So my Ortho says no worries, we can give you braces to make your teeth straight; BUT there is another option. He starts to tell me that apart from my overbite and overjet, I have a very narrow upper arch; my lower jaw is too far back, and my upper jaw is too long; which is why I can't close my mouth when my lips are relaxed - SO if I would like to, this can ALL be corrected to give me an ideal occlusion and profile.
That changed EVERYTHING!!! I had no idea that this was even possible.
So, since then I have been like a sponge trying to soak up as much information as I can about what it is they are proposing to do. I have googled; youtubed; wikapediad - you name it I have done it. Thank goodness for the internet! I also found this awesome forum for people just like me who are contemplating the pain, the unknown, and the potential results of jaw surgery (thank you Brandon and all who have contributed - http://www.jawsurgeryblog.com/forums/ ).
This has helped no end, and I have been able to follow the journeys of others who have faced this before me.
Well, for as long as I can remember, I have had issues with the way people see me from my side - that is - the way I perceive that people see me from my side.
I feel like my mouth and lips protrude abnormally from my face, compounded by my teeth that jut out, and my weak chin. It has bothered me forever, although no-one else (those that matter, anyway) seems to notice or care about such a superficial detail.
And, after much to-ing and fro-ing I have decided to take on this HUGE challenge. If you are interested, come and join me on my ride. I know there are going to be times when I'll need help and encouragement from those who have gone before me, or who are going through it with me. Hopefully, not too far down the track, I can return the favour.
My challenge involves the placement of an expander and surgery to break my pallate to broaden my upper arch; braces on (top and bottom); and then a second surgery (12ish months later) to move my bottom jaw forward, and (most likely) also cut a piece out of my top jaw.
OMG - why would I put myself through all of that? Because for the most part of my life I have been embarrassed and self conscious about my teeth, my mouth, my profile - I can finally do something about it, and I think that the end result will definitely be worth it.
I know there are risks, but I take a risk everyday I drive to and from work too.
This is going to be a long journey (apx. 2 years) which is, I believe as long as it takes a baby elephant to develop fully in the womb - hence the name of my blog.
Wish me luck :)
I have taken some 'before' pictures, so that I (and you) can track my progress from the very beginning - before braces, before anything.
Normal Small Smile
Making my lips meet
Relaxed lips (hate this look)
Overbite (0.9cm) and overjet
Ugh - this is the first time I have seen my teeth from this angle! Shows just how terribly crooked they really are.
Big mouth; narrow bite
Small version of gummy smile (it gets bigger....)