A teenager hasn’t stopped smiling after undergoing surgery which has gotten rid of her ‘resting bitch face’.
Paige Dobson, 18, claims she spent years ‘looking miserable’ due to her top jaw sitting so far forward that her upper and bottom teeth never met – meaning when she moved her mouth to smile the skin on her chin would ‘crease, pull and dimple’.
The self-conscious teenager would try to smooth the creases out by keeping her expression neutral, something which she said left her looking ‘constantly miserable’ and appearing to sport a ‘resting bitch face’.
Paige was bullied for years at school, with her peers imitating the way she laughed and even following her home from school – something which ultimately led her to try and hide her overbite by refusing to smile.
The 18-year-old, from Netheravon, Wiltshire, said she ‘hated having pictures taken’ and would always cover half of her face with her hand. ‘It held me back from enjoying myself and being able to smile nicely in photos,’ she explained.
Her mum would always ask: ‘Paige why have you got a resting bitch face?’ when they looked back at pictures of her, with the teenager explaining: ‘She was obviously kidding, but it was from where my mouth was pulling so I constantly looked miserable. I felt it because I looked it.’
So when her orthodontist mentioned the surgery to her during a brace appointment in February 2017, she knew it was something she wanted to pursue, with Paige stating: ‘the orthodontist said braces wouldn’t do anything because my overbite was so bad.’
After two-and-a-half years in braces, Paige had the surgery – known as bimaxillary osteotomy – at Salisbury District Hospital in Odstock, Wiltshire, on January 15 last year.
During the gruelling five-and-a-half hour operation, the 18-year-old’s top and bottom jaws were broken, realigned and secured in place with metal plates and screws. The transformation was so radical that when Paige’s mum, 46-year-old hairdresser Tracey Dobson, walked into the room after surgery she didn’t recognise her daughter’s side profile.
When my parents came in the room my mum said as she walked towards me she took a step back and went to walk away because she didn’t recognise me as my side profile was already different.
The operation hasn’t just changed my jaw it’s changed my nose too – everything is completely different.
Now, a year on since the operation, Paige has gained so much confidence she now loves to smile. ‘All I do is beam in photos,’ she said. The teen says she ‘doesn’t recognise’ the person she sees in the mirror and feels like life has just begun.
When I look back on pictures before my operation it’s like I’m looking at a completely different person, it’s weird. It’s not just the outside of what you see but it’s the inside as well – it’s definitely made me a much stronger person.
It hasn’t been an easy road to recovery though; Paige was forced to deal with regular bleeding from her nose and mouth and was left in extreme pain post-operation.
Her mouth was also wired together for a fortnight due to extreme swelling, meaning Paige was unable to eat anything for three-and-a-half weeks. This caused her weight to plummet and left her relying on her mum syringing water into her mouth.
The 18-year-old says that, while yes she did have to go through a lot ‘both physically and mentally’, it was ‘100% worth it’ and described it as ‘the best thing I’ve ever agreed to do’.
‘Now my resting bitch face has gone for good,’ she added.