Day 172: Goodbye Braces . . .

Before I wax lyrical, let me just say that I am now the proud owner of a mouth WITHOUT braces! Yup, you read correctly, my teeth are now freed from their mechanical prison, I no longer have to worry about what foods will get stuck in my braces, I no longer have to position my mouth so as not to rub the wires against the arch wires and hooks, I no longer have to do a whole lot of things. I am free from braces!!!

Of course, being able to smile without have the reflection of metal also means, somewhat regrettably., that this journey is now at an end. I am almost sad if that doesn't sound too strange. That said, here are a few facts that might be of interest to you (and if not, well, they are to me)

  583: Days since my braces were installed
  171: Days since my jaw surgery
  1: Teeth extracted in the process
  18 mm: Total movement that my lower jaw was moved forward by the surgeon. The average is 5-7mm. 18mm was almost a record for my surgeon who has decades of experience.
  12 mm: Total that my upper jaw was widened by the surgeon.
  40 lbs: Total weight loss since my surgery
  1: Nights I have snored since my surgery (my wife can attest!)
  Zero: Feeling in my chin as a result of surgery
  Zero: Regrets about have the surgery performed . . .

Quite incredible when you think about it really; although 583 days sounds like a long time I can honestly say that time has flown by. Well, perhaps with the exception of the one week following surgery :)

I have spent an inordinate amount of time today looking inside my mouth, looking at my teeth, rubbing my tongue on teeth, practicing my smile in the mirror, and overall feeling a tad happy about how everything has turned out . . .

Within the next week I will add the remaining pictures, add additional content to the FAQ, and add a final Lessons Learned post. I just wanted to get a quick post written letting you know that my braces are finally off!

It has been quite an adventure hasn’t it . . .

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10 Responses to “Day 172: Goodbye Braces . . .”

  1. CONGRATS!!!!! You look great!
    I've had my braces on for about 8 weeks - so at the opposite end to you. I hope that I can reiterate some of your comments when my journey comes to an end
    Enjoy your new smile :)

  2. @Ellie - Thanks! 8 week mark - how are you liking the braces? Not necessary 'fun' but you definitely get used to them! Good luck with everything!!

  3. Hi John - so far so good with the braces. To date they have been pretty nice to me, I am yet to have any cuts or ulcers from them (Yay & touch wood). The most annoying thing is having food get stuck in them all the time, so I am brushing about 3 times a day (not necessarily a bad thing).

  4. @Ellie - do you have a waterpic for your braces? Best thing ever invented for 'cleaning and clearing' your teeth after you have eaten! :)

  5. Wow John. Good for you. You have been an inspiration to me with your unbelievable positive attitude. I am at 14 weeks Post Op. That is almost 100 days. I look forward to Day 171 and getting my braces off! Best wishes to you always.


  6. @Bomholtb - Thanks for the comments! I try to be positive as there is nothing else you can do really! :) Keep me posted on your progress!

  7. Just found this blog and read all your posts and all I can say is THANK YOU! I'm having orthognathic surgery next month (just the top jaw) and I'm scared to death by the whole process. I've had braces three times in my life and when all is said and done I'll have had them for 10 years (roughly 1/3 of my life). Anyway, thank you again for your blog, it's put me at ease and answered a lot of questions I had.

  8. @Stephanie: Thanks for your comments and congratulations to you on your upcoming surgery; you will be so relieved when it is over! :) I would like to have said I was not scared or nervous but as you have read my comments you know that I would not be telling the truth!

    It truly is amazing to me though how quickly time flies by (perhaps not that 'first week' post surgery . . . ) and before you know it you will be looking in the mirror, amazed at the transformation. Good luck and keep us posted on your recovery!

  9. I accidentally found your blog in a google search on how to get rid of scar tissue post jaw surgery. Your blog is very informative! but what made me keep reading post after post, after post, were the similarities I was seeing.. I believe we have the same surgeon! In fact, I'm almost positive that we do! What are the odds? I am only 6 weeks post op today, and am really hating all this scar tissue. Did you have a lot after your surgery? Dr. Egbert said he can do a small surgery about 6 months post op, to get rid of it, but I would like to avoid that if at all possible. Which is why I was doing a google search on it, when I found your blog. Thanks!

  10. @Brytt,

    First of all, congratulations on being six weeks post-operative! I don't know what particular jaw surgery you had but I know that you are past the dreaded 2 weeks post-op phase of life!

    Dr. Egbert is a fantastic surgeon is he not?! Apart from constantly banding me shut (talking too much) for weeks and months on end, I think the world of him 😊

    Sounds strange but I now that I do not see him weekly, fortnightly, monthly, I kinda’ miss going to see him and his optimistic attitude, telling me how great I look and how everything was 'proceeding as expected'. Never believed that phrase because really, how can a person look great with an incredibly swollen face, bruising everywhere, whilst simultaneously drooling when talking and eating . . . 😊

    As for scar tissue, like you, Dr. Egbert hoped that surgery would not be necessary. I was diligent to say the least where the gauze pads where concerned in the hope that would scar tissue would reduce. It certainly did to some degree but the reality is that my now non-functioning tooth still scratches and bites on the tissue a lot.

    That said, I actually still have little feeling in my lips and chin area and so I really do not feel the scar tissue that much. What really bothers it is when I am trying to chew and food catches against it and, as a result of the ongoing nerve regeneration, let's just say that I definitely feel the scar tissue then! Dr. Egbert thought that he might have to extract the offending non-functional tooth but I do not think it will be necessarily to be honest. The irritation for me is presently due to the nerve damage and not the scar tissue.

    Over time, the scar tissue does reduce in size and is pushed to a place that it does not obstruct. It will get better. As I read other blogs and discussion forums relating to where Orthognathic surgery, very few people have needed additional surgery. I recognize that it is terribly inconvenient presently but it will get better over time!

    Good luck with your recovery and keep us posted!

    Happy Christmas!