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Orthodontic Jaw Wiring for Weight Loss

Now here’s a weight loss plan that sounds easy peasy; just have your jaw wired shut so that you can’t eat any solid foods. With the guarantee of dropping weight from an enforced liquid diet how can you possibly lose? Very easily apparently, as the success rate of Orthodontic Jaw Wiring (OJW) as a method of weight loss is very, very low.

Orthodontic jaw wiring is a non surgical, supposedly painless procedure done in a dentist’s chair in under an hour. It is only ever used as a weight loss tool for the obese and compulsive eater in order to lose about 60lbs over 6 months. The wires in the mouth make speech difficult and may be quite uncomfortable because of restricted jaw movement. Then once the target weight has been reached, the wires are removed and the patient returns to eating normally.

And therein lays the problem. Even in clinical trials where patients received diet and nutritional counseling, exercise workouts and psychotherapy, as soon as the wiring was removed most patients returned to their old unhealthy eating habits and all weight loss efforts were lost.

Although more popular back in the ‘70’s and 80’s, orthodontic jaw wiring has never been a mainstream approach to treating obesity, largely due to the low success rate. Nowadays it has been mostly replaced by the much more modern practice of gastric bypass surgeries. There are, however, still some orthodontists out there who will gladly wire your mouth shut and take your money. Do yourself a favor, avoid this weight loss pitfall.

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