Patient Education: Diet After Jaw Surgery

Print PDF
Clinic Name
Clinic Address
Clinic Phone Number
Clinic Email

Here are general diet recommendations broken down by week post-surgery:

Week 1-2:

During the first week after surgery, your mouth will be swollen, and you may experience pain and limited jaw movement. Your diet will consist mainly of liquids and very soft foods. Here are some recommended options:

  • Clear Liquids: Drink plenty of water, clear broths, fruit juices without pulp, and electrolyte-rich drinks like sports drinks.
  • Pureed or Blended Foods: Blend soft foods like soups, yogurt, smoothies, mashed potatoes, and pureed vegetables until they reach a smooth consistency.
  • Protein Shakes: Supplement your diet with protein shakes or meal replacement shakes to ensure adequate nutrition.

Avoid using straws during this week to prevent dislodging any blood clots or causing suction in the mouth.

Week 3-4:

By the second week, you may start to experience some improvement in swelling and discomfort. However, your diet will still consist of soft and easy-to-chew foods to prevent strain on your jaw. Here are some options:

  • Soft Foods: Incorporate soft foods that require minimal chewing, such as scrambled eggs, oatmeal, mashed bananas, cooked vegetables, and tender meats like fish or ground beef.
  • Pasta and Rice: Cook pasta and rice until they are very soft and easy to chew.
  • Dairy Products: Include dairy products like yogurt, cottage cheese, and pudding for added protein and calcium.

Continue to avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods that could irritate your surgical sites or cause discomfort.

Weeks 5-6:

As your jaw begins to heal and swelling decreases further, you can gradually progress to a more varied diet with foods of increasing texture. However, continue to avoid hard, chewy, or crunchy foods during this period. Here are some recommendations:

  • Soft Solid Foods: Introduce soft solid foods that require a bit more chewing, such as well-cooked vegetables, soft fruits, tofu, and tender meats.
  • Small Bites: Take small, manageable bites and chew slowly and carefully to prevent strain on your jaw.
  • Avoid Tough Foods: Steer clear of tough meats, raw vegetables, nuts, seeds, and hard bread crusts.

Beyond Week 6:

After six weeks, you can gradually reintroduce normal foods into your diet as tolerated. However, continue to avoid overly hard or chewy foods that may cause discomfort or strain on your jaw. Listen to your body and progress your diet as your comfort level allows.

Throughout your recovery, it's essential to maintain proper hydration and adequate nutrition to support healing. If you have any concerns about your diet or recovery progress, consult with your surgeon or a registered dietitian for personalized guidance.