Orthognathic surgery or commonly known as jaw surgery can be a long, complicated process for anyone who has to go through it. After the surgical procedure is completed, many people make the same mistakes that could increase their recovery time and lead to other problems.

Were you recently in the jaw or orthognathic surgery? Are you making any mistakes that slow your recovery?

Are there things you should be doing after your orthognathic surgery that you’re not? In this article, I’ll review common mistakes people make after orthognathic surgery and help equip you with the knowledge you need to avoid these missteps!

Orthognathic Surgery basics

Orthognathic surgery is performed to correct certain structural abnormalities in the jaw or face. These abnormalities can be caused by a birth defect, an injury to the jaw or face, or congenital deformities. They can also be caused by genetics or other underlying medical conditions.

Some of the most common reasons that people may need orthognathic surgery include facial asymmetry, sleep apnea, temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), open bites, and misalignment of the jaws (malocclusion). Orthognathic surgery can also help with snoring problems, speech difficulties, and a misshapen face due to an overgrowth of one side of the jawbone.

It’s important for anyone considering undergoing orthognathic surgery to understand who gets recommended for this type of procedure and why. It’s essential to consult with a skilled surgeon prior to scheduling your procedure so that you get all the information necessary about your particular situation.

What not to do after an orthognathic surgery?

After orthognathic surgery, it is important to be aware of what not to do. Clear instructions from your physician must be followed to ensure that your jaw recovers properly, and there are certain activities it is best to avoid.

Eating Tough or Crunchy Food

Eating tough or crunchy foods shortly after orthognathic surgery is a big mistake. Foods like chips or candy bars are generally too hard for newly-healed jaws to handle and can cause the jaw to shift out of its proper alignment.

In order to ensure that the healing process isn’t disturbed, it’s best to stick with soft foods for up to four weeks after the surgery has been completed. Soft foods like soups, yogurt, smoothies, scrambled eggs, and mashed potatoes are all excellent choices as they do not require a lot of effort to chew yet still offer well-rounded nutrition. Eating pureed fruits and vegetables can also be beneficial during this time.

It’s important to take extra precautions with your diet during this time in order to avoid complications that could delay recovery times or prevent proper healing. If you experience any discomfort while eating, it’s recommended that you stop immediately and contact your doctor for further advice and guidance.

Engaging in Strenuous Activities

One of the biggest mistakes many people make after orthognathic surgery is engaging in strenuous activities. While it’s understandable that you may want to get your life back to normal as soon as possible, getting back to your daily activities and regular exercise routine too soon can set you up for greater pain and serious complications. It’s very important to follow the instructions of your oral surgeon before returning to any kind of strenuous physical activity.

You will not be allowed to engage in any strenuous physical activity or exercise for several weeks following your procedure. You should avoid strenuous physical activities including yoga, running, weight lifting, or any other form of activity that could put stress on your body. Your oral surgeon will likely provide a list of daily activities that you should avoid during recovery so make sure to follow those instructions closely.

Waiting a few extra weeks can make all the difference in helping ensure a successful outcome and faster recovery from orthognathic surgery.

Drinking alcohol

One of the biggest mistakes individuals who have recently had orthognathic surgery make is drinking alcohol too soon. Alcohol has many properties, including acting as a natural blood thinner. This means that if you are consuming alcohol in the time period shortly after your jaw surgery, you may increase your risk of suffering from complications such as bruising, bleeding, or even infection.

It is also important to note that consuming alcohol will not only interfere with the healing process of your surgery but will also dehydrate you quickly. This dehydration can lead to lightheadedness, headaches, and a greater susceptibility to developing post-surgery pain.

For these reasons and more, it is essential that all individuals who have had orthognathic surgery refrain from consuming alcohol for at least three weeks after their surgery and follow directions given to them by their healthcare professional.

Poor Oral Hygiene

It’s critical to practice good oral hygiene after orthognathic surgery. Poor oral hygiene can lead to infection, pain, and other complications that can make your recovery more difficult. But it’s easy to forget when you’re dealing with the aftermath of a major surgery.

So, what does good oral hygiene involve? After surgery, make sure to continue brushing and flossing twice a day. Regular teeth cleanings with your dentist are also important; talk to them about the best schedule for keeping your teeth healthy.

In addition to brushing and flossing, use an antibacterial mouthwash after eating or drinking to help get rid of food particles that can cause buildup around surgical sites or get stuck in stitches used during surgery. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and try avoiding starchy and sugary snacks that could stick around on teeth and gums longer than necessary.

Ultimately, caring for your mouth after orthognathic surgery is all about taking small steps toward improving your recovery time while reducing potential risks along the way. Good oral hygiene is one of those steps!