Day 78: Oral Warfare

  • Pain: 0/10
  • Inconvenience: 2/10

You have a working jaw. You’re able to move it back and forth and from side to side. I do not have a working jaw. Today’s mugshot demonstrates exactly how far to the side I can swing my lower jaw right now. I can open my mouth almost as wide as I was able to before the surgery though, so there’s no doubt in my mind that my full, natural range of motion will one day decide to revisit this mouth of mine.

I still awake every morning with a fairly solid bite, but it still performs a disappearing act within 20 minutes of being vertical. Perhaps I should start taking a nap before eating so that I’m able to chew a bit better.

I had a visit with my faithful orthodontist yesterday. I wonder if she realized just how long my treatment would take when she first applied my braces. It’s been 2 and a half years already, and I’m fairly certain there’s a solid year left. I still have faith this will all be appreciated one day.

At my appointment yesterday, they removed the brackets from my 4 front-most bottom teeth to see if my bite would close when I wasn’t hitting the metal adhered to them. It didn’t. Then, they proceeded to step through the following agenda:

  • Glue the brackets back on, albeit slightly lower than before
  • Double my elastic routine, requiring me to create two boxes on each side of my mouth, enslaving a total of 8 teeth per jaw
  • “Figure 8” my two front teeth in an effort to close the gap that was forming (again)

Humans have 32 teeth in their natural set, but most lose 4 when their wisdom teeth are removed. So, to work through the math, I have 28 teeth, 16 of which are banded with elastics, meaning there only 6 teeth per jaw that are actually free. Of the survivors, the “figure 8” takes care of 2 more. I feel like there’s a war going on inside of my mouth right now. My teeth also hurt too much to eat, but that’s just the expected nerve pain from an orthodontic adjustment.

Right when I start to get used to my bite, they go and change it on me. Shucks.

19 Comments

  1. Daniel – thank you, it’s quite a compliment. This IS tough, much more so than I ever thought it would be. But the horrible days at the beginning are fading for me and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. It will all be worth it in the end – at least that’s what they keep telling me! LOL I, too, appreciate the kind words…cool that you’re following along with our progress!

    Tara…I’m soooorrrrryyyy! I have a feeling that I’ll soon be in your shoes yet again! This afternoon are both appts….and more than likely, one milestone will be overtaken by pain of another sort. *sigh* When will this end, huh? hehe

  2. Thank you very much Daniel for the compliment! The surgery and recovery pretty much sucks and it takes a lot of strength, in my opinion, so I appreciate that! Graham-my teeth are KILLING me!!!! I am patiently waiting…..again. And you are right, as soon as mine come out, the pain goes away, then I put them back in and it comes back full throttle!!!!! Oh well-this too shall pass! Thanks for your input!

  3. Well, you’ve got your own challenge at http://80poundsinayear.wordpress.com/. 🙂

  4. Nope – I actually stumbled to your blog because of your WordPress App, and what can I say, I enjoy slice-of-life blogs. It’s been cool to see your process and to see the strength Aimee and Tara and everyone as they go through this, too. I have a friend that’s considering it…it’s just waiting mostly on financing, or she’d have had it done. I think her malocclusion was worse than yours.

    If I had need of the surgery, I would absolutely feel empowered to do it – you guys are awesome.

  5. Daniel, you’re about to get this surgery, aren’t you?

  6. I don’t know about bravery…..I just want a damned steak! LOL

  7. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Y’all impress me to no end. You could sit back and continue as you were, but you’ve chosen to bravely step into this trial to have a better life beyond.

  8. Hehehe…..joyful is probably an understatement! I told Brian I’d like to go out for a steak dinner, even though I can’t eat it. LMAO I just want to be able to ORDER it….lolol.

  9. That’s great to hear, Aimee! I’ll be checking your blog for your joyful update! 😉

  10. I’m lurking here, watching the convo between the two of you because I will be in the same situation beginning tomorrow. Splint comes out in the afternoon, then directly over to the ortho to get the hooks taken off and new wires put back on. I’m SO looking forward to it. I should consider myself lucky that the surgeon has allowed me to swap the elastics this past week so I have a little head start on what needs to be done. They’re a pain in the a&*!!! I did finally get the left side on, so all four are in…but my mouth is way more swollen than I realized so it’s extremely difficult to get the back ones on! Yikes!

  11. Oh, and I wear my elastics for approximately 18-20 hours per day. They’re only out to eat, not even to brush. I want my teeth to move back together as quickly as possible.

    You’ll get better at swapping them too. It only takes a few tries before it’s a 20-second operation. 🙂 Just remember to use lipchap first so you can stretch your lips enough to get both of your hands in your mouth, haha.

  12. Tara, when my splint came out and the elastics went in, my pain was similar to a normal wire adjustment at the orthodontist. You can probably count on the pain being gone within a day or two. Let me know if you’re good to go after a few days.

    I also find that the pain only exists when the elastics are in. 5 minutes after I remove them, I’m fine again and able to eat.

  13. I feel for you, Tara…but I’m so excited for you that you’re no longer wired. Ahhhhhhhh. I can’t wait to find out tomorrow what kind of elastics I have to wear and for how long, etc. I agree…I never, ever expected the recovery to be quite this large and overpowering…I totally underestimated. But we’re getting there! Yayyyyy!!!

  14. I forgot to ask-how many hours a day do you wear your elastics? Do you only remove them to eat and brush? I heard all the talk about how DIFFICULT they are to put in-oh my gosh, what a PAIN!!!!! It must take you forever with all of yours!!!

  15. Hey Graham-I just got my splint out today and got thicker elastics and the aching pain is awful ): When does that go away? Who would have ever thought this type of surgery would require such a longgggggg roller coaster recovery? Sorry it has been so up and down for you-must be a bit frustrating!!!! Like the pic by the way!

  16. Steak, I can see that. Burgers…I thought they would be simpler since ground beef crumbles fairly easily. Salad..is it because your bite doesn’t quite come together? All very different things…interesting. So glad you’ve gone past the Kraft Dinners though! lol That’s just brutal..

  17. Yeah, I only ate Kraft dinner the one time! I’ve been eating lots of pasta and chicken.

    The only food I’ve found difficult are steak, burgers, cereal, bread (crusts are a killer!) and salad.

  18. P.S. Are you eating more than Kraft Dinners now?

  19. Wow, check out that face! LOL Love it! Oh, how I long to be able to move my jaw from side to side. It’s the little things in life, isn’t it?

    Sorry you’re sore…..and that you have no free teeth at the moment. lol Thinking of you!!

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