Eating When Your Jaw Is Wired: Care Instructions

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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 through a straw or syringe. 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 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 that you can blend until they are smooth liquid. You can puree vegetables or fruits in a blender or food processor. Put milk or soy milk 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.

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.