Eating When Your Jaw Is Wired: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Jaw surgery sometimes means that your jaws have to be wired shut for several weeks to heal. This makes it hard to eat. You will have to drink your meals or eat only very soft foods, such as mashed potatoes or pureed foods. Liquid meal supplements, such as Ensure and Boost, help make sure that you get protein, vitamins, and minerals. They also have high-calorie versions, so you can make sure that you keep your weight up.

Your doctor may suggest that you see a dietitian to help you plan meals.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Eat soups that have been put in a blender (pureed), milkshakes, baby food, or any foods you like that are liquid or pureed. You can puree vegetables or fruits in a blender or food processor. Put milk or soy beverage with yogurt or ice cream and fruit in a blender to make milkshakes.
  • Drink liquid supplements, such as Ensure or Boost, one or two times a day.
  • Try to drink or eat liquid foods 6 times a day rather than 3 times a day.
  • Sit up while you eat.
  • Swallow slowly to keep from choking.
  • Keep wire cutters with you at all times in case you throw up. Your doctor will show you how to use them.
  • After your doctor removes the wires, follow directions for what kind of foods to eat when you start chewing again.
  • Follow your doctor's instructions for cleaning your teeth and mouth.

Where can you learn more?

Go to http://www.healthwise.net/ed

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Current as of: July 26, 2016