Friday, February 10, 2012

Day 43 / Out Damn Splint!

Yesterday was a joyous occasion - my splint came out! It took about 3 minutes for my surgeon to snip all the wires and remove that little plastic speech disturber from my mouth, then another minute to remove the last few stitches that hadn't fallen out yet (so much for dissolvable stitches). I was so excited to finally see my teeth and bite. It felt very strange to feel my front teeth touching each other - they have never, ever touched before.

Say cheese!

Pre-surgery pic for comparison

My upper front teeth are a bit mobile (which is very disconcerting) and my far back teeth on both sides don't quite touch (they're close, but no cigar), so I'm elastic-ed shut for at least the next 3 weeks to correct these issues. They're uncomfortable but at least I can take the elastics out to eat. Active orthodontics will start in 3 weeks when my teeth have settled down. Yesterday I just had new wires put in and my orthodontist and his staff took a look at my teeth (this was my first appointment after surgery). They were almost as excited as me to see how the surgery turned out. They also got a good laugh at my request to brush and floss after the old wires were removed - this is an unusual request in an office that sees mostly kids.

On the jaw surgery recovery front, feeling in my upper teeth started coming back this week. My surgeon said it's unusual to get feeling back so soon and that I must be a fast healer. Yay me! The only problem with the feeling coming back so soon is that it has somehow caused me to start clenching and grinding my teeth at night. This isn't something you want to do when your upper jaw is healing, but unfortunately there is nothing that can be done to stop it. To add insult to potential injury, when my lower jaw gets tired of clenching, it opens up wide despite the elastics holding my mouth shut. Grr. Needless to say, I haven't slept much this week. I know it's all temporary so I'm trying to ride it out without too much complaint. 

I'm halfway to being allowed to chew again, although I have to admit that the last 6 weeks haven't been bad at all. It's amazing how many things you can eat without chewing - pretty much everything except crispy/crunchy things. I don't feel deprived at all. The biggest issue (and this is probably a benefit) is that because I need a knife and fork to eat anything, eating on the run is out. I never realized just how much I ate in my car now that I can't do it. 


  1. Congrats on losing the splint. I am sooo not looking forward to that part.
    Its amazing how fast the time goes by. Your smile looks beautiful!!!
    How long altogether are you on a no chew or a soft chew diet?

  2. Thanks Terra! The time really has flown by. I know some people hate their splint, but it wasn't that bad for me. My upper jaw was widened so much that I had more room with the splint than I did pre-surgery. It was more of an annoyance than anything when speaking.

    I'm on a no chew diet for 6 more weeks (12 weeks total). I can eat anything I want as long as I don't chew it. It was weird at first and I choked on tiny pieces, but I got used to it pretty quickly. I'm able to eat a lot faster and in bigger pieces now. Every surgeon does things differently and I've seen others encourage their patients to chew after just a few weeks. Has your surgeon told you how long you'll be on no-chew? However long it is, you'll do fine.

  3. Hey BaliGirl, I'm sorry to be so late the party by just following you today. I love your blog. It is so informative. I'm also dealing with an anterior open bite, so I found your 'testimony' especially helpful. I think you are the first person to post a picture of the splint. Also, it is so rare to see people post smiling pictures as well as close up of how teeth fit right after surgery. So, thanks! I'm also very excited to hear that acupuncture worked for you - that is something that I had considered, but never read about anyone else doing it. Oh, and congrats on getting that splint out!

  4. Hi Amanda, thanks for joining the party! :-) I'm glad you find my blog helpful. I scoured the web for other blogs while researching my surgery and honestly found them more informative and helpful than official info provided by my surgeon (who is fantastic and a great communicator, but couldn't possibly/shouldn't be expected to cover every possible little thing that I wanted to know about). I wanted to share my experience to help others, so YAY! I succeeded!

    After the splint came out, I was told to band my mouth shut 24/7 except when eating. I am probably the only person who would ever say this, but I would trade these bands for another 6 weeks of the splint.

  5. Hey there! It's been a while. Looks like you are doing great! Glad to hear that splint is finally out! I'm sorry to hear that you are grinding at night. I used to grind and clench...very unpleasant =( It is temporary. Take care!