Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sunday, August 7, 2011

day... i don't know: !epic photo post!

final post!

I know, I know. It's August. I promised these in March. I'm going to go with the whole "better late than never" adage and I hope it'll suffice! But really though, I decided against putting all of these up a few months ago because I just really didn't know how I felt about putting all these photos of myself out there. I was kind of embarrassed, really, and I guess I just chickened out.

Let me preface by saying that it's taken me a lot of thought and a large degree of 'bravery' to upload these on the world wide web.

For as long as I can remember, I've avoided taking photos from my side like the plague. It's also been years since I've taken a photo with my teeth showing and here I am putting it all out there like I'm in a carnival peepshow so please excuse my cold, shivering feet.

Since I've taken an embarrassing amount of photos of myself both pre and post surgery as a documentation of my journey, I figured I might as well share some of them - especially if they can serve as some sort of reference point to people who are thinking about surgery. Before I decided to take the plunge and embark on the thrilling journey of orthognathic surgery, I did my fair share of research and I found so many blogs and forums that really helped give me the shove that I so badly needed. Now I just hope to be of some help to those who realize that they, too, need surgery to achieve the perfect bite and are feeling apprehensive or afraid.

History (here).

Cliffnotes: I am a scaredy cat. I started orthodontic treatment on January 14 2010. Got double jaw surgery with genioplasty done on December 13 2010. I am now about 8 months post surgery.

Enough with the rambling. Here goes nothin'!


Exhibit A:
My side profile dating from pre-braces to almost right before surgery. With jaw surgery to correct under-bites, more often than not the orthodontist will have to exaggerate your under-bite in order for the surgeon to properly correct it during surgery. I was actually worried sick about this part of the whole journey because ugh it's my under-bite I hate most and it's going to get even worse? No bueno! :'|

Exhibit B:
Wow teeth. But an even clearer representation of how much my bite had to be and was shifted pre-surgery.

Exhibit C:

And we're post-surgery! Be warned. Photos dating from December 2010 - January 2011 are pretty much hilarious because I was SO. FREAKIN. MASSIVE. I blogged a fair bit during my super swollen days so if you'd like you can backdate a bit and read those entries.

The first few weeks were absolutely no fun. For one, I COULDN'T EAT AND THAT IN ITSELF IS TORTURE I TELL YOU, TORTURE!!!! I was fully prepared for it and on hindsight it wasn't that awful (yes I'm actually saying my liquid diet was halfway bearable) but it was still crappy not being able to eat. During Christmastime. And coming down with infections during the New Year period was terrible. Ugh okay moving along.

You'll see that even 20+ days post operation I was still swollen, but it was nothing compared to the swelling I saw in the first 2 weeks. Even now, 8 months+ post op, I still have some residual swelling in my cheeks and chin that might not ever go away and I'm okay with that. I'm okay with that.

Exhibit E:
Life in color. Here are some more photos of my profile and let's just compare this to Exhibit A for a second. Holy guacamole.

Exhibit F:
I'm no Rosie the Riveter but the night before surgery I was feeling quite spirited and excited and thus this pose came about. 2 months later, I decided to try the same pose on for size as a comparison and this is what came of it.

DEC 12 2010 vs FEB 2 2011
go! fight! win!


All of my rambling has been about the physical aspect of things because otherwise my recovery has thankfully, been very smooth. I've regained 100% of the feeling in my face and I don't feel any numbness. If I had to nitpick, it would be that I can't totally feel my gums, but frankly it doesn't affect me in any way.

I don't and have not for even one second regretted going through the entire process. If you're feeling nervous, anxious or even helpless about having to undergo orthognathic surgery - trust me when I say I completely understand. I've received a few emails lately asking about jaw surgery and as much as I maintain that it seems a lot scarier than it actually is, it is a major operation after all. It's certainly not something to be done on a whim because your faces changes a fair bit with the surgery, and I've read that some people actually feel less satisfied with/ cannot get used to their post-surgery mug, rare as it may be.

Remember that after all, it is most importantly a health related surgery and although it is best to correct any jaw related issues you might have as soon as possible, it should boil down to a compromise between what you want and what you need. (What you need obviously being far more pressing.) I've heard so many people tell me 'Oh but it's optional! You're just doing it because you're vain! Don't do it! It' dangerous!!' While I can understand their fears, it is most important to talk to your orthodontist. Consult oral surgeons. Get second or third opinions if you must because jaw issues only exacerbate with time so while you may not be affected now, it may cause a bigger problem in the future.

I'm going to end my zillion word thesis with this: it's a pretty major operation. No two ways about it. But it's not as daunting as it seems. And from my personal experience, it has absolutely been worth all the time and money and effort. And pig headedness and hunger and bruising.

It is now August 2011, and I've completed my entire orthodontic process. I was freed from the metal in my mouth about 2+ weeks ago and I've gotta say - I kind of miss it! I keep my retainers in as much as I can get away with because it makes me feel safe but I'm enjoying my new teeth. That being said, I don't really know how to smile without looking awkward/ reluctant/ downright riduclous just yet... But I'm sure I'll figure it out!

Here's a little video I quickly put together of me right before & after I got my braces off.

This will be my last post here on mmm, as this chapter of my life is officially closed. You can find me blogging about regular life (HERE). Feel free to ask me questions if you have any. Good luck and cheers to perfect teeth!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

day 105: metalmowth


So I once posted that I would pimp out my 30th/ 60th/ 90th day post-op blog posts but alas, I let them slip by without any recognition whatsoever and I'm ASHAMED okay? ASHAMED.

What kind of jawgger doesn't commemorate important milestones? Well, this one, apparently. Anyway, to make up for the lack of shiny obnoxious text, here are some rainbow dots to celebrate 105 days post surgery.

I actually just visited my orthodontist aka Speedy Gonzalez yesterday and true to his style, I was in and out of the dentist's chair within 4 minutes. He put me on "cherry" sized rubberbands which unfortunately span across my entire mouth - Think top left canine to bottom right canine so... Yes. It's not party time in my mouth right now. He says that I have an errant tooth (DAMN YOU, TOOTH) and my mid-line isn't quite perfect so there are quite a few adjustments to be done. Very well then *_*

3-4 more months of being braceface! This year is shaping up to be 754 kinds of unpredictable so I'm definitely looking forward to something that should more or less be certain.

On another note, I'll definitely get around to posting before-during-after photos. I have an arsenal of multi-angle/ very unflattering monthly pre-surgery photos, and daily weekly monthly frequent photos post-surgery. I think they'll be a very decent guide for people who are thinking about going ahead with this to refer to! I will try to have them up by the end of the month.

metalmouth metalmowth.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

day 79: LUBCHU

I was just idly looking at and comparing photos of myself from almost exactly a year ago (pre-braces) and right now (2.5 months post jaw surgery/ 13 months on braces) and... Damn. While I'm certainly no beauty queen, I sure feel a a heck of a lot better about myself.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011



It's been so long since I've posted so I must apologize for the layers of dust that have been collecting on the blog. It's come to the point in my recovery where I feel like I'm completely done with it, so I don't really have much to update to be honest. So you'll have to settle for my thoughts and feelings instead of any real physical updates.

I had my last orthodontist appointment about 2 weeks ago and OH MY LAWD for the first time since I've had braces on (not including the surgery recovery period), I had to pop painkillers to get me through the day. He was brutal. As much as I'm extremely glad to be done with surgery, I am certainly not looking forward to all the fine tuning that my orthodontist is promising to carry out in the next 6 months.

Here's something weird I've been doing. I've been grinning at myself in the mirror like an idiot more times than I care to mention. Not because I'm
  • a) checking for food bits (okay well maybe a bit)
  • b) admiring my breathtaking beauty

    but because .............

  • c) I have a deeply haunting/ probably unwarranted fear that maybe, just maybe, my teeth and jaws would have shifted in the hours I haven't checked and I'd suddenly be bamboozled with the same jaw/ set of teeth I had a year ago.
Thankfully, that hasn't happened yet. I'm not going to stop checking just yet though. What?? I'm scared, okay.

It's surreal how fast time has passed. It feels like just yesterday that I was hooked up to a drip, lying on the hospital bed with a bed pan placed conveniently under me and my face the size of Australia. How time flies......

Thursday, January 27, 2011

day 45: oh snap

I've officially swallowed my first rubberband. This requires, well, nothing really. Maybe an awkward look and obligatory concerned "is that safe?" comment. (I'm pretty sure it's safe if it's made for daily oral use. Moving on.)

I saw my surgeon yesterday and I readily albeit sheepishly admitted that I'm back on a totally normal diet. He responded duly with widened irises.

I added "Doc. Like, biscuits and all."

He was certainly none too pleased. He kindly suggested that I keep the cookie-chewing to a minimum until I hit the 2 month post surgery mark (2 more weeks!) and if I must have some biscuits to please soften it in a hot malt drink beforehand. Oops. I most certainly did not tell him about the tug-of-war I had last week with the yakitori no sirree.

For the most part, though, he said my bite is looking fairly stable and there aren't any major causes for concern. He did note that there's some room for improvement (gaps from previous extractions, neatening up) in my upper set of teeth but my orthodontist can "fix it quite easily".

Fixing. *shudders*
I am so not looking forward to this fixing business. Blurgh OH BRACES BRACES BRACES YOU ARE ALL PAIN ALL BANE AND NO FUN AND NO GAMES.

Next orthodontist appointment is on February 7th (after the Lunar New Year, thank G!) and my next surgeon's appointment is later on in the month. Oh how I look forward to a schedule not littered with orthodontist/ surgeon's appointments......

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

day 43: of many peppero sticks

I blow chunks at updating this space. *hangs head in shame*

Real life, real food and being back at work have been the biggest culprits I tell you. And my (unabashed) laziness.

Thing is, I'm knee deep back in the pool of real life and it feels like I never left! My weeks of living on liquid and mush feel dream-like, almost and I think about those times none too fondly as I chow down on my McNuggets meal or hainanese chicken rice (extra liver, please.) The time I had off work seemed to fly by and now I'm 6 weeks post LET'S CUT UP MY FACE surgery and thrown right back under the bright fluorescent office lights and living life just as I did 7 weeks ago.

Frankly, I'm not sure how normal it is to be back on a pre-surgery diet ~6 weeks post operation. And believe me y'all - I've been going at it. I even had yakitori the other day and let's just say chicken gizzard on a stick is very, very chewy. A lot of other blogs I've read took a while longer to dive back into a normal diet but I'm attributing that to additional apparatus like bite plates and the like. I've got nuttin' except the wonderful silver in my mouth I call grillz braces.

I see my surgeon tomorrow so we'll see what he has to say about my wild, rampant, reckless chewing.

To anyone going for/ recovering from jaw surgery - It's not that scary! I promise!!! Take it from me. I'm 6 weeks post surgery and I'm back on my nutritious diet of chocolate pocky sticks and ferrero rocher. Chyeah.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

day 36: MY GUMS!

I literally just realized that I cannot feel my gums!

I was haphazardly, you know, touching my gums (what, you mean not everyone does that kinda thing?) and I realized that my fingers could feel the gross gumminess of the area above my teeth, but I couldn't actually feel them from the gum side of things!

Ah.. Hmm. I guess that hasn't really been affecting me at all (figures, it did take me 5 weeks to realize) but how strange! I thought I was rid of all the numbness. Not quite yet, I guess!

Saturday, January 15, 2011


my dinner ^_^

Friday, January 14, 2011

day 32: curry huff

Yesterday marked my first time trying to chew in a month.

Annnnd it took me 45 minutes to finish 40% of a bowl of instant noodles and by the end of it I was so tired I gave up on it altogether. Good times.