Health & Wellbeing

DentalSlim weight-loss device literally locks your mouth shut

DentalSlim weight-loss device ...
Silicone-based cheek protectors stop the DentalSlim device from cutting patients' mouths
Silicone-based cheek protectors stop the DentalSlim device from cutting patients' mouths
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Silicone-based cheek protectors stop the DentalSlim device from cutting patients' mouths
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Silicone-based cheek protectors stop the DentalSlim device from cutting patients' mouths
The DentalSlim Diet Control device uses locking bolts to prevent wearers from opening their mouths more than 2 mm
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The DentalSlim Diet Control device uses locking bolts to prevent wearers from opening their mouths more than 2 mm
The device is cemented to the molars by a dentist, and patients carry an emergency release tool to unlock it if needed
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The device is cemented to the molars by a dentist, and patients carry an emergency release tool to unlock it if needed
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UK and University of Otago researchers have presented a "world-first weight loss device," which attaches to the teeth and prevents patients from opening their mouths wider than 2 mm using "magnetic devices and custom-manufactured locking bolts."

The researchers say this medieval-sounding machine, which is fixed to the first molars with orthodontic cement by a dentist, doesn't restrict breathing or speech, but holds people to a liquid diet.

In a study published in the British Dental Journal, seven healthy, obese participants wore the devices for 14 days. They were given a commercially-available liquid diet to follow, giving them 1,200 kcal of energy per day. The mean weight loss over this period was 6.36 kg (14 lb).

The jaw-lock device appears to have been conceived as a less invasive, less dangerous and more humane way to achieve what doctors were going for in the 1980s when some obese patients had their jaws surgically wired shut – a practice that left people at serious risk of choking if they vomited.

To avoid that possibility, the DentalSlim Diet Control comes with an emergency unlocking tool for users to carry with them at all times. No participant in the study reported having used this key, although one patient admitted to "cheating" by sneaking in some melted chocolate and fizzy drinks.

The DentalSlim Diet Control device uses locking bolts to prevent wearers from opening their mouths more than 2 mm
The DentalSlim Diet Control device uses locking bolts to prevent wearers from opening their mouths more than 2 mm

"The main barrier for people for successful weight loss is compliance," says University of Otago Health Sciences Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Brunton, lead researcher on this project. "This helps them establish new habits, allowing them to comply with a low-calorie diet for a period of time. It really kick-starts the process. It is a non-invasive, reversible, economical and attractive alternative to surgical procedures. The fact is, there are no adverse consequences with this device."

"It’s hard yards" says Brunton. "Patients who really want to do this have to be committed. But for those people who are really struggling – and let’s face it, that’s millions of people across the world – this is a way of getting them back into normal lifestyle diet habits by really pump priming the process."

The paper is open access in the British Dental Journal.

Source: University of Otago

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8 comments
8 comments
Captain Danger
How easy is it to unlock?
If someone is chocking on vomit then it better not be to complicated.
paul314
What stops people from consuming as much of whatever calorie-dense liquids they want? I can see how this might act as an aid for some people already committed. It's like a cheap padlock that serves to remind people that something shouldn't be opened.
WB1200
A little late for April fools
ARF!
... . . . okay, this tops the chinese-grow-teeth-from-pee articles in headline absurdities. mouth-magnets to control what you can't, got it.
Spud Murphy
Anther band-aid measure to try and tackle a problem of a lack of dietary and environmental education and the complete control giant corporations have over our most important resource - the food supply.

You really want people to lose weight? Start forcing companies to put graphic warnings on unhealthy foods, warnings with graphic images, like they do on cigarettes here in Oz. Sure, there will always be a small percentage of people who are just too thick headed to stop eating garbage, but a constant reminder of sickness and early death will have a strong effect on the majority.

Add to those warnings a greatly improved mental health and support system, and obesity will go away over time. But, I guess that's fantasy when corporations run the world...
Rachel Silver
So funny one participant just melted the chocolate to drink lol.
Where there's a will there's a way.
akarp
As other have mentioned, the very idea of this device is disturbing.
Imran Sheikh
Seems more like a torture device than weight-loss.