Thanks for all the helpful suggestions.. the area of my gum that wouldn't stop bleeding has now cleared up. I absolutely love my new WaterPik, so much so that a weekend away meant I only ended up desperate to use one on my return.. I DEFINITELY recommend using warm water if you have sensitive teeth (like me) - it's quite uncomfortable otherwise and almost painful. I got some orthodontic tips too, they are really useful for use after you've eaten/before you brush to get out the big chunks of food that are lodged in. I wouldn't say it was essential to have one, but they are pretty helpful. And the way I figure, I can carry on using it even after the de-bracing (though Lord knows that's a LONG way off yet...)
Not really anything to report brace-wise, still waiting for my next appointment and enjoying my time off (despite the English weather ruining my camping trips..) so I thought I would actually take the time to show my latest photos of my bite and how horrific it's gotten (although all the gaps have now closed up). They all show me biting down fully, even though it looks as though I have my jaws apart, this is just how large my crossbite is now. I think this is pretty much how they will stay until surgery; there aren't too many archwire changes left now I don't think. Still, we will see how it goes after the next ortho appointment.
Above photos: natural, and smiling (though not my full grin that I normally do without thinking!)
It's odd, I used to hate the fact I had a 'big chin'. It's become ever-increasingly apparent now that I know what work I'm having done surgically is that a big part of it is how narrow the gap is between my top lip and nose. It's kinda scary to think about how much of a difference there will be, particularly in this region post-surgery. Really tough to envisage!