Tuesday, January 10, 2012


An awesome thing happened today.... I got my splint out!!  It feels so good to be able to close my mouth and I can't believe my teeth touch now.  :)  The splint romoval process was pretty interesting for me today.  Went to my surgeon's office in the morning and I was super nervous.  They took me to a procedure room in the back and the girl stuck 4 q-tips in my mouth with numbing gel.  After awhile I figured it was numb were she put them and started rubbing them around the other parts of my gums.  She said it would spread but I didn't want to take the chance that she was wrong.  After awhile my surgeon came in and did a couple shots in both my upper and lower jaws to numb them.  My gums were mostly numb and didn't feel the shot but the front of my upper gum wasn't as numb and I felt it.  Ugh.  Then he left the room again for awhile saying he would let it numb me up good.  When he came back he got right to work and I could hear and feel him clipping the wires.  There was a lot of clipping of wires.  The nurse was talking to me about what my labors were like when I had my kids and it was helping to distract me.  We had been talking about our kids before he walked in so she was just finishing the conversation.  I told her that it was helping to distract me and she kept going.  Now I'm really good at talking without moving my mouth so I was able to talk to her while my surgeon continued to clip the wires.  After a lot of clipping he said he was going to be pulling the wires out very quickly and asked me to try to keep as still as I could.  He took his tool and jerked really hard on the wire.  He kept doing this to each wire on my lower jaw.  It seemed like forever.  I could feel my head jerk forward each time and I was happy it didn't hurt.  I could taste blood in my mouth.  I knew it would bleed because my gums were so attached to these wires now there was no way it wouldn't bleed.  The best way to describe what he did is to compare it to opening a new toy.  Not sure if you are familiar but most new toys my kids get are fastened down by wires that are twisted around themselves holding the toy in the perfedt spot in the box.  Well after you untwist it you need to pull it out really fast because it is usually in there really tight.  No matter how curved the wire is when you pull it out really fast it usually ends up straight because it had to go through the hole in the box to get out.  Well, that is what happened to my wires and teeth.  The wires were wrapped around my tooth.  He cut it in front, gripped one side of the wire and pulled really hard and fast, ending with a straight wire.  Sounds like it hurt but I didn't feel it at all.  Just the jerk of my head.  He said I did a really good job of cleaning my splint because usually people have lots of "fur" on their teeth.  Ewww!!  He was surprised that I didn't.  That was a pretty gross visual and I couldn't wait to brush my teeth to make sure he was right.  He told me I could brush my teeth and he would see me in 3 months.  Woo hoo!  I went to the bathroom and brushed my teeth forever.  The gumline were wires were just kept bleeding.  I kept sticking my mouth in the cold water to try to get the bleeding to stop.  It mostly did but everytime I brushed my teeth after one stop in my upper front teeth would start over again.  I was very excited to get the splint and wires out but I couldn't feel "normal" yet because I was totally numb from the shots.  Ugh.  I knew it wouldn't last long but couldn't wait for it to go away.

Here are the wires and hardware that was wrapped around my teeth.  Sorry the pic is huge but I don't know how to crop it on my new laptop so big it has to be.   All the wires that are straight were not straight before they came out.  You can see chunks of tissue on some of them.  Ew.  Fun stuff

Here is my fun splint.  This doesn't look as thick as it was in my mouth but it is really thick. 
It is 7mm thick.  That is more than my OS shortened my upper jaw

We went to my ortho's office after so I could get the mold done for the bar they are going to put in my mouth to prevent my jaw from regressing.  My ortho wasn't there but the other Dr in his office was the one I was there to see today.  He took off my wires on my braces and told me he wanted me to be able to brush everything really good and floss.  I have never been so excited to floss.  lol.  I brushed again what seemed like forever and flossed carefully, trying not to start bleeding again.  They took a mold of my upper jaw with the regular mold contraption since I could open my mouth pretty wide.  I think I'm at 33mm now.  I brushed all the extra stuff from the mold when I brushed my teeth again.  He said I had a loose bracket so he replaced it and put my wires back in.  My lower teeth are super sensitive so all that he did hurt.  The drying stuff that tastes gross hurt my tooth, the water to wash it off hurt, pushing the doors on my braces hurt.  Guess the numbness was wearing off because putting the bracket and wires on hurt more than ripping my wires out at my surgeons.  lol.  They ended up steel tying the new bracket to not hurt me more.  Thank goodness.  He measured my overjet and said it was 3mm.  It was 9mm right before surgery so I guess my surgeon pushed my upper jaw back 6mm.  I will be back there Thursday to get my bar bonded on though and then in a month to start my adjustments again.

After we left my husband was dying to take me to eat.  I was a little nervous to try to eat in public but I agreed to try.  We went to Coco's and ordered pancakes, scrambled eggs, hashbrowns and biscuits and gravy to share.  I couldn't eat the crispy parts of the hashbrowns because they were too dry but I was able to eat everything else.  Not much of it since my stomach is so much smaller now and I get full really fast.  I was able to chew it all.  Actually chew.  I could hear my teeth touching as I chewed.  It wasn't loud but a light tap.  Not sure where they are in my mouth now so they kept touching.  I asked Andy if he can hear his teeth touching when he chews and he said a little but he never thought paid attention before.  I tried to drink orange juice with a straw but I couldn't get it right and I felt a little embarrassed even though no one was looking my way.  I tried to drink out of the glass and was able to do it ok.  Still felt silly though.  After our food we went home and took a nap.  I took some anti-anxiety pills my Dr gave me before I went to my surgeon's office and I was feeling loopy and needed to sleep it off. 

Our friend, Rowena wanted to take us out to lunch so we met her at Olive Garden after we woke up.  I ate soup and lasagna, again not much of it.  I couldn't eat the bread sticks though.  Those are my favorite there so I hope I can sooner than later.  We had a nice visit and she was excited to see me without my splint. After lunch we picked up my girls from school and they were so excited to see my splint was gone.  I told them I was getting it out while they were going to be in school.  My mom was really excited to see me without my splint so we went to her house after we picked up the girls.  She was very happy with the results.  My teeth and gums are really swollen and sore.  The sore gums feel kind of like silly putty.  We hung out and I was exhausted so now I'm relaxing at home happy that I can chew again.  Dr said I should take it easy this week and I should be able to eat a lot more normal foods next week.  :)

Before pics in my surgeon's office.  It was really hard to take these pics because they had already numbed my mouth and I was trying really hard to make my lips smile in the last pic.  lol. 

After splint was taken out
My mouth closed without trying to touch my lips.  They are close but not touching

I can get them to touch but I look a little strained. 

The pics below were taken with me making my lips touch

Just for comparison I am posting my before pic here again.


  1. Now THAT is a splint! WOW! You look great. You look so happy!

  2. Jenn - yeah! The splint is out! You look great! How do you like your new smile? You look so different in your before/after. It's amazing what this surgery does!

  3. Awesome pics! I love your new smile!

  4. Thanks again for sharing all of this. It's helping me get geared up for my surgery. I know you're excited to be over that hurdle. Congrats--you look great! --Kelli

  5. Thanks you guys! I am getting used to my new smile and it is growing on me. I really like it. The pics above I am really swollen because it was right after he took my splint and wires out. My camera battery is charging so I can post newer pics of the past few days. Also my mouth was not used to moving again without the giant splint. I have been working my muscles around my mouth and I think they look a little more natural now. At least it feels more natural. :)

    @hoaeajaw~lol. Thanks for making me laugh. :)
    @braced blogger~thanks. I was happy with most of how I looked before but this surgery made me so much happier. :)
    @baligirl~thanks. It is nice to get an opinion from all of you. I feel like my family and friends just tell me they like it because I think they should but when you guys say it I really believe it. :)
    @kelli~thanks for reading my blog. I'm so glad it is helping you. That is exactly what I hoped fo when I decided to write it. I wanted to read the truth about the sucky parts and know how long it took to get through them and how and I thought others might feel that way too. Good luck with your surgery. Hope you have a quick and easy recovery, well as quick and easy as possible. :)

  6. Jenn, what have you been able to eat now that your splint is out?? How's the swelling at this point? Any progress? What about the numbness? I've been thinking about you and just wanted to check in and say hello!

  7. How long will it take for all the swelling to go down? You can totally tell how different your smile/face is, but I can't wait to see it after the swelling goes down. At what point can you really chew, like grind eating---steak and meats, or can you do that already. How is the feeling in your mouth and chin coming along?

    1. Oh, that is me--Kathy from playgroup :)

  8. Braced Blogger~ sorry for the delayed response. I haven't really checked my blog since my splint came out and for some reason I didn't see the emails they usually send to tell me I had comments. I didn't see yours or Kathy's. I can chew things that are small. I wrote some of the things I can eat on my newest post. I can eat way more than the soft diet now but still not a regular diet. I cut things tiny and try to chew it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Numbness is still there. I can't believe that I even had the surgery and was so miserable just a few weeks ago. So happy to be mostly back to normal. Thank for thinking of me and saying hi. :)

    Kathy~ The swelling can take up to one year to go away. I am really swollen in the above pic because of all the tramatic things my surgeon did to my face that day. It didn't hurt but my face wasn't a fan and ballooned up. Thanks, I can't wait till it is all gone too. :) I can't eat meat unless I cut it really small. I try to chew it but I almost swallow it as big as I cut it. I can totally feel a huge difference in how I chew. I was only able to chew on my back right molar before and I can chew with all my teeth now. It feels really weird getting used to it but I love it. Thanks for checking out my blog.

  9. What was the bar like that your orthodontist put in? I have to get one in 2 weeks, and I am curious what it was like to have it and the placement of the bar.

  10. Thanks for sharing these. It’s always useful to get pointers to the good blogs out there.
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