As you can see, my teeth were pretty bad. First, there was just no room for everything. I even had all 4 wisdom teeth removed when I was 19 and it made absolutely NO difference in my teeth. Then add in there 20 years of flute playing that probably affected the bite. I had wanted braces for years because I was very self-conscious about my smile. My family could not afford them when I was a child. In February of 2004 I finally went to see an orthodontist. After looking at my financing options and talking about the treatment, I decided to do it. The ex dickhead didn't really like it, but oh well! So in May of 2004 I had my braces put on. I was only wired on the bottom, but had brackets on the top, they just weren't connected. In June of 2004 I had the Rex put in on the top. The rex was a really painful device that made me talk very funny. It spanned my pallet. It did nothing for 3 months while I waited for a surgery date. On August 22nd I had my first surgery. The first surgery was the rapid pallet expansion where the surgeon went in and surgically broke my pallet. I then had to turn the rex every day to slowly expand the pallet. If you are young, they can do this without surgery as your pallet is still soft tissue. But when you're in your late 20's, it has to be done surgically.
I hated the braces. They were annoying, the rex made it difficult to talk and the surgery was so painful. I was in tears the first night because I hurt, my nose was bleeding and the dickhead wouldn't do anything to help me.
In January of 2006 I had the final surgery. In this surgery they broke the upper pallet, again, but in 3 places to bring it forward, out and down, this is held in place with 8 titanium plates and 32 screws. The lower jaw was broken in 2 places (one one each side) to bring the lower jaw out, this is held in with 4 plates and 16 screws. This surgery was the worst of all. But fortunately I had KM who took VERY good care of me. It was a test of sorts to see how he'd do. He was great, assuring me that it would all be worth it, blending my food, trying to find things I could eat, etc.
Last fall I was getting discouraged because it didn't feel like I would EVER get out of braces. And I'd look at myself and think that I didn't like how my new smile looked and that I wasn't going to be happy with it and it would have all been for nothing. KM kept assuring me that I would like it and I would have a beautiful smile.
In December of 2006 the orthodontist said that they would come off in February. I refused to believe it. I remember that when I was first in braces I was at the orthodontists for a checkup and the girl next to me was crying because she was supposed to get hers off that day but he wanted to wait another few months. I remember thinking, "jeez girl, it's just a few months, get over it." Now I knew that if he did that to me, I would cry. So I just assumed that he would tell me no. I did tell them they had to be off by June 24th (wedding day) or I was taking them off myself.
So on February 16th I went in and he confirmed they were coming off!!! It hurt like hell, it feels a bit like you're getting your teeth pulled. And when they were all of my teeth felt slimy because they were smooth, LOL. But when I looked in the mirror, they looked ginormous to me. But I've gotten used to my new, wider, straighter smile. I can honestly say it was worth it, every adjustment, every power chain, TP bar, rex, surgery, wax, rubber band. Worth it. Totally and completely worth it. Now I want to bleach them and make them whiter. So here is the AFTER photo. Not the best photo of me, but it will do.