Q: I'm 15 and my lower jaw stopped growing in the first grade. I live in a small community and go to a small high school. Everyone except my best friends make fun of me and this has been going on for such a long time...fifth grade. I'm a sophomore now. I don't get my surgery until next summer. Will they have to remove my wisdom teeth before that? And do you have any advice you could give me? Most of the time, I dread everyday at school.
A: My heart just goes out to you. This sounds like such a horrible situation. I mean, elementary and high school are hard enough to get through without major jaw problems and people teasing you about it.
I'm glad you have best friends who are good to you, and at least you have a problem that is fixable, you know? Think about all of those people who get teased for things that they could never change, even if they wanted to.
One year seems like a lifetime right now, but in one year, no one is going to be able to tease you about your jaw or teeth again. If your problem is that noticeable right now, imagine what a dramatic difference the surgery is going to make! You are going to look fantastic. I bet people who've known you for years won't even recognize you! It's really exciting, when you think about it.
Try to concentrate on the end results. Make a calendar counting down the days/weeks/months until your surgery. You probably don't have a date yet, but estimate one and outline it in glitter and bright colours. When people tease you, just say to yourself, "Wow, they're pretty stupid to be teasing me about something so superficial. Just xxx more days and this will all be over."
Of course, if they're really nasty people, they'll find other things to tease you about that have nothing to do with your jaw. But some people are just jerks that way. They're probably insecure about the way they look and tease other people to distract everyone from their own flaws. Losers.
It's great that you're getting the surgery done while you're young, by the way. The younger you get it done, the quicker you heal and the less chance there is to be complications with nerve damage and that sort of thing. As much as it sucks, you're really fortunate to be doing this now, and not having to live for another 17 years (like me) with a short jaw and the pain it brings, physically and psychologically.
So, hooray for you!
And yes, from everything I've read about the surgery, you do have to have your wisdom teeth removed first. Fortunately, I had mine out when I was in my late teens, so I didn't have to worry about that before my jaw surgery.
Just one tip for you: If you can, go to an oral surgeon to have your wisdom teeth out and get them to give you the good drugs (IV drugs). I know some people who just went to a dentist to have them out and were quite traumatized. Besides, any excuse is a good excuse for the good drugs, in my books.
Best of luck to you, and please let me know how you are doing as things progress!
*To ask Bella a question about her jaw surgery, email her at smilingbella at gmail dot com or leave a comment on this post. Go ahead: ask away!!