Thursday, April 22, 2010

Orthodontics.

Day 112.

Yesterday, I planned to bake and present to you, dear readers, a delicious coconut custard pie. However, my daughter's teeth took center stage as we trotted off to the orthodontist for the first time yesterday. I had her scheduled for a consultation only. They took her X-rays, then the orthodontist (who looks just like Taye Diggs from Private Practice) examined her teeth. She needs her roof expanded (ouch), top and bottom braces, full bands, and (Bayberry, please forgive me for blogging this when you're my age) the thumb sucker device to help her stop sucking that thumb. Lots of work, and many years of orthodontia ahead.

So, we started right away. Yesterday's 1 hour appointment turned into nearly three hours, as they cast her teeth, photographed her teeth, mouth, and face, and inserted her spacers.

Pause: Have any of you ever had braces? I never did, though my two sisters did. One sister had to wear hideous headgear, and the other needed this roof expander like my Bayberry. I have enough knowledge that I could estimate her discomfort, but I was unprepared for her pain and tears last night. The orthodontist said to expect discomfort, and that it would pester her like having a piece of meat stuck between her teeth. But it took her taking two Excedrin and one Aleve to finally be comfortable. So I dread her monthly appointments!

The orthodontist told us to stuff her silly before her appointment to have the braces put on (our appointment for that is next Thursday) because she would be unable to eat anything at all for three hours after the appointment, and nothing with any texture at all for three days after that. I presume that's to allow the cement to settle? So mac & cheese, ice cream, milk shakes, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, refried beans, yogurt, and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches on that nasty white bread from the store will fill her days.

The last stop in the process of getting a kid set up for orthodontia is the finance office. Ugh. You don't want a kid to think they're breaking your bank with their crooked teeth, you know? My children are very thrifty and cost-conscious children. They bargain hunt and will refuse a toy or article of clothing if they feel like it costs too much money. We've instilled the value of a buck in them very well. But I never, ever, ever want them to think that their teeth should be bargained with. So I feel like I should have sent Bayberry on her way out to the waiting room to watch Animal Planet while I discussed the costs, options, and payment methods. But I was dizzy with information and wasn't thinking, so she stayed in the room with us.

Braces are expensive. For cost reasons, we chose metal braces rather than those nifty clear ones. I don't think it matters anyway, because the one thing that Bayberry is looking forward to in all of this is choosing her band colors each visit. So the clear ones wouldn't be clear anyway. We are also going to opt to put a permanent retainer on her after she gets her braces taken off, so that her teeth retain their straight positions all through her life.

I'm very thankful that we have dental insurance that will pay $1,500 of the bill. And the orthodontist offers a 20% military discount. That's a huge discount on braces! And the monthly payments are quite reasonable at only $89 a month. So all you parents with kids too young for braces, know this: it costs a small fortune. However, the payment plans are easy. And they don't charge interest. So braces aren't quite so painful on parents as I thought they'd be.

Now, if you have advice on making Bayberry's experience any better...any advice on pain reduction/management, food suggestions, anything, I'm all ears...er.. all eyes.

And now, the moment I've been waiting for all week: pie. Bayberry can eat the filling today, but not the crust. You go forth and bake a pie, and enjoy both filling and crust. See you soon!

Oh -- P.S. folks have been asking for me to make a button they can grab. Soon, I'll do a button exchange with you all. But I have to learn how, first. When I do, if you grab mine, I'll grab yours, too. :) I'll let you know!

Coconut Custard Pie
Slightly adapted from Bird's Eye

What You Need:
  • single pie crust, unbaked
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 cup 1/2 & 1/2
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 oz pacakge frozen flaked coconut, thawed
How it's Done:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, taking care to break up any lumps in the coconut.
  2. Pour into prepared pie shell.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 55 minutes, until top is golden brown.
  4. Let cool completely before slicing.

12 comments:

Angie said...

I found your post so interesting...I took my daughter to the orthodontist yesterday and we do have a scheduled appt to get x-rays and casting done and so forth....I hope you will keep us all updated with your experience, as I really don't know to much about braces...just what I learned yesterday. Would be good to know what food suggestions you have for the first few days and after. I am so sorry here about the pain...it is so hard watching your child in pain.
Good Luck!

Andrea said...

I'm sorry your little one has to go thru all the pain & agony of braces. :( I never had them, just a retainer and that thing hurt. She's lucky to have a mom who can make some awesome soft foods for her :)

Your pie looks & sounds delicious. I'm a sucker for coconut cream. I didn't know that they had frozen coconut, I'll have to look for that next time I'm at the store!

heather said...

poor girl! i hope it doesn't cause her too much pain. no help here as ive never had them, i was one of the lucky few that didn't need them. i wish you the best though!

Michelle J said...

Oh man, that pie looks good! Yuuuuum!

Livy just started her orthodontic journey last month. She has the expanding retainer and the "lip bumper" for now, with braces down the road. To help ease the pain of the office visits, we have a ritual of going to Big Tom's for a milkshake after every ortho appointment, whether they've tightened things or not. It's small, but it gives her a little something to look forward to. ;)

Mandy said...

I came across this site and use it for everything on my blog. Here is info on making and installing a button and grab box.

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She is awesome and good luck with the braces. I had them and they hurt like a bugger the rest of the day after getting them on. Not even chewing mac and cheese was okay. More like pudding and such that I could just swallow. Thanks for your posts. I love love them!

Michelle said...

I will certainly share my/her experiences. Her orthodontist's office is right next door to the mall, and in the same area as several restaurants, so we have options for our treat.

JUST THE SPACERS are causing her pain, so I can imagine it will be worse with the braces themselves.

Poor kid...I went in to tell her teacher that she'd probably miss school next Friday (day after braces) and it's the school field day, so Bayberry wants to go. I'll be there volunteering, so if she feels bad we can walk across the street and have her home in no time. I love living where I do. :)

Jenny G said...

eMMM braces! Painful, expensive and really worth it. My DS now 17 had braces and now DD has braces. Not as intensive as your DD probably only need them for the 16months. We use Panadol before she goes in for an adjustment and every four hours after and it seems to take off the edgy pain. NO icecream it cracks the glue (high and low temp) and you get told off when you go with a brace loose,here when that happens you don't get to choose your new colour for the lackies. Hold in there my DS has the most beautiful teeth and all the drama was definately worth it. Thanks for your blog spot its absolutely fantastic and I enjoy trying the recipes.

Jenn said...

I had braces....ugh...I had full braces, had to wear bands, even had to wear the hideous headgear at night. Oh and then came the wonderful retainer once I had the braces off!!! I can remember a few times when my mouth hurt so bad I thought there would be no relief! The day after getting it done was the worse! There will be days when they tighten those things and she won't be able to eat either. She'll get through it..and so will you all financially! I feel for her and her pain..she'll love you for it when she's older and doesn't have that overbite and nice straight teeth!
The pie looks great by the way! Yum and I don't even like coconut!

Jenny said...

Smoothies with bananas, Frozen strawberries, yogurt and orange juice were my son's favorite breakfasts after he had his braces on! A can of chicken noodle soup (I know it's not home cooking, but my homemade is just to "chewy"!)for dinner after his first day with them on... after that we were pretty much normal eating with the family(though he did milk the smoothie thing for a few days and I didn't menu plan hunks of cooked meat or poultry for a few days- mostly pastas, scrambled eggs and toast, hotdishes- yes I'm from MN and proud of my hotdishes!)

It's really not as bad as it could be.... and I am reminded every month that the day we get them off, he gets to make his famous taco nachos with the now banned "ito" chips...

Mary in Winston-Salem, NC said...

I feel your pain and your daughter's as well. I had braces, both of my children had braces. The most soothing thing to eat for me and my children was beef broth poured over pieces of sandwich bread with crusts removed. It's soft enough to not have to chew but still has some substance. The protein in the broth kept you from feeling like you were starving to death and it's warm and soothing to your mouth. The good news is all three of us survived. The temporary mouth pain was much easier for me than the cruel comments from some insensitive schoolmates about my crooked teeth! Hang in there!

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Samara Link said...

Well, I've added this to my list of Michelle-recipes-to-make. It looks soooo good.

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