Oh Happy Day! Getting Unwired!

Eventually, you will be unwired and able to chew again!

Here are some common questions about the unwiring process and what to expect.

smiling sun

What to expect

Question Answer
How long before I am unwired? It varies, but generally about four weeks.
Does it hurt? Yes, it hurts some. It's a lot like getting braces off, but just a little more painful because your jaw is still tender. My doctor prescribed a liquid codeine for me to take an hour or so before my appointment.
How long does it take? It takes about an hour to unsnip the wires and pull off the bands.
What does it feel like afterwards?

It feels great to be free! Your jaw will not open very wide for the first week or so, and it will still be sensitive. It gets better every day as long as you don't overdo it.

You will be able to talk just like you did before you were wired shut. Call your friends to thank them for all their support!

What can I eat? You can eat many soft foods right away. I immediately went for the french fries which were a little challenging, but I was determined to have them. Here are some other suggestions:
  • Pasta - macaroni and cheese, lasagna
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Chunky soup
  • Bread, muffins, soft cookies, cake
  • Cooked veggies
  • Cheese
  • Bananas (may need to cut these up first)

After a few days, you can try:

  • Tender meat, cut into small pieces
  • Frozen dinners - most of these are soft
  • Soft fruits, cut up
When will I be back to normal? This depends on the extent of your injuries. Your doctor should give you an indication, but for many people you will be able to eat anything after about two months. You will be able to open wide enough to bite into your favorite sandwich.
My only lingering jaw issue (years after the accident) is soreness when I get my teeth cleaned. It hurts a little to keep my mouth open for so long and to have someone applying pressure on my jaw.
Should I call my dentist? Absolutely. Call them a few weeks before you are unwired to setup an appointment for about two weeks after you are unwired. They can do a gentle cleaning, measure your bite, and examine your alignment. You may need to have some teeth shaved to correct your bite, or you may require orthodontics.