After booking in for a last minute appointment this week (in a surprising un-painful fashion, my gum, got trapped between brackets but appeared to right itself a few days later) I found myself scanning through my orthodontist’s website and came across a video that I took part in before starting treatment. It’s a kind of patient story and was filmed last year. Strange to see it pop up again but I thought it would make a good addition to the blog and provide some more insight into why someone might want hidden braces rather than traditional ‘labial’ ones.
Before I got my braces, lots of people said that the early stages were a difficult time for eating and a great time to lose weight. The idea of giving up my normal pile of food at meal times made me feel angry!
I therefore made it a mission to find some meal ideas that I could enjoy without damaging the brace or applying too much pressure on my teeth. A lot of it is about substitution and avoiding really hard and crunchy food. Here’s an example of what worked for me during the first few days.
Cook some porridge or use muesli as a base. Add some fresh blueberries and raspberries or whatever fruit you have in the house. Layer on plain yogurt and drizzle some honey. I found this to be a good substitute for crunchy cluster-type cereal. Exchanging the clusters for porridge or muesli makes for a smoother ride all round!
Any type of salad is gonna be good although it can get caught in the back of the brace. If you have a tooth brush handy, this isn’t a problem. Gobble to your heart’s content!
It’s easy: Fresh salad, hard boiled eggs, tuna (tinned) , raddish, green beans (boiled for a few minutes), new potatoes ( pre boiled) , tomatoes and anchovies if you’re feeling salty! 😉
Ricotta and spinach lasagne
Without laying on the mush, this was kindly made for me by my boyfriend on my first night with braces. It’s a great version of the Italian classic and it’s soft texture makes for a no-skimping, hearty meal without the tooth ache.
You will need:
- Olive oil
- Tinned tomatoes
- Fresh basil
- 2 x punnett of ricotta
- Spinach ( fresh or frozen)
- Fresh Lasagne sheets
- Salt and pepper
The tomato sauce
1) Finely chop one onion, a stick of celery and a carrot. Sweat these in a sauce pan with virgin olive oil for a few minutes. Add one crushed clove of garlic, cook for a few minutes before adding a tin of chopped tomatoes.
2) Make up a cup/half a pint of stock and pour that into the sauce pan and then season with salt and pepper to taste as well as a handful of fresh basil.
Tip: If you find that the sauce is a little bitter, add a tiny bit of sugar. If it’s slightly sweet, a tiny bit of vinegar.
3) Let this simmer on a low heat and leave to cook for 15- 20 mins or until it has reached a nice consistency.
The Ricotta Mixture
1) Mix 2 punnetts of ricotta into a bowl with grated parmesan cheese and a small amount of fresh ( if you can) or frozen spinach.
2) Add 3 tea spoons of grated nutmeg and black pepper.
Putting it together
1) Part boil your fresh lasagne sheets and lay a few in the bottom of a good sized baking dish
2) Start making alternate layers of your tomatoes based sauce, ricotta mixture, pieces of ripped mozerella cheese, grated parmezan and your lasagne sheets. The last layer should be a sheet of lasagne and feel free to add some of your parmesan to the top of this to crisp in the oven.
3) Once your lasagne has been layered, pop the baking dish in the oven for half an hour on 180 ‘ or until lightly golden.
To be honest, my teeth were never much of a big deal before. Ever since the arrival of my adult teeth, there’d always been a big gap at the front. The gaps and slightly forward facing front teeth were put down to my thumb sucking as a child and after feeling a bit self conscious in my early years I decided that the best course of action was just to learn to love them. I laughed about them a lot and took great pleasure in pulling goofy faces and doing party tricks by sticking things in between them. In the end, I kind of came to like the old muckers.
At 14, I was referred to the local orthodontist by my dentist. A consultation and other conversations passed by and my mum and dad explained that this was the best time to do something about my teeth. My best friend, who was also starting her own orthodontic treatment had already got underway. It was the perfect time. Looking back, they were probably right. (Sorry mum!)
Unfortunately, these appointments took place during my heavy metal, days spent in dark bedrooms listening to Pearl Jam (they’re still great), baggy jeans and general teenage rebellion phase. It didn’t take long until I went off the idea. I didn’t want teeth like everyone else. Besides, I had a boyfriend, didn’t want to be a metal mouth and what about those elastic bands?
On the day of mould taking, I was in full rebellion mode. I lay on the dentist chair staring up at a polystyrene head in the orthodontic surgery. It stared back at me with a weirdly over-sized set of metal glued to its mouth. It was then, to my parents and the orthodontist’s dismay that I sprang up out of the chair and announced that I didn’t want braces ANYMORE. I didn’t care about my gaps and never would.
That little tale happened over 14 years ago. So why did I decide to come back to braces? In short, I had a wisdom tooth removed last year and since then I started to notice that my teeth were moving and gaps have now appeared on either side of my two front teeth. The other reason is that a few years back, I started to take my musical hobby as a singer and songwriter a bit more seriously. I recorded an EP and started to gig. Every time a photo was taken, all I could see was… the teeth! Oh how my mum and dad were right. After some thought, I decided to settle that niggling anxiety once and for all and give braces another go.
Photo by http://annelierosencrantz.com/