Since October 6 of last year, I’ve been adjusting to a change that has been a long time coming… 10 years in fact. I’ve been putting off a maxillofacial surgery for that long y’all! In my last years of high school I spent over a year going to surgeon after surgeon and getting expert opinions on my case. Back then, I was told by most that I needed this surgery and then there was that one guy who told me a mouth guard would solve my issue. I’m still scratching my head at that one. As a young adolescent girl, I did not want to hear the words braces nor did I want to hear the word surgery. I am no stranger to surgery, as I have had rhinoplasty when I was 14 to correct my nose from sports trauma injuries that caused breathing issues for me. I knew how hard it was to go through the nose surgery, so I put it off in hopes that maybe this problem would just maybe go away. It didn’t. Fast forward 10 years and I am noticing day after day how much my mouth has changed. My bite is teeth on teeth and I am ruining my teeth by constantly biting on them. I would need veneers (like Hillary Duff’s ;p) at some point if I did nothing. On top of the part that I am ruining my teeth, I am in a lot of pain. I’ve had TMJ for as long as I can remember, but things just have gotten worse. There is pain when I eat many foods, pain when I lay on a pillow, and migraines associated from the alignment issue. I got to a breaking point and really thought about my future. One late day in September, I had an “Ah Ha” moment and said, “This just has to happen! I have to just DO IT or else I never will go through with it.” I made 3 phone calls, had two consults, and within 12 days I had my braces on. I still cannot believe how quickly things moved.
The whole process entails 9-12 months of braces >> surgery >> 6 week recovery with mouth wired shut >> 6 ish months more of braces >> finished product! That’s A LOT to sink in and endure. The surgery is a lot to process. It will be gritty and bones will get broken. I try not to think about that part too much. Getting my braces on was the hardest part. It was terrible, I won’t lie. I ate smoothies, soup, or really nothing at all for almost 3 weeks. I was in so much pain and almost asked to get them off. I lost almost 10 lbs that I did not need to lose and I just had zero energy. Throw patenting two small children into the mix and it was some of the hardest weeks I’ve been through. My sweet husband always kept ice packs cold and ready for when I needed them and even held them on my mouth- he was my biggest encourager and has been such a team player! But, I made it, and I am proud to say that part is behind me! I am one step closer to a perfect pain free smile! I’ve gotten used to my braces and I don’t need to wear wax anymore. It’s still weird or hard for me to pronounce certain words, but I am good at laughing at myself so that helps 😉 I did decide to do the clear on the top just to feel kind of normal. Honestly, I didn’t want to look back at family pictures and see METAL. The clear I can deal with, ha! Because of what they have to do to my mouth while in braces, I do have stainless on the bottom, but apparently a high percent of women don’t even show the bottom of their mouth while talking- hey, you learn something every day! So, I was fine with the stainless at the bottom.
That timeline above is terribly long to even think about, BUT, I thought about how quickly my own kids have grown and how fast the time has gone by. What is 18-24 months in the grand scheme of things? Nothing. It’s a blink is what it is. Sure, some parts will be very hard, like the surgery, but I’ve had two babies, hopefully I can handle this! I’ve gotten used to the good, the bad, and the ugly and it’s all just fine. I’ve mastered a lot of mouth cleaning techniques ;p !
I have not been on snapchat or Instastories really at all because I wanted to write this out. I wanted to explain why I just went MIA one day. Some of you noticed, but many of you didn’t which was good ;)! I needed this time to get used to this new rhythm of my life and to adjust. It took awhile for me to get to feel comfortable. And now, I don’t even think about it. If there is anyone who is thinking about braces, has to have them, or are putting them off- I’m here and would love to chat with you! It’s a big deal for an adult to get braces and definitely isn’t the norm. I want you to know it’s do able and it’s way less weird than I thought it would be. Obviously, I’m married, I’ve got 2 cute kiddos, and a family who loves me. This small step is just a tiny pebble in the grand scheme of things. And, when my husband tells me, “babe, your braces are just too cute!” you know your people really love you and are in it with you til the end! I finish this sentence with the song, “We’re All In This Together” from High School musical, in the back of my head ;p Because the only time I even remember I have braces is when I run into another high school kid who has them too! Thanks for reading y’all!
Photos by: Sunny Jones Photography