9 Month check-in (Day 255)

The last 3 months have been me living my life with elastics in varying configurations. There has been a small gap between my back right molars which the orthodontist has been trying his darndest to close... Every few movements a gap opening here and there between my teeth, with the solution being More Elastics!

I've been wearing 5 elastics that do things like trying to pull the midline back in, and getting my molars to touch.

Yes, it's been frustrating.


Yesterday, the orthodontist looked around at my teeth. Then he looked around again. He looked confused, and looked further in with my mouth open and closing several times. Then it happened. "Let's schedule you for impressions next visit, and the visit after that we'll take your braces off."

My immediate instinct was that this was a trap. But no, I'm now scheduled for 3 visits in january. Getting impressions on Jan 8th. Getting my braces taken off on Jan 22nd. And then getting my retainer a few days aft…

Day 199 (6.5 months) : Teeth are straightening out!

My lower teeth are not as canted/tilted compared to a 6 months ago! I hadn't noticed, because the changes my orthodontist were doing were so gradual it seemed like nothing was happening. But here we are, look at this comparison pic from 2 weeks after surgery versus now (6 months later).

If you look at the angle of lower brace wire versus the top, after surgery it was tilted. To me at the time it felt like my left side of the teeth met first and the right side not at all, almost like my jaw was canted.

I worried about this quite a lot, and had several conversations with my orthodontist and surgeon about it. They were not worried, and now I'm finally starting to understand why. It was a teeth alignment issue more than a jaw alignment issue. My right teeth (left in the pictures) touched on the tops and bottom in weird ways, with the lower teeth meeting outside the upper teeth, when it's supposed to be the other way. Because of this even with elastics they were not wanting to …

6 Month Check-In (Day 188) : Tau months in, upper gum sensation returning

It's been about 6.28 months since the operation, or Tau (2*pi) months. I am starting to gain more feeling in my upper gums, whereas a month or two ago I could feel my palate and some of my upper teeth, but still had only partial sensation with the gums around my upper teeth.

Since those nerves were cut in the operation, and are numerous and small, the surgeon said roughly a year for recovery. I'm happy to say at ~6 months I'm starting to get partial sensation everywhere now. Honestly I can't really tell I don't have sensation in my upper gums anymore, I would've said it was noticeable up until about 4 months after surgery. I can only tell when I poke certain parts of the gum and notice only pressure sensations.

I went snorkeling last weekend, diving to 10-15 feet without issue. I was able to equalize my ears fine, despite the slight differences I've noticed after the surgery where my left ear seems to not feel a weird pressure occasionally.

On to 9 months

Day 167 : Orthodontics continues despite Eclipse

At today's checkup with the orthodontist, I've finally graduated to only wearing elastics at night! I can finally not worry about carrying around elastics during the day, having it snap during meals (yes, one is supposed to take them off...), or finding random food-bits stuck behind the bands hours later.

Some rubber power-chain type elastic were added to the front of my upper teeth, which is meant to help my center-line (mid-line!) stay the same or improve.

Before all this I spent the morning on the roof yelling at the clouds to get out of the way so I could get some photos of the eclipse. A few minutes of clear sky let me get several shots.

I said I'd never dare hope again, but here it is, I'm starting to hope that my braces might be coming off within 6 months.

5 Month Check-In (Day 145) : Well it's been a while

Wow, It's been 66 days since I last updated on my jaw surgery recovery. We're at Day 145, close to 5 months since the operation. As you can probably tell, I have almost completely forgotten I ever got jaw surgery. The only reminders now are the fact that I'm still wearing braces and elastics (sigh) and *drumroll* I can bite everything.

That's right, carrots, almonds, burgers, weird salad things, you name it, I bite it. The last 3 months have consisted of my teeth slowly being pulled ever-closer to an ideal alignment. My molars are almost all touching now, the right side is still lagging slightly.

Actually, that was a slight change, the metal bands that go around my upper back teeth were removed, and they glued on hooks on the inside of those teeth so that an elastic can be hooked from the inside of the upper back teeth to the outside of the lower back teeth. This maneuver is to help pull my upper back teeth onto the outside of my lower back teeth, where currently it…

11 Week Check-In (Day 74-79) : Biting continues to improve

I bit into a taco the other day, and it was the most glorious bite I've ever done. My teeth closed perfectly, crunching through the taco and the chicken, cleanly severing it into two parts. Is this what normal people experience all the time?

In terms of my recovery, my swelling is about the same; mostly gone but slight puffiness around the cheeks still. I can open my mouth to 2.5 fingers now. I slacked off a bit on the jaw stretching and have gotten back to it. I am able to bite harder into most things now, able to crunch chips, burgers, pizzas etc. My teeth are meeting well enough to grind salads. I'm still not yet able to do raw carrots or almonds, but it's getting closer.

My numbness on the outside skin is mostly gone, the cheek is almost back to full sensation which is exciting. I'm starting to get sensations in my upper gum, starting from the molars and high up in the gums. I still can't feel the upper gums around my front teeth yet, still another 9 months exp…

10 Week Check-In (Day 60-73) : Biting harder things

10 weeks has come and gone in a flash. A friend at lunch asked about my surgery and it took me a few moments to remember I had had it. I'm so used to my new bite, it fits nicely together (except for the right side molars, which still don't touch but the gap is slowly closing).

Lizzy says my swelling has reduced a little over time, I can't really tell the difference yet. We can both still see puffiness on my cheeks, so hopefully that'll reduce in another month or so.

As you can see, besides the haircut, I look about the same. One big difference from 4 weeks ago is that my jaw feels very strong now, even though I can't yet bite into almonds or carrots fully, I've started gnawing away at them with greater success each time.

I have 3 elastics that are put in a box configuration around my teeth, the front two I only have to wear at night. The right rear is always-on except when I eat. It is trying its best to bring my molars together.

I'm getting more comfortabl…