As you may already know, our patients wearing bands are liable to have some 'tender teeth" for a day or two. The movement caused by teeth coming together. It can make certain teeth sore to bite into things for one or two days. Please remember this, when your friends, spouse or child complains, it's for real! Help by preparing something tasty, as well as comfortable to eat. Putting foods in a blender or cutting them up into smaller portions is one good way to make this time easier. Here are some suggestions to maintain comfort and nutrition.

Add an egg in the blender when making a milkshake. Some restaurants will do this for you, too.
Add cubes of cheddar cheese to bouillon, or other hot soups. The cheese will melt yet be easy to eat. Processed cheese works too, but it may turn the soup milky.
Baked potato - Add your own toppings, chili, cheese, etc.
Add well-beaten egg to boiling chicken bouillon. Skim off foam. Tastes like Chinese restaurant egg flower soup.
Flake canned tuna well to break up chunks. Add a little mayonnaise. Eat with fork.
Deviled Egg Sandwich - open face.
Cut grilled cheese sandwich in small squares. Drink with glass of cold milk.
Spaghetti - Macaroni and Cheese (Noodle's etc..)
Scrambled eggs - Beat eggs with egg beater, add a little milk, salt and pepper. Stir gently over medium heat until almost done. Turn off heat, cover, leave on stove for several more minutes. Eggs will be tender and fluffy.
Scrambled hamburger- Cook hamburger slowly over medium heat, stirring often to break up into tiny pieces. Do not overcook, as meat will get crispy.
Slope Joes - always easy!
Cheese soufflé. Try one! Even if it falls, it's still protein and it's still soft.
Use a meat grinder; if you have one, for other meats. Add a little gravy, sauce, or salad dressing to hold it together.
If biting is easy, but chewing is difficult, use ground up, or liquid foods. If biting is difficult but chewing is easy, cut sandwiches and meat up in small pieces.

Sometimes cooked vegetables are easily eaten, but parents may want to mash them up further with a fork; Salads are a real problem. If not enough fresh vegetables and fruits are eaten, constipation may become a concern. Forget that idea about tearing up lettuce by hand, and go ahead and chop it up finely with a knife. Tomatoes, creamed spinach, cooked squash, and cauliflower are a little easier to eat than some other vegetables. When all else fails remember the mashed potatoes and all your "a la king" recipes that go with them. Creamed tuna on mashed potatoes for dinner on the day after the orthodontist appointment has saved a high school athlete from imminent starvation. Since the discomfort is only for a little while, let the patient skip vegetables on nights when there's distress in his or her eyes.

Fruit juice, one of the great joys of the orthodontic patient! How about a section in the freezer just for the one with the glistening smile? A variety of the little frozen juice cans, tangerine, nectarine, apple, grape, pineapple, grapefruit, will add interest and provide pleasure. Fresh fruits, so essential to good digestive habits, are great in the blender. Try this:
Fresh, uncooked apple sauce. Peel apple, cut into chunks, put in blender with a little sugar and dash of cinnamon.
Fresh pineapple, or watermelon, cantaloupe, peaches, apricots, oranges! Or a mixture to create a South Pacific delight! A banana in the blender leaves something to be desired, so add that to a milkshake.
Frequently it is uncomfortable to bite or chew something very cold, with all that metal around the teeth. So take that one cantaloupe or grapefruit out of the refrigerator the night before, in order to have it at room temperature when it touches those sensitive teeth at breakfast
Here's something special. Core and bake an apple. (Use one of those little foil pans left from frozen chicken pies.) After removing the skin, put the apple in the blender, along with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a dash of cinnamon. Wow! Apple pie a la mode without the crunchy crust.

The greatest, softest food ever invented. Milk, plain, flavored, hot chocolate, milkshakes, cottage cheese, ice cream. All good protein foods.

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, hot cakes.
Lunch: Scrambled hamburger, cottage cheese, soup, tuna, eggnog, eggnog milkshake, custard, pudding.
Supper: Hot cereal, rice with butter, sugar and cinnamon, omelet's, hotcakes, eggnogs.
Snacks: Custards, gelatin desserts, puddings, hot bouillon with melted cheese.

We all know that whole wheat bread, bursting with those crunchy little kernels of grain are ever so nutritious. But just for a couple of days when eating hurts, break down and get some nice soft white bread. Deviled egg, peanut butter (creamy style) and jelly, deviled ham, tuna, chopped olive and sandwich spreads will probably not cause too much discomfort. Avoid bologna, lettuce, hard cheese, salami, roast beef, anything which really has to be chewed thoroughly.
Hot soup can be a lifesaver, and why not include a bread and butter sandwich that can be dunked in soup? Lots of bicycle knapsacks used by people now can easily hold a thermos.
Canned snack containers with gelatin, puddings, soft canned fruits are a great invention. Applesauce has sustained many an orthodontic patient. Cookies without nuts or raisins, that can be dunked in milk are welcome, as are cake donuts, sponge and angel food cake cubes.
Gourmet snacks for parties can include guacamole for spreading on squares of soft bread, fondue, chip dips on bread instead of potato chips, refried beans, and donuts dunked in hot chocolate. No one will feel deprived after dipping a cube of angel food cake in chocolate fondue!

What do you order in the restaurant if the family takes Mom out for her birthday? Meat loaf, pancakes, omelet's, meat balls, and spaghetti, filet of sole, poached fish, ground beef steak, mashed or baked potatoes, soup, ice cream, gelatin desserts, pudding, enchiladas, tamales, are a few suggestions. If you are in a very classy restaurant, tell the waiter your problem, and ask him to suggest something. A really good waiter will consider it an honor to be challenged, and will be extremely helpful and gracious in helping you order. Or, if chewing ANYTHING is out of the question, order soup and a chocolate milkshake. One hundred years from now, what difference will it make if a balanced meal wasn't eaten that one evening!
Any human being can tolerate discomfort with a minimum of complaining, if they know that someone appreciated their situation. Happy mealtimes will make treatment time fly!



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