Oral surgeons are highly trained specialists, so it may feel awkward to ask them a lot of questions. But once you decide corrective jaw surgery is the right next step, it’s time to learn as much as you can about the procedure, including how to plan for your recovery. Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about corrective jaw surgery recovery (but were too embarrassed to ask).
The First 24 Hours After Surgery
• Have medications prescribed by your oral surgeon on hand, and take them as instructed.
• Stick to a clear liquid diet—water, light juice or broth.
• Rinse twice a day with your suggested mouth rinse and carefully brush your teeth with a baby tooth brush at the same time.
The First Week After Surgery
• Take 600 mg of ibuprofen every six to eight hours to help reduce pain and swelling.
• Expect swelling to be worse in the first week and gradually lessen. To help reduce swelling, put crushed ice in a plastic bag, wrap the bag in a towel and place it on your face for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, giving your skin adequate breaks in between.
• Remain on a full liquid diet, with milk shakes, smoothies, non-acidic juices and gelatin (while avoiding alcohol and drinks that are carbonated or sugary).
• Continue the oral hygiene routine you began in the first 24 hours after surgery, adding warm saltwater rinses for comfort as desired.
• Feel free to resume light housework and other non-strenuous activities, but be careful not to over-exert.
• Return to our office for a follow-up post-operative visit one week after surgery.
Returning to School or Work
• Patients are generally able to return to work or school from one to three weeks after surgery, depending on how they are feeling.