Jaw Wired Shut – 8 Important things you need to know on its Care


What is Jaw Wired Shut?

  • Jaw wired shut is a small procedure most commonly done for few conditions such as a broken jaw or jaw surgery.
  • The wires help hold your jaw in place while you heal.
  • Here are the care instructions for the Jaw Wired Shut

Duration of the Jaw wired shut

  • The duration of jaw wiring depends on the specific situation and the purpose of the procedure. It can vary from a few weeks to several months.
  • The exact duration is determined by the healthcare professional based on the individual’s condition and treatment goals.

What is going to happen during Jaw Wired Shut?

  • Your dentist or other healthcare professional will realign your jaw. The healthcare expert will realign the fractured jaw bones if you have one.
  • It is possible to have an arch bar fixed to both your lower and upper jaw. It’s possible for tiny wires to pass beneath and between your teeth. The upper and lower bars can be joined by placing elastic bands. You won’t be able to open your mouth because of the bands.
  • Additionally, you could require upper and lower jaw screws. When fastened to the screws, the wires serve as a means of holding the left and right sides in position.

Jaw Wired Shut Important Care Instructions

Keep your mouth clean

  1. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water after eating or drinking anything. To make salt water, mix ½ tsp of salt in one cup of warm water.
  2. Brush the front of your teeth with a child-sized, soft toothbrush after you eat.
  3. If you need to vomit, bend over and open your lips. Always rinse out your mouth and brush your teeth after vomiting.

6 Important Oral Care Tips after the Jaw Wired Shut

What is the Oral Care you need to take after the Jaw Wired Shut – Use only a soft toothbrush to cleanse your teeth. Rinse your mouth with the prescription mouth rinse.

  1. You can brush your teeth the night of surgery, but make sure you rinse gently and carefully.
  2. Rinse your mouth with a cup of warm water mixed with a 1/4 teaspoon of salt the immediate day after surgery. Its ideally recommended you do this at least four times in a day. Do not forget to do this after your every meal.
  3. DO NOT use and electric toothbrush or water-pik at surgical sites until approved by your doctor.
  4. Use the prescription mouth rinse for rinsing your mouth. Follow the instructions as given in the prescription
  5. Avoid the over-the-counter mouth rinses especially during the entire first week post surgery
  6. You can continue your normal oral hygiene practices only if there are no surgical or injury sites in your mouth

How to take care of swelling due to Jaw Wired Shut

Swelling is expected after the Jaw Wired Shut

  • Ideally the swelling that is normally expected is usually proportional to the surgery involved.
  • To decrease the swelling, use soft pillows to Sit up or prop yourself up with pillows behind your back
  • The most common sites of the Swelling are around the mouth, cheeks and sides of the face. 
  • The reason of the swelling is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair.
  • Usually there is a maximum swelling by 2-3 days post operative.
  • Application of the ice packs immediately will reduce the swelling
  • Ideally an ice pack or an ice bag wrapped in a towel needs to be applied for continuous duration of fifteen minutes with short intervals and breaks while you are awake on the sites where surgery was performed.
  • Applying ice is of no use 36 hours after surgery.
  • No need to alarm if swelling or stiffness in the jaw has persisted for several days.
  • This is a normal reaction to surgery.
  • To minimise the size of the swelling thirty-six hours following surgery, it is recommended to apply the moist heat to the sides of the face or at the sites of the surgery
  • If you want to seek help on how to reduce the swelling, follow your health care provider’s instructions.

Diet after Jaw Wired Shut

Here is the detailed information on the Diet after Jaw Wired Shut

Your diet principally should include plenty of fluids and thin blenderized foods during the initial few weeks of your recovery period

How to add the minced or finely chopped foods into your diet varies with the type of jaw wire surgery performed

It is recommended to check with your surgeon before you increase the texture of your diet.

As a general rule, jaw surgery patients should not use a straw during the recovery period. Check with your surgeon before using a straw.

What you need to eat after Jaw Wired Shut procedure – You need to take lots of fluids and thin blenderized foods during the first few weeks post Jaw wired shut

After undergoing a jaw wired shut procedure, it’s essential to follow a specific diet to ensure proper healing and adequate nutrition while your jaw is immobilized. Here are some dietary guidelines to consider:

  1. Liquid Diet: Initially, you will likely be on a completely liquid diet for a period specified by your healthcare provider. This can include soups, broths, smoothies, milkshakes, juices, and nutritional supplements. Ensure that the liquids are smooth and without any solid particles that could get stuck in your wired jaw.
  2. Pureed Foods: As you progress in your recovery, you can start incorporating pureed foods into your diet. Blending soft foods to a smooth consistency can make them easier to consume with a wired jaw. Foods like mashed potatoes, pureed vegetables, and smooth baby foods can be suitable choices.
  3. Soft Foods: As your jaw heals and you become more comfortable, you can introduce soft foods into your diet. Examples include yogurt, soft-cooked eggs, oatmeal, well-cooked pasta, and soft fruits like bananas and avocados.
  4. Protein-Rich Foods: It’s important to maintain adequate protein intake for proper healing and muscle maintenance. Protein shakes, pureed or blended meats, fish, and tofu are good options.
  5. Nutrition Supplements: Depending on your healthcare provider’s recommendation, you might need to take additional nutrition supplements to ensure you are getting all the necessary nutrients while your jaw is immobilized.
  6. Avoid Hard or Chewy Foods: It’s crucial to avoid hard, crunchy, or chewy foods that could damage the wiring or cause discomfort. Also, stay away from foods that may leave particles or fibers that could get trapped in the wires.
  7. Hydration: Stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water or other allowed liquids throughout the day.
  8. Frequent Small Meals: Since eating might take longer and could be tiring with a wired jaw, consider having frequent small meals to ensure you are getting enough nutrition.

Always follow the specific instructions provided by your healthcare provider or dietitian regarding your post-jaw wired shut diet. They will tailor the dietary plan to your specific needs and the extent of your jaw injury. Additionally, maintain good oral hygiene by gently rinsing your mouth after each meal to prevent any food particles from being trapped around the wiring.

Fruits and Vegetables

(2 cups or more a day)

  • Fruit juices provide the easiest way to include fruit in the diet. Include a serving (1/2 cup) of orange, grapefruit, or tomato juice each day for Vitamin C. Liquefy soft fruits or canned fruits in a blender.
  • Strain and thin these fruits with compatible fruit juice. Cook vegetables until tender and liquefy in a blender. Strain and thin them to the desired consistency.
  • Avoid fruits and vegetables with seeds, such as berries or tomatoes. Tough skins or hulls on vegetables should be avoided. This includes corn, lima beans, and dried or raw fruits and vegetables.

Guidelines for Blending Foods

For this diet, food should be blended with enough liquid to produce a thin, easily-swallowed meal.

When the jaws are wired together tightly, it may be necessary to strain the blended food.

To add flavor and interest to blended foods or commercial baby food, it may be seasoned with butter or margarine and warmed to your ideal temperature.

How to take care of pain and discomfort due to Jaw Wired Shut

  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery while taking pain medicine.
  • Use petroleum jelly on your lips to keep them from drying and cracking.
  • Cover the wire with dental wax if any wires are poking into your lips or gums.

Sharp Wires or Sore Spots

  • Use wax to cover wires or hooks that may be causing discomfort, such as poking your cheeks, lips, or gums.
  • Do this by using a very small piece to cover the wire or hook at the site of discomfort.
  • Remove the wax before brushing teeth and eating or drinking.

Follow your health care provider’s instructions

  • Follow your health care provider’s directions about what you can and cannot eat.
  • Follow the instructions of your physician if any medicines needed.
  • Keep all follow-up visits as told by your health care provider. This is important.

It’s important to note that jaw wiring is a medical procedure that should only be performed by qualified healthcare professionals.

The decision to proceed with jaw wiring is based on the individual’s specific condition, the severity of the injury or disorder, and the anticipated benefits and risks of the procedure.

If jaw wiring is recommended, it is essential to closely follow the instructions and guidance provided by your healthcare team to ensure the best possible outcomes and minimize potential complications.

Only cut jaw wires in an emergency

  • It is advised to secure wire cutters with you at all times. Use them only in an emergency to cut the wires that hold your jaw together.
  • Do not cut the jaw wires:
    • Even if you are tired of having your jaw wired.
    • Even if you are hungry.
    • Even if you need to vomit.
  • You may cut the wires that hold your jaw together only:
    • If you have trouble breathing.
    • If you are choking.
  • Do not cut the wires that connect to your back teeth (arch wires). If you must cut the wires in an emergency, cut straight across the wires that hold your mouth closed. These are the wires that are connected to the arch wires.

Contact your surgeon right away or go to the Emergency Department if you have:

  • Fever, chills, or vomiting that is new
  • A lot of pain or swelling that is not getting better or is getting worse
  • Severe (really bad) nausea or vomiting
  • A hard time swallowing or breathing
  • Bleeding from your wound or your nose
  • Loss of several elastics or wires that makes your jaw shift

Contact your doctor if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You feel nauseous or you vomit.
  • You feel that one or more wires have broken.
  • You have fluid, blood, or pus coming from your mouth or incisions.
  • You are dizzy.

Call for help right away if:

  • You had to cut the wires that hold your jaw together.
  • Your pain is severe and is not helped with medicine.
  • You faint.


Jaw wiring, also known as maxillomandibular fixation (MMF), is a procedure where the jaws are temporarily immobilized by wiring them together. It is typically done using arch bars, metal wires, or other dental appliances to secure the upper and lower jaws together. This procedure is commonly referred to as “jaw wired shut.”

Jaw wiring is primarily performed for specific medical reasons, including:

  1. Jaw fracture: Jaw wiring is often used as a treatment for fractures of the jawbones. It helps stabilize the fracture and allows for proper healing.
  2. Corrective jaw surgery: In some cases, jaw wiring may be part of the treatment plan for orthognathic surgery or other corrective procedures to realign the jaws.
  3. Jaw surgery recovery: After undergoing extensive jaw surgery, such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) surgery or corrective jaw surgery, jaw wiring may be utilized during the initial healing phase to ensure proper alignment and facilitate healing.

Jaw wiring immobilizes the jaw and restricts its movement, which can significantly impact a person’s ability to eat, speak, and perform oral hygiene. Therefore, it is important to follow certain guidelines while the jaws are wired shut:

  1. Dietary modifications: A liquid or blended diet may be necessary during the period of jaw wiring. This may include consuming soups, smoothies, pureed foods, and other easily consumable options.
  2. Oral hygiene: Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial during jaw wiring. A syringe or specialized oral hygiene products may be used to clean the teeth, gums, and wires.
  3. Speech adjustments: Speaking may be challenging while the jaws are wired shut. Communication techniques, such as writing, gestures, or using communication apps, may be helpful during this period.
  4. Regular follow-up: It is important to attend follow-up appointments with the healthcare provider to monitor the healing progress and ensure that the jaws are properly aligned.

It’s important to note that jaw wiring is a medical procedure that should only be performed by qualified healthcare professionals. The decision to proceed with jaw wiring is based on the individual’s specific condition, the severity of the injury or disorder, and the anticipated benefits and risks of the procedure. If jaw wiring is recommended, it is essential to closely follow the instructions and guidance provided by your healthcare team to ensure the best possible outcomes and minimize potential complications.

  • Jaw wiring, also known as mandibular fixation or maxillomandibular fixation, is a medical procedure in which the jaw is immobilized by wiring or other methods.
  • This procedure is sometimes used to treat certain jaw fractures or as a temporary measure to immobilize the jaw for healing or alignment purposes.

Jaw wiring is typically a temporary measure, and the duration of immobilization varies depending on the specific situation and healing process. It is essential to follow the guidance and recommendations provided by the healthcare professional to ensure the best outcomes and minimize complications during the period of jaw wiring.



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