When I got to my oral surgeon’s office to get my wires off, I had a couple of rude surprises. I would not be allowed to chew for another three weeks, and my muscles would be so sore from disuse that I wouldn’t be able to open my mouth very far. Of course, everything was still easier than with my mouth wired, but there were still some adaptations that needed to be made.
When I ate dinner on my first wireless evening, I was filled with the disappointment of thinking that my culinary options wouldn’t be expanding much at all. But over the course of the next few weeks, I discovered that I could eat almost anything I wanted, so long as I was willing to adapt a little bit. If I wanted bread, I could shred it in the blender. If I wanted pasta, I could cook it until it was a bit softer than I ordinarily would. If I wanted a cookie, I could soak it, either in a glass of soymilk, or in my mouth before swallowing. In the end, I had very few of the smoothies and soups that comprised the bulk of my diet during the wired weeks. Here are some of the foods that kept me going in the post-wired time:
- Hummus, with shredded tortillas
- Peanut butter and jelly, with shredded tortillas
- Refried beans, with shredded tortillas
- Soy yogurt
- Lasagna with overcooked noodles (with cashew ricotta)
- Ramen with silken tofu
This might seem obvious, but it’s also important to remember to get enough to drink. In the first couple of weeks after I had my wires removed, I drank very little and frequently felt dehydrated. For three weeks, eating and drinking had been the same act, and I had some trouble remembering to do them separately now that there was a distinction to be drawn.
(see also posts tagged “no-chew diet“)
The first few days after I got the wires off, I wasn’t able to fit even a children’s toothbrush between my top and bottom teeth, so my oral hygiene technique borrowed heavily from that of the preceding three weeks. I did also get some CVS brand Dental Flossers, apparently a store-brand equivalent of a product called Plackers, which allowed me to start flossing my teeth before I could fit my fingers in my mouth. It was a couple of weeks before I could fit my children’s toothbrush all the way into the back of my mouth again, and then things became easier. I think it was about a week and a half before I was flossing without the Dental Flossers, but it wasn’t something I tried every day. The Water Pik remained useful for cleaning the arch bars even after I was able to fit the toothbrush in my mouth.
(see also posts tagged “oral hygiene“)