Jaw Locking Device For Weight Loss

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There’s an interesting device that’s being
touted for weight loss. It locks your jaw shut so you basically can’t eat too much,
except liquid food. But could it work? And is it a good idea for
losing weight? Hi! I'm Dr. Brian Yeung, a naturopathic doctor
in Toronto. Let’s take a look at these devices like the DentalSlim Diet Control. Wiring a patient's jaw shut, also known as
Maxillomandibular Fixation or MMF, to prevent them from eating too much is not a new concept. There was a time in the 1970’s and 80’s
that dentists often carried out this procedure to help patients lose weight. By keeping the jaw shut, patients could no
longer bite or chew food, and had to consume mostly an all-liquid diet, on which they typically
would lose weight. This unusual use for a dental procedure was
also not the only one of its kind. In the 2000’s, a retainer-like device was
marketed to help patients take smaller bites.

It would sit in your mouth and take up space,
making it awkward to eat and chew food too quickly. Basically, it would take much longer
to eat food with this device in your mouth. Some modern devices are not much different than
the orthodontic jaw wiring procedure used in the early 1980’s, although it uses magnets
to hold patients’ jaws together, rather than wire, and is paired with a specific very
low calorie liquid diet to achieve weight loss. Risks and complications. Having your jaw wired shut poses some distinct
problems. There are choking risks if a patient vomits. Eating problems aside, you may find it difficult
to talk or clean your teeth properly. You may have difficulties breathing normally
if your nose or sinuses block up or you have allergies.

Things like sneezing and yawning may be uncomfortable. Damage to your teeth from the equipment used
to fuse your jaw shut is possible, albeit uncommon. You might also get constipation, as the all-liquid
diet you’re now forced to go on lacks fiber or bulk for your stools. You may also experience a significant change
or decrease in your quality of life, and it might cause significant psychological distress. You see, we take opening and closing our mouth
for granted, and do it almost as naturally as something like opening and closing our
eyes. It’s the primary way we carry out essential functions, like communicating or
consuming food. So by suddenly taking away our ability to
do so, may present challenges some people are not ready to face. This psychological distress should not be
underestimated, especially during weight loss, since many people stress eat, and creating
a psychologically stressful environment can make it more difficult to follow a healthy
weight loss diet, or have a good weight loss mindset.

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Is it a good idea? The device works primarily by forcing compliance
to a liquid diet onto patients. Following any very low calorie liquid diet
like a juicing fast is effective in helping people lose weight initially, but is rarely
sustainable. For many people with their jaw wired shut,
some weight loss is achieved, but only temporarily. In fact, studies seem to show that nearly
all patients regain weight after removal of such devices.

I wouldn’t be surprised if a patient gains
even more weight afterwards, as the psychological distress created by having their jaw wired
shut may trigger stress eating and compensatory consumption of solid foods, after being unable
to eat them for so long. Should you do it? For long-term weight loss, I’m not sure
it would be helpful. The device forces compliance, and does not
really help you to develop good dietary or lifestyle habits. If anything, it creates poor dietary habits,
since liquids are not usually as filling as proper solid foods, like vegetables. If you’re thinking about using it to help
you temporarily to drop to a certain weight, say before a surgery, simply following a very
low calorie diet, like a portion-controlled Mediterranean Diet, would likely be less stressful,
and far cheaper. However, just because I can’t think of any
good applications right now doesn’t mean it couldn’t be helpful. There may be people who find it useful in
specific circumstances. But based on all the patient reports, studies, and my experience
with different weight loss tools, I find it difficult to recommend in most circumstances.

Let me know in the comments down below about
what you think about this device, and if you found this video helpful, please leave me
a like! As before, I’m Dr. Brian Yeung bringing
you weight loss info on this channel. Subscribe and hit the notification bell, and
share it with someone you know can use the help..

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