What to Eat After Jaw Surgery
Most patients will lose an average of 10 to 15 pounds after corrective jaw surgery and attention should be given to take in extra calories post surgery to minimize weight loss.
To assist healing after jaw surgery it is recommended that you eat foods that require a minimal chewing for approximately 4 to 6 weeks. However it is important to maintain a balanced diet whilst recovering from your surgery.
After the surgery your jaw is tender and to prevent strain on the surgery area you need to rest the jaw and chew minimally.
As a general principle choose soft moist food and Avoid dry crunchy foods. Tip- if using a blender or stick blender to puree foods, make sure you add extra sauce or gravy to keep it moist.
Diet after Jaw Surgery
It is very important to follow a proper diet plan after surgery, as your body will be healing and will need nutrition and calories. Nevertheless, it is not unusual to lose 5-10 lbs after surgery.
our suggested diet is:
- The first 3 weeks should be liquids only.Taking adequate amounts of fluid after surgery is essential as it helps your body to heal. Suggestions include any clear fluids (water, soft drinks, Gatorade, clear soups) and milk shakes, ice cream, Soya milk drinks, yogurts, protein drinks and protein supplements as well as nutritional supplements (such as Ensure, Boost, Whey, protein powders, tofu), or anything you can drink from a blender.
- After 3 weeks, you can commence a non-chew food diet. A recommendation is to eat food that you can easily squish between your fingers and anything that does not make any noise(ie hard or crunchy foods). Examples include mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, fish, over-boiled/soft pastas cut into pieces etc.
- After 6 weeks, you can progress to a soft-chew Portions should be small and cut into pieces to avoid placing too much pressure on the jaw. Soft fish dishes are excellent.
- After 6-8 weeks, you can progress to more normal chewing. However, continue to avoid overly hard foods or placing too much pressure on the jaw. Avoid pizza, apples, tough meats etc, until at least 3 months after surgery.
It is important that you don’t chew too vigorously or with very much force, and you should avoid anything at all that is hard, including tough meats, candies, popcorn, pretzels, peanuts and other nuts
Depending on the amount of mouth opening you have and also the amount of elastics that may be placed, your diet will be still restricted to your mouth opening. However, you can now start moving up to a more substantial diet.
What can you eat after jaw surgery?
- Eliminate dairy from your diet until your stitches are removed
- Meal preparation
- Buy a slurpee on the way home
- Your diet at home will consist of liquids only to begin with:
Ensure Clear Nutrition Drinks are a great source of vitamins. They contain a little dairy, but aren’t sticky like milk so won’t be an issue. Other Ensure products are milkier so aren’t recommended.
- Add some protein and fibre to your smoothies or soups.
- Start biting into soft foods.
what food to choose or avoid
for Protein Choose
- Scrambled or runny poached egg
- Very soft and moist pureed cooked meats
- Well mashed beans or legumes
- Hard boiled or fried eggs
- Chunks of meat
- Fried fish, chicken or meat
- Crunchy peanut butter
For Dairy Choose
- Ice-cream or frozen yogurt
- Melted cheese
- Ricotta or cottage cheese
- Hard cheese
For Breads & Cereals Choose
- Porridge or semolina
- Weetbix or other cereal soaked well with milk
- Very soft, well cooked small pasta (eg: risoni, small maccaroni)
- Very soft, well cooked rice (eg plain moist risotto, moist rice pudding)
- Dry cereals
- Cereals with dried fruit and/or nuts
- Bread, toast, bread rolls, donuts, pastries or muffins
- Sweet or savoury crackers/biscuits (unless soaked in milk or tea/coffee).
For Vegetables Choose
- Pureed soft cooked vegetables
- Finely mashed soft cooked vegetables
- Raw vegetables
- Fried vegetables
- Lettuce / salad
- Stringy or very fibrous vegetables (eg celery)
For Fruit Choose
- Pureed fruit
- Mashed banana
- Stewed and mashed soft fruit (eg peaches or apples)
- Mashed avocado
- Mashed soft tinned fruit (eg tinned pear)
- Raw fruit (except banana and avocado)
- Fruit skins
- Fibrous fruit (eg pineapple, citrus fruits)
- Dried fruits