And as promised, the glorious smiling-with-teeth after splint removal picture:
|Just braces - no extra contraptions! Except the hooks for the elastics.|
|Flattering view, I know.|
Being rid of that horrid splint brings me indescribable joy! I can now fit my teeth together and feel exactly what it's like to have a proper bite. It seems like I should be saying it feels fabulous/amazing/incredible and so much more comfortable, but truthfully it just feels plain strange right now. Biting down and feeling actual contact in the front just doesn't quite seem right...yet. It's something I'll have to adjust to over time. I do obviously love the way it looks as well as the idea of someday (in the near future hopefully!) being able to bite into a cheeseburger and actually create a perfect bite mark. Oh the glory.
I am, however, still in 3 elastic bands all the time aside from meals, snacks, and Photo Booth pictures. Weirdly enough, they give me a sense of security - like nothing will screw up my bite or the healing process while they're in; so I don't completely hate them. My speech is 95% understandable most of the time when I wear them so they don't restrict me from conversations, which is helpful for me, being a brand new college student and all. People have been surprisingly accepting of it and not visibly bothered by my speech - even when I had that hideous splint still in. Plus it makes for an excellent conversation-starter, ironically enough. Still no chewing in the eating department, but I'm not sure I would even feel comfortable attempting to chew if they told me I could. Everything still seems so fragile - as if one wrong move on my part at this point could screw up the years of preparation and execution behind this smile.
Even when my bands are off, speaking is still a strain almost because of the newness of this bite. I've never had teeth that touch like they're supposed to, obviously, so I'm having to relearn how to produce certain sounds. I feel like I need speech therapy.
I can tell just by feeling around there is still some orthodontic work that needs to be done, especially since the surgery involved my upper jaw being split into 3 pieces and consequently the wire of my braces being cut in 2 places to allow for the rearrangement. I'm praying the work left to be carried out is minimal though and maybe I'll be out of these braces in early 2012! We shall see.
I'm actually going to try to make a quick video tomorrow with my bands off so the YouTube world can see how much progress I've made. No more using note cards to talk, that's for sure!
As much of a hassle as it is to drive down to Nashville for appointments especially now that I'm in college and living even further away than I was before, I have to say I don't mind making that trek once a week one bit if it means I get to enjoy the double eye candy. I always feel so creepy talking about that on here, but seriously. I can't even describe it adequately so you'll just have to take my word. My mom agrees wholeheartedly.
It's the little things in life, truly.
Growing happier each and every day,