go!

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So the 6-week mark is here and tomorrow I’m finally permitted to fly to Spain to start my year abroad in Granada!  (Which is just as well as my course starts the day after!)

I’m really excited to see what lies in store next.  To be honest I feel like by now the recovery isn’t affecting me too much so I should be fine.  I just might be tired the first couple of weeks because everything will be new and in a different language.  And I’ve packed my hand blender so I can make my smoothies!

Day 37: watch out Wiggins

I’ve finally found some form of exercise I can do apart from walking!  My friend has an exercise bike, so I’ve been popping round there a couple of times to have a go.  I tried one of the interval programmes and it was surprisingly intense for just half an hour!  It felt so good to actually work up a sweat for the first time in a month.  I still miss proper cycling in the fresh air, but this will keep me going for now until my jaw bones have healed up.

Day 29: the chips are down

I was pleased that I slept fine last night despite not taking any paracetamol before I went to bed.

photo_editor_1473278626930It’s strange thinking that originally my flight to Spain to start my year abroad was booked for today!  I changed it to two weeks later after the surgeon advised me it would be best to wait until the 6-week mark when my jaw bones are healed up.

Before the surgery I heard that people are advised to take 4-6 weeks off work to recover, but I’ve heard of people going back after just 2 or 3 weeks.  Based on my own recovery, I feel like after 3 weeks, I would have been fine to go back to an office job, whereas for something a bit more active like a retail or café job I would have wanted to wait until now at least.  I still don’t think I’d want to do anything involving manual work as I’d worry about damaging myself and getting too worn out!

I went for a pub meal with some friends this evening – I ordered veggie lasagne and swapped the garlic bread (which I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat) for chips (which I might be able to eat).  It turned out the chips were a little optimistic: I managed to chop up the chunky ones but the little crispy ones were too spiky!

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