Back in July I went to the dentist for my regularly scheduled cleaning, only to find out that my wisdom teeth were starting to make their first appearance, meaning I was due for some X-rays. I went in later that week expecting the usual “oh you should probably get those taken out soon,” but instead I got a “holy crap, you have teeth in your nose!!” Then I remembered…. I never lost my top baby cuspid teeth. The adult teeth now reside aaaalll the way up in my nose. Turns out the dentist wasn’t even worried about my wisdom teeth coming in, but something has to be done about those teeth in my nose.
See! Look at that! It’s crazy, man!
We took my X-rays of my funky teeth to an orthodontist and I was given 3 options: leave everything the way it is and hope for the best (this was not recommended seeing as baby teeth are not meant to last very long and even more problems would occur down the line), pull the baby teeth and the adult teeth and pop in some fancy fake teeth, or pull the baby teeth and attempt to coax the adult teeth into coming into their correct place. (Keep in mind, the baby teeth will not come out on their own, nor will the adult teeth come in on their own (they’re stubborn, just like me)). Although there is only a 50/50 chance of actually getting my adult teeth into place because I’m already 18, I decided to try and get ’em in. I kind of like the idea of having my own teeth in my head, not fake ones.
Now you might be wondering, “how in the heck are you going to get the teeth from your NOSE, into your mouth????” Carefully. Very carefully.
The procedure involves braces and oral surgery. I’ve been 1,000% against getting braces my entire life. Every time the dentist recommended getting braces, I politely declined. I don’t really care what my teeth look like, as long as they function properly, but apparently they aren’t exactly doing what they’re supposed to, so braces it is! Here’s how it’s going to work: braces plus an expander (I have a tiny mouth and they need to make space for the teeth), then oral surgery, then pulling the baby teeth, and finally, attempting to get those pesky adult teeth where they belong. During the surgery, they are going to go in and attach little buttons to my adult teeth, attach the buttons to chains, then attach the chains to the wire on my braces. As time progresses, links of the chains will be cut, thus pulling the teeth further and further down. Getting the teeth in will take roughly 1.5 years if we are lucky. The amount of time with braces on will be about 3 years because we have to get everything all nice and straightened out once the new teeth are in.
I don’t know about you, but this sounds pretty painful to me….
I got my spacers put in about 2 weeks ago and boy were those painful!! They’re basically little discs put in between your back molars to create enough space to put the bands on for the braces. Because I have to get an expander, I was lucky enough to get some for my front teeth too, woo hoo (I’m hoping you sense my sarcasm here…), so I ended up with a whopping total of 12 spacers. I went back a week after getting the spacers to get braces put on, but after taking the first 3 spacers out on the top and being in tears from the pain, we realized the top spacers had to stay in for another week. The bottom teeth, however were ready for some braces! I wasn’t expecting the braces to be as painful as the spacers, but man are they painful! The top brackets went on yesterday, meaning another week of dental discomfort.
So far, I’ve been unable to eat solid foods for about 2 weeks, so I’ve come up with a pretty decent list of things to eat while you are struggling with the pain and discomfort of braces, or any other oral discomfort:
- Smoothies- these are basically my best friend right now because the coldness numbs the pain a bit and they’re nice and filling. Throw some spinach and flax, chia, or hemp in to make sure you’re still getting all your nutrients and such.
- Mashed potatoes- make sure you mash them really well though! I like to sprinkle some garlic powder on them or drizzle some cheese sauce on them
- Baked sweet potatoes- if you’re feeling like something sweet, add cinnamon and some brown sugar, mmm
- Lima beans- cook the crap outta those suckers! I cook them in water with a bit of smoked paprika for about an hour or longer
- Soups- in chunkier soups, all the veggies get soft enough that they can be squished on the roof of your mouth (it’s almost chewing, right???). If you can find or make some really soft bread, soak it in the soup and it’s pretty easy to eat.
- Oatmeal- I still haven’t quite mastered chewing the oatmeal, but it’s soft and small enough that it doesn’t really require chewing. I like to add some peanut butter or chocolate chips to mine.
- Applesauce- those little squeeze pouches of applesauce are amazing for a little snack
- Bananas- mash ’em up and maybe add a little nut butter of some sort. If they’re really ripe, you might be able to manage just cutting them into slices and squishing them on the roof of your mouth.
- Non-dairy yogurt- smooth, creamy, and cold- perfect for sore teeth. I like So Delicious yogurts the best.
- Protein shakes- Svelte protein shakes are the bomb diggity! They are delicious and filling.
- Steamed vegetables- if you really steam the crap out of them, they squish pretty easily on the roof of your mouth
- Pudding and jello- same concept as the yogurt, but more dessert like. You can find vegan jello and pudding at Whole Foods.
- Soft muffins/breads- after a couple of days I was able to tear little pieces off of some muffins and suck on them for a bit and they were pretty easy to eat. These can also be dipped in soups or non-dairy milks to soften them up a bit.
- Ice cream- the one bright side of braces, you can eat all the ice cream you want! It is nice and cold on your gums/teeth, so it numbs the pain a bit. Some of my favorites are Dream Gelato and So Delicious.
- Soft fruits- I got a papaya the other day and some kiwi, which don’t pose too much of a threat as they are both fairly soft and squishy fruits already.
This milkshake is perfectly smooth, creamy, sweet, and filling, just what sore teeth need! Plus, look at that pretty pink color!
Vegan Strawberry Milkshake
Makes 2 Cups
2 Tablespoons Raw Cashews
1/2 Cup Non-Dairy Milk
2 Cups Frozen Strawberries (about 8 large berries)
1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
A Pinch of Pure Stevia OR a Drizzle of Pure Maple Syrup or Agave Nectar
1 Cup Spinach (optional)
1 Tablespoon Flax, Chia, or Hemp (optional)
Add all ingredients to a high powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy. If you do not have a high powered blender, be sure to soak the cashews for at least 2 hours prior to blending.