Home Care Instruction for Jaw Surgery

 Immediately Following Jaw Surgery:

  1. You should leave the hospital with the elastic jaw bra, and the cotton fluffs in place. We would like you to leave the cotton fluffs in place for 24 hours. After that time, you can take the fluffs out, and remove the elastic dressing. We recommend that you continue to use the elastic dressing at night for approximately 2 weeks, you do not need any more cotton fluffs at night.
  2. If you have tape on you skin, we want that tape to stay for approximately 3 days. At that point, you can slowly remove the tape, but do that without pulling the skin up. Under the tape will be glue-like substance which can be removed with finger nail polish remover. Once you use the nail polish remover, use a mild soap (like Ivory), to wash that chemical off of your face. At this point, it will be okay to shower and wash your face with warm water and soap. Just blot around the incisions, DO NOT RUB.
  3. Once the tape has been removed, we would like for you to keep the stitches moistened with Bacitracin or Neosporin ointment.
  4. DO NOT GET ANY DIRECT SUNLIGHT ON YOUR INCISIONS. You will want to wear sunscreen on the incision and scar for the first year, to prevent permanent discoloration of the scar.
  5. After the first 24 hours, and the fluffs and been removed, you may find a heating pad or hot water bottle will give you more comfort, but do not fall asleep lying on the heating pad.
  6. We want you to maintain a soft diet until further notice, that is nothing harder than casserole consistency foods.
  7. You should have your prescriptions for an antibiotic, a pain medicine and an anti-swelling-take those as prescribed on the bottle. You do not have to take all of the pain medicine, but please take all of the antibiotic and anti-swelling medicine.
  8. We would like you to sleep with your head elevated for the first 3 nights after surgery. This is with your head up approximately 30 degrees, like sleeping on two pillows, or sleeping in a recliner. Lying flat increases the chance of post-operative bleeding, bruising and swelling.
  9. After the second post-operative day, for walks in the morning and evening to exercise your legs and lungs to promote healthy, healing circulation.

Home Care Instructions for Wire/Rubberband Jaw: 

To help you care for yourself here is a list of suggestions to follow after you go home from the hospital.

  1. Make sure that the hospital sends you home with a Toomey syringe. This will make getting liquid in, down your throat easier.
  2. Never cut your wire or rubberbands. Liquid in=liquid out.
  3. If you have any difficulties at any time, don’t hesitate to contact us. Should you feel you have an emergency and cannot immediately contact me, contact St. Mary’s hospital or go directly there. There will always be a doctor on call and they will be able to help you with your emergency.
  1. If you get nauseated it is important that you relax, lie on your stomach with your head slightly lower than your chest and breathe through your nose. Most of the time the feeling of nausea will go away with this. If you should get sick at your stomach you should know that it is possible to vomit with your teeth wired together without problems. It is very important that you relax.
  2. If a rubberband breaks, call to come in to the office and we will replace it.

What Can I Eat With A Wired/Rubberband Jaw?

  1. You should force yourself to eat a balanced diet. Enclosed with this list of suggestions will find a Wire Jaw Diet Cookbook. It was written by a lady who had teeth wired together for a year and she will describe in her cookbook how to prepare foods and how many calories are in each.
  2. I want you to have five glasses of Body Builder/Weight Gainer drinks per day, between meals. It is very important that you do this. You will not actually eat three meals a day, but more like six or seven small meals a day. For you, 125 cc’s may be an entire meal.
  3. The hospital will have given you two or three syringes for feeding. Use them! Do not try to drink through a straw. It will increase bleeding and swelling and you will get very tired before you get enough food to make you full.
  4. Use your water-pic religiously. Use it to clean your mouth after each feeding and in your case anything that goes in your mouth that is not water is a feeding.
  5. Use your toothbrush and toothpaste to clean your mouth after each feeding. Brush gently around the wires, gums and the teeth, everywhere the toothbrush can get to.
  6. You may mix mouthwash with your water-pic. It should be one or two parts mouthwash to three or four parts water so that you have approximately a 20% solution.