The information in this video has been compiled to help our patients understand the healing process and how to avoid problems. By following these instructions closely, you will ensure that your recovery is as comfortable as possible.
Oral hygiene is very important after jaw surgery. Keeping your mouth and teeth clean will help you heal better and reduce the chances of developing infections or cavities.
Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush (child size works well). Use a circular motion and angle the brush at 45 degrees toward the gum line.
Rinse your mouth with a solution of warm salt water (1 teaspoon salt in one 8-ounce glass of warm water). Oral rinsing should be done after every meal.
Avoid the use of mouthwashes except if prescribed. Use Blistex® or Vaseline® to avoid dry, cracked lips.
Use orthodontic wax on the end of wires that are protruding or irritating the mouth (wax should be removed before and after eating and brushing teeth). This can be purchased at most pharmacies.
Keep your skin clean and apply topical antibiotics to any wounds (Neosporin®, bacitracin) outside of the mouth.
Do not smoke! Smoking dries and irritates oral mucosa. Avoid alcohol, which can cause nausea and dehydration.
You can reduce the risk of dehydration and keep secretions thin by drinking at least 10 8-ounce glasses of fluids a day.
Drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water a day.
Eat a high-protein, high-calorie blended soft or liquid diet. Calorie and protein supplements can be used. Drink Ensure® and Boost®. Add protein powders. Protein powder can be purchased at GNC and most supermarkets. Increased protein intake after surgery is vital for maintaining the body’s protective systems and for building healthy new tissue.
Eat soft foods (mashed potatoes, blended soups, soft vegetables, pasta, etc.)
Eat a lot of snacks (juices, smoothies, puddings, yogurt, etc.). Using a straw is okay.
Do not participate in sports or strenuous activities or return to work for 2 weeks or until permitted by your surgeon.
Pain medications may cause alterations of visual perception and impair judgment.
A side effect of pain medication is constipation. This can be alleviated by getting out of bed, adequate fluid intake, moving around, and taking stool softeners if needed.