Unexpected dietary changes

Alex got her braces on her upper front teeth last Sunday. Then, after a month, the braces on the lower front teeth. Alex specifically wanted colored elastics to go with the braces and, for this month, the elastics are blue. She was wondering aloud last night what color they’ll be next month.

Alex was the one who wanted the braces. She’s growing up and getting conscious that her front teeth were not as straight as Sam’s. We’ve been planning this for so long but finding the right orthodontist proved tougher than we imagined. See, since we moved to the suburb, we haven’t seen any dentist on a regular basis. We used to go to one for the minor jobs like propylaxis but, for the bigger jobs, Speedy still went to our dentists of over ten years, a husband and wife team in the city.

We would have preferred to bring Alex there for her braces. The kids have never been to any dentist but them. Trust, after all, is a big word with kids and dentists. But braces require regular check-ups and the city is too far away. And, more than that, it’s really time to let go of too many city hang-ups. We should have a regular dentist here in the suburb.

We finally chose one, the orthodontist who did the braces of Sam’s best friend, Joan.

Alex Veneracion

We were all warned that Alex would experience discomfort, and pain, for the first few weeks. No diet change is necessary but she will have to bite into meat carefully.

Well, the no diet change was easier said than done. Alex can’t tolerate meat, she’s having difficulty chewing vegetables and she can’t even eat regular sandwiches. Because it is simply physically impossible to prepare two sets of meals each time, we’ll all have to go on a diet change. Some compromises are in order and everyone will have to cooperate.

Alex herself isn’t being difficult. She’d be happy with instant noodles but I won’t allow it. Just because she can’t chew well doesn’t mean she has to deprive herself of healthy food.

So, we’re cutting down on red meat drastically. Overcooked chicken is okay, lots of fish and lots of soupy dishes. Alex even suggested overcooked pasta. Lugaw (congee), with finely minced meat and vegetables, would be ideal but no one is crazy about lugaw in my family except Speedy.

There’s going to be a lot of baking too since the only “bread” that Alex can eat is chiffon-type cakes.

The orthodontist said the braces will probably be off in less than a year. We’ll all be skinny by then.