05 Aug What is the recommended diet after jaw surgery?
The foods that you eat after jaw surgery are tremendously important. You need to get enough nutrition to support the healing process, but your ability to chew foods may be limited and you want to take great care to avoid any damage to the surgical site.
Your oral surgeon can make specific recommendations of appropriate post-operative foods that are a good match for your dietary preferences, but there are a few general principles to consider that can be helpful for you.
In addition to eating foods that support the healing process without interfering with it, you should closely follow other post-operative instructions, including those for keeping the surgical site clean. In combination, these strategies will help to minimize the risk of post-operative complications.
Post-operative Diet Options Following Jaw Surgery
The dietary recommendations following jaw surgery will differ depending on the phase of healing that you are in. For example, for the first few days after the procedure, your surgeon may recommend that you limit yourself to a liquids only diet.
After a few days, you can re-introduce softer foods or thicker liquids, such as smoothies, yogurt or mashed potatoes. The nature and complexity of your specific jaw surgery will influence the timeline of reintroducing these foods, so check with your surgeon about what is recommended for you.
You may also want to consider temporarily adding a nutritional supplement, such as Ensure or Boost, or a similar product, to your diet to make sure that you’re getting the full complement of vitamins and minerals while your diet is restricted.
Other Considerations for Healing After Jaw Surgery
Before you leave the office, the oral surgeon will provide you with a list of instructions for post-operative self-care. These instructions will cover topics such as cleaning the surgical site, pain management and medication regimens.
Infection is the greatest risk following jaw surgery, so it’s important to do everything possible to prevent it. Clean the surgical site (and the rest of your smile) as directed, taking care to avoid dislodging any stitches. If antibiotics are prescribed for you, be sure to complete the entire course.
If you are preparing for jaw surgery and have questions about the best foods to eat after the procedure or any other aspect of post-operative care, be sure to ask a member of your surgical team. We want to give you any guidance that you need for a successful surgery.