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Even Super Models Must Eat

Walker

Walker Askins, model patient

Walker Askins of Germantown had a little apprehension about getting braces. Walker’s a student, an actor, and a model, and he didn’t want to miss any of his rehearsals. Or worse, have spinach stuck in his braces for a big photo shoot.

“Eating was no problem at all,” said his mom, Joanne Rhodes, a professor of physics at the University of Memphis. “For dinner the first night he had a pimiento cheese sandwich and a milkshake. He hasn’t missed a beat.”

Every patient has a different threshold for discomfort, Dr. Piper explained.

“I can’t predict who will have pain and who won’t, but mild anti-inflammatories usually provide enough relief. In adults, the sensation of moving teeth may be more bothersome because they’ve never experienced that before. I spend more time talking adults off the ledge than the kids. Adults are much bigger babies!”

To ease patients back into the routine of eating, our team of assistants developed a “three-day orthodontic diet” for the first 72 hours. As of this month, each new patient will leave the banding appointment (when the braces are applied) with a grocery tote and an orthodontic shopping list. Highlights include smoothies, soups and our favorite tiny pasta, acini de pepe, which feels filling to the tummy but doesn’t have to be chewed.

“We know how busy our families are,” Dr. Piper said. “The three-day list allows you to go straight from our office to the grocery aisle, if you wish, for a seamless transition into life with braces.”

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