If you’re having corrective (orthognathic) surgery, it’s only natural to have concerns – or even fears – about your recovery after the procedure. Once you return home from the procedure, with post-op instructions in hand, you may have a sinking feeling as you realize now you’re in charge (even if you’ve never even opened a First-Aid kit).
Relax, simply being prepared can lead to a speedier orthognathic surgery recovery. To help you prepare, remember these five simple tips for assisting your body in its natural healing process:
1. Mind your medications. Make sure you have the medications prescribed by your oral surgeon on hand, and take them as prescribed.
2. Do over your diet. Stock your kitchen cupboards and refrigerator for the liquid diet you’ll need to follow, which consists of: clear, light juice and broth (shortly after surgery) and milk shakes, smoothies, foods processed with a blender, gelatin and non-acidic juices (later on).
3. Brush up on your oral hygiene. Make sure you have Peridex mouth rinse and a baby tooth brush on hand when you return home from surgery. You’ll need to follow a strict oral hygiene routine twice a day – rinsing with Peridex mouth rinse and carefully cleaning above the brackets and around the orthodontic archwires (while avoiding the incisions) using a baby tooth brush.
4. Take it easy. Let your school or office know in advance that you’ll need to take one to three weeks off (whatever your oral surgeon suggests) for recovery. (And actually do rest – it’s not the time to catch up on house or yard work.) Afterward, you can resume light housework and other non-strenuous activities, but you’ll still need to be careful to not over-exert.
5. Check back in a week. Return to our office for a follow-up post-operative visit one week after surgery so your surgeon can check your healing progress and answer any questions you might have.