Something which I have never shared with you guys is about my physical health, more my physical appearance. What I am about to share with you guys isn't anything major but has affected me both physically and mentally and in the coming months it is all going to change.
When I was about 11 years old my dentist sent me off to see an orthodontist in St. Jamses hospital. I didn’t know why until I got there when it was explained to me that I have an underbite. This basically means that my bottom jaw comes out further then it should creating a gap between my lower and upper jaw. I guess your asking yourself why is having an underbite a big deal? Well for the past number of years it has affected my appearance especially in my teenage years, although it was never something I was hugely self conscious about I knew it was there. Not only did it affect my appearance but it has also affect my eating, because my underbite was originally bad enough to avail of public dental treatment it meant I couldn’t bit thin things such as sandwiches and pieces of ham with my front teeth. It wasn’t extremely bad but again it was something which I was aware of. Over the years I had annual appointments with my orthodontist to monitor my growth, take photos, x-rays and make some moulds. This was all done because any treatment to correct my underbite could not be done until I was at least 18 years old as I needed to stop growing before the problem could be corrected.
Finally I began to see my orthodontist more often when I turned 17/18 and it was at that point I had to make a life changing decision. When I say life changing I mean it is life changing in terms of my appearance and my ability to eat food using my front teeth. It was explained to me that my underbite had gotten worse as a result of growing, which I guess is understandable but that the only way for the problem to be corrected is with surgery. So I was told I could get the surgery but as a result of the preparations required my underbite would get a lot worse in order for it to get better or I could stay the way I was. As I had grown older I became more aware of my underbite, I didn’t want pictures taken of me from the side, I didn’t like to eat in front of people especially when eating foods that were thin and I had become somewhat self-conscious about how it made me look. When I had gotten control over things in my life, my depression and self-harm I took some time to think about weather or not I wanted to have a correct bite. It took time to think about things, many conversations with my dad and a surgeon telling me that he highly recommended me getting the treatment to fix it. So after awhile, weighing up all the pros and cons, I decided to go for it, I decided to being the treatment and to be honest although it was a big decision I made it fairly easily because the talk of treating my underbite had been going on since I was 11 years old.
So I decided to get the treatment and well now that I'm on my journey to the perfect bite I figured I would share my story with you guys. So in February 2013 I embarked on my first part of treatment, braces!! They haven't been that bad to be honest, you get use to them pretty quick but they are very sore initially and when you get them tightened but other than that its pretty ok. So the reasons for the braces are not only to straighten my teeth but also to increase my under bite in order for the next step of treatment to be a success. So I've had my braces for almost 15 months and it has made my underbite a lot worse. I don’t have pictures from before my braces, well my dentist does but because I wasn’t sure about sharing my story I didn’t document it photographically but here is a photo which kind of shows my underbite from a few years ago I think I was 15/16 at the time and then here is a picture of my underbite now as a result of my braces.
|You can see how my lower jaw comes out further than my top|
jaw without braces. (I look less creapy here)
|From the front of my mouth you can see the gap between my teeth which explains why I struggle when it comes to eating certain foods, especially thin foods.|
The next step of my treatment is the removal of my wisdom teeth, all four, in the one day, at the same time!!!! Needless to say I'm freaking out about it!!! they will be coming out on May 12th and then we are one step closer to the final step which will be jaw surgery to break my jaw, remove some bone parts or something and then replace it in the correct position with some metal plates.
So there you go, the first entry about my underbite journey. From now on I will keep you guys updated with any major events as well as documenting post surgery even when I'm swollen. So keep a close eye for some photos or even a video from after I get my wisdom teeth out, how I'm feeling and if I can talk.