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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Popcorn and Braces

My daughter has the best orthodontist. Everyone on staff is attentive and friendly. My younger kids are always clamoring to come with us when we have an appointment.

Enjoying one of the 3D movies playing in the lobby at Dr. Bills' office while big sis gets her braces adjusted. 
When the braces went on about a year ago, Dr. Bill's staff gave my teen a big long list of foods that she should avoid. Most notably, those with braces should steer clear of popcorn. Our family loves popcorn and we eat it nearly once a week during family movie night. If you've ever had a piece of a kernel stuck in your gums or between your teeth, you know how aggravating it can be when it won't come out. Imagine what a popcorn husk stuck in your gums with extra hardware on your chompers would be like!  I didn't expect swelling gums pressing up against the braces wire, blood, or major discomfort. But, Lucy came to me one night with all of those and tears in her eyes.

I promptly called her orthodontist, Glen Bills. He told me that there was likely something stuck in between her teeth. He told us to get a threader (one of those stiff floss things that look like a big sewing needle) and tie a few knots in the floss part. Then, he said to pull it through the gums and teeth a few times. Dr. Bills said there would likely be a lot of blood, but, if it was in fact a piece of food (I suspected a husk from popcorn), the gums would feel better in a day or two. We followed his instructions implicitly, and, voila! her gums were back to normal in a day. No more pain, no more swollen gums, and no more popcorn.

That list of foods not to be eaten by those wearing braces isn't to make life miserable, it's a list to prevent misery. Listen to your orthodontist—he knows what he's talking least ours does.

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