As a woman in her 30’s with braces you could say I’m going through my second awkward phase. You know that first awkward phase around the 10 year mark when you had glasses, monster feet or teeth that didn’t quite fit your face? We’ve all been there one way or another, but yes, I’ve been lucky enough to relive this phase two decades later.
I’ve had braces for about 5 months so far and it actually hasn’t been as bad as I thought. It’s only taken me 15 years to decide to go through with getting jaw surgery to correct my under bite and cross bite which developed after I got my braces off the first time. If you don’t know much about jaw surgery its pretty common, but it is very intensive. My mouth will be wired shut for 1 week and I will be restricted to a liquid diet, feeding myself through a syringe. After that I will get the wires removed and be on soft foods for 3 months. The great thing is people usually lose about 15 lbs from this diet, so I will hopefully be at my goal weight without even trying when this is all said and done, but the bad news is food is like my reason to live in life and it’s going to be hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. This surgery will challenge me mentally and physically to my absolute limit, but from what I’ve researched it’s been the best thing anyone with jaw issues has ever done and they all say they would do it over tomorrow.
It’s still up for debate on whether I will have just my lower jaw broken or both my upper and lower jaws broken. The lower jaw is the most rigorous because that’s the jaw that moves and where your nerves are located, so there is a risk I may not have feeling in my chin or lower lip ever again. However, most people get about 80-90% of the feeling back after a year. The upper jaw is attached to your sinuses, so there’s risks with that area, as well as changes in the appearance of your nose and facial structure. Depending on how many millimeters your jaws are moved back and forth, depends on how drastic the aesthetic change will be. From what I’ve gathered in my first consult with my surgeon my lower jaw would be the most drastic change diminishing my under bite and long face to create a straighter, shorter face and profile. I’ve had TMJ for as long as I can remember and hoping this will relieve that pain as well.
All of this is pretty scary, so you can see why I’ve waited to so long to bite the bullet and go through with it. The great thing is time is flying by and I’m supposed to be having surgery in the fall. After surgery I should have braces for about 6 more months and then my journey will be complete! It’s exciting to think about a year from now I will be smiling with a perfect bite for the very first time in my life. If you are going through this process or want to follow my journey feel free to follow me on Instagram @jawsurgerista, but I’m gonna warn you some of the pics may be hard to stomach as my journey progresses! See you on the other side.