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How to Use Jaw Wire Cutters

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 4, 2022.


Jaw wiring

is done to help a broken jaw heal. The wires will prevent you from opening your mouth or moving your jaw. Before you go home after surgery, you will be given a pair of wire cutters. Keep the wire cutters with you at all times. You will need to know when and how to cut the wires in case of emergency.

How to cut the wires:

Only cut the wires if you are having severe trouble breathing or you are choking.

  • Use your finger to hold your lip away from your teeth.
  • Cut the wires that hold your jaw shut. Do not cut the arches or braces.
  • Remove loose wires so you do not swallow them.
  • Wire Cutters for Wired Jaw

What to do if you vomit:

You do not need to cut the wires if you are only vomiting. Do the following:

  • Bend your head over and allow the liquid to flow out of your mouth. It is okay for some liquid to come out of your nose.
  • Cough after you vomit to make sure you do not inhale any liquid.
  • Brush your teeth and rinse your mouth. This will help remove any food or liquid from your teeth, gums, and wires.

After you cut the wires:

  • Go to the emergency department immediately. You will need to have your jaw wired shut again.
  • Do not move your jaw around. Your jaw may be sore or stiff, but try not to move it around. You may injure your healing jaw.

Do not cut the wires for any of the following:

  • You think your jaw has healed, or you do not want your jaw wired anymore.
  • You are hungry or thirsty.
  • You have to vomit.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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