Oral Hygiene Tips After Orthognathic Surgery

Oral Hygiene Tips After Orthognathic Surgery
Posted on 04/10/2024
Orthognathic surgery is when Dr. Dann will reconstruct your jaw for any of a variety of reasons, the most common of which is misalignment of the upper and lower jaws. Dr Dann's focus is adult orthodontics in Orlando, FL.

1. Gather Supplies

This is actually done before your surgery, but you will need these things afterward. Because you'll be on a liquid diet for a month or more, you'll need a blender. You need protein for healing, so you should get protein powder to make shakes. You may not think of it, but having lip balm will be crucial for keeping your lips healthy. Collect some children's soft toothbrushes, and be sure to have alcohol-free mouthwash.

2. Proper Brushing

To prevent infection and/or bad breath after surgery, you have to brush as best you can even if your jaw is wired shut. You have to tilt your head down so that you can brush at a 45-degree angle. Use soft strokes. Use the mouthwash after you brush, and follow that with a wash with saltwater. If the wires holding your jaw together don't permit brushing, then you can use cotton swabs to rub the gums. In some cases, your surgeon will allow you to use a Waterpik or similar device.

3. Sleep Sitting Up if Possible

Sleeping in a comfortable chair is best, but if you can't sleep that way, then sleep reclining. But, you should add two pillows under the back of your head. Even if you're a side sleeper, it's better to sleep on your back unless you have a condition that prevents it. Sleeping with the weight of your head pressing your cheek into the wires or other materials holding your jaw together could cause irritation or injury to the inside of your mouth. If you wear a CPAP or other device for sleep apnea, then be sure to discuss this fact with Orlando orthodontist Dr. Dann before you have the surgery.

4. Avoiding Excessive Heat and Cold and Eating Properly

Eat lots of protein. You can use protein powder to make smoothies and shakes, or you can buy commercially packaged high-protein supplements and/or meal replacements. Look for products that provide at least 20 grams of protein per serving. Eat things lukewarm rather than excessively cold or hot. Avoid iced beverages. If you must drink coffee or tea, and your surgeon allows it, then drink it lukewarm too.

5. Don't Smoke or Drink Alcohol

Both of these things not only create dryness in your mouth but also interfere with successful healing. You are already going to be healing for up to six weeks, and you don't want to extend that any longer.

6. Care for Your Wires

Not everyone will have wires. If you do, then you have to do your best to keep them clean. They might also irritate your mouth. If this happens, use either orthodontic wax or beeswax to cover the exposed pointy tips of the wires that are causing your discomfort. It's extremely important, too, that after receiving adult orthodontics in Orlando, FL, you should carry a pair of wire cutters with you all the time if your jaws are wired shut.

Practicing good oral hygiene after orthognathic surgery isn't difficult. Because Dr. Dann is a trusted Orlando orthodontist, contact us to find out more.