Have you been diagnosed with an overbite or underbite? Do you have an open bite or worn-down teeth? Do you have chronic dry mouth and mouth breathing or sleep apnea? If so, you may be a good candidate for maxillary surgery at Implant and Comprehensive Dentistry in Champions Gate, FL. We understand that jaw surgery isn’t right for everyone. To help you decide if it’s right for you, today, we’re going to be looking at what you can expect during the recovery period.
What Is Recovery Like After Maxillary Surgery?
Recovery will probably take between six and nine months following maxillary surgery. Generally, the better you care for yourself during your recovery, the sooner you can expect your recovery to be complete. The scope of the procedure also will affect the length of your recovery period.
What Should I Eat After Surgery?
During the first month or two following your procedure, it is incredibly important that you consume a high-protein, high-calorie diet. During the first week or two, it may be easier for you to eat five or six small meals daily instead of three large meals per day. If your jaws were wired together following surgery, you will need to be on a liquid diet for six weeks post-op. Make sure you’re staying hydrated and getting enough healthy fuel by making homemade smoothies and protein shakes.
During the first week post-op, you don’t want to make your jaws work too hard. Protein shakes are a quick, easy option if you don’t have the energy to make scrambled eggs or something else that’s soft. If you feel up to it, yogurt-based smoothies are another great option. During weeks two through four of your recovery period, you can start adding such soft foods as pasta and fish into your diet. After that, play your diet by ear.
A Word of Advice
Everyone’s post-op diet will look different. Depending on the scope of your procedure, you may not feel like chewing at all for the first three weeks of your recovery period. This is okay. Just make sure you’re getting enough calories. Yogurt-based smoothies are great, but ice cream-based smoothies are also a good choice as long as you are getting plenty of protein from other liquid sources.
Don’t feel any pressure to eat soft foods during the second or third week post-op. Also, be aware that you should not eat very hard or tough foods until three months post-op. For example, you should not eat apples, popcorn, or tough cuts of meat. Additionally, you should keep in mind that when you do start eating hard foods, you should not chew too vigorously.
How Should I Maintain My Oral Health During My Recovery?
To reduce the likelihood of postoperative infection, it is essential that you maintain excellent oral hygiene during your recovery. It is highly advisable to use a warm saline solution to rinse your mouth three to four times daily. To make this solution, dissolve a teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of water. If you don’t want to buy distilled water, filter your tap water or boil it and let it cool off before using it. Water irrigating devices can help you maintain proper hygiene, but they aren’t necessary.
You should not brush your teeth on the same day as your procedure. The first day after your surgery, you should resume your brushing routine. You may want to use a child’s soft-bristled toothbrush because medium-bristled toothbrushes can irritate the incision areas. Opting for a child’s toothbrush may be beneficial because it will allow you to reach all of your mouth better. If you need to wear elastics after your procedure, we recommend changing them after breakfast and dinner.
Will I Be Able To Exercise After Surgery?
Yes, it is possible to exercise after Maxillary Surgery. However, your workout routine may look a little different than it currently does. During the first couple of weeks post-op, you will not have as much energy as you did before surgery. This is perfectly normal, and you should not be concerned about it. You can expect to experience low energy levels for even longer if your jaws were wired shut. It is extremely important that you rest as much as possible during the first four to seven days post-op.
After four to seven days, you will slowly feel your energy returning. At this point, light physical activity is okay. You can go back to work if you want to, or you can continue to rest and recover from the comfort of your own home. Regardless, you may not engage in any vigorous physical activity. Most people feel up to resuming work two weeks into their recovery period. However, taking six to eight weeks off from work is required if you have a physically demanding job.
Do I Need to Do Any Jaw Exercises After Surgery?
Yes, you will need to do jaw exercises after surgery if you want to recover as quickly as possible. You won’t need to do any targeted exercises during the first seven to 10 days post-op. However, from days 10 to 14 days post-op, you should stand in front of a mirror and open your mouth wide enough to get at least one finger between your teeth. Then, you should close your mouth. This should be repeated several times.
Then, you should move your lower jaw from side to side several times. You don’t need to stand in front of a mirror to do this. Over the next several weeks, opening your mouth will become progressively easier. By four to eight weeks post-op, you should be able to get two fingers between your teeth comfortably.
Can I Bathe After My Procedure?
Yes, you can take a bath after maxillary surgery. Just make sure that you don’t get your incisions wet. Additionally, make sure that your bath is warm instead of steaming hot. Steam from baths, saunas, and even piping-hot soup can irritate your incisions. You should not shower during the first 48 hours post-op. After this point, you may shower. However, you should still take care to not let the water get too hot.
Will I Need To Take Any Medications After Surgery?
Yes, there are medications that you should take to facilitate a smooth recovery. One of the most important drugs you will be asked to take is a full course of antibiotics. Regardless of how healthy you feel, you need to take your prescribed antibiotic exactly as instructed. You also will be prescribed a mouth rinse that you will need to use as directed on the bottle.
Finally, you will be prescribed an analgesic to help ensure a comfortable recovery. Take these as needed, but do not exceed the maximum daily dose. If you take an opioid to keep you comfortable during your recovery, do not drive for at least 24 hours following your last dose. Your reaction time may be impaired by the drug. Do not use NSAIDs to help with comfort during your recovery.
What Should I Do About Chapped Lips?
If you’re like most people, you will notice that your lips are chapped after surgery. It is advisable to take a two-pronged approach to this problem. First, you should moisturize the outer layers of your lip skin with a lip balm that will simultaneously hydrate and lock moisture in. Second, you should make an effort to drink more hydrating fluids. Water, milk, and juice will all help hydrate your whole body, including your lips.
Milk is a great beverage for hydration because it is high in protein and electrolytes. These are very important for your recovery. Juice is also a good option for hydration because it is high in water and vitamin C. It’s a good idea to make homemade juice before your procedure if you like to drink juice. Juice purchased from the store often has a lot of added ingredients that aren’t very healthy. You should aim to drink six to eight ounces of water hourly during your recovery.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today
It may take anywhere from six to nine months to recover from maxillary surgery completely. How long your recovery will take depends on several factors, including how well you take care of yourself after your procedure. It is extremely important that you consume a high-protein, high-calorie diet to help fuel your body during its recovery process. Contact us now at Implant and Comprehensive Dentistry in Champions Gate, FL to schedule an evaluation.