Post-jaw surgery eating restrictions

What to Eat After Jaw Surgery

After jaw surgery, you need to be careful about what you eat. Hard, crunchy and chewy foods are off the menu, and eating anything spicy isn’t a good idea either.

So what can you eat after jaw surgery? Your oral surgeon will tell you to stick with liquids and soft foods, but how will you keep from going hungry on that diet? The professionals at Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery have some suggestions to share.

Post-jaw surgery eating restrictions

Beverages to Keep You Full

After jaw surgery, you may need to be on a no-chew diet for a few days. Everything you consume must be liquid — just don’t drink your beverages through a straw, as that can lead to complications as well.

Getting full and feeling satisfied can be difficult when you can only consume beverages. To keep hunger at bay, consider the following options:

  • Protein-packed cow’s milk or soy milk
  • Fruit smoothies with protein powder or Greek yogurt
  • Low-sodium chicken, beef or vegetable broth
  • Nutritional supplement drinks, such as Boost or Ensure

Soft Foods to Enjoy in the Early Days

When your oral surgeon gives you the go-ahead to start adding soft foods to your diet, take it slow. Too much chewing when you’re just beginning to recover from surgery is likely to aggravate the surgical site.

Some healthy soft food choices — such as yogurt, applesauce and cottage cheese — may immediately spring to mind. For more variety in your diet, try snacking on:

  • Mashed bananas with peanut butter
  • Flavored gelatin with a dollop of whipped cream
  • Chocolate, vanilla or butterscotch pudding
  • Tender, moist muffins or soft breads

Meal Options When You’re Healing from Jaw Surgery

Soon, you’ll want more substantial meals — beverages and healthy snacks won’t cut it for too long. But you still need to go easy on the chewing until you’re healed.

Fortunately, you can build healthy, filling meals around soft foods. When you’re ready to fill your belly a bit more, consider these meal ideas:

  • Scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese and pancakes
  • Creamy chicken or tuna casserole with fresh buttermilk biscuits
  • Sloppy joes on soft bakery buns with macaroni and cheese
  • Tender, flaky fish with risotto, polenta or mashed veggies

Above all, listen to your oral surgeon’s advice on what to eat after jaw surgery. Following your aftercare instructions is essential for a speedy, complication-free recovery.

If you’re looking for an experienced, compassionate oral surgeon in the central Indiana area, turn to the professional team at Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.

Dr. Garrison and Dr. Kelly, our board-certified oral surgeons, are specialists in jaw surgery with over 40 years of combined experience successfully managing a wide range of jaw-related facial conditions. For more information about Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, or to schedule a jaw surgery consultation, contact our Indianapolis, Indiana, office today.