Mouth Wired Shut Part 1: A Street-Wise Guide to Preparing for Jaw Surgery

As you will see, there are no formal requirements for preparation save for one, which I will go over in this article. But there are steps (both big and small) that you can take in the weeks/months before that will make recovery go more smoothly. Here are my suggestions:

  • Kick your oral habits, such as smoking or overeating. For 6-8 weeks you will be on a liquid diet and you will not be able to inhale through your mouth. Taking care of these habits beforehand will make cravings more manageable. After all, this isn't like cheating on a diet. You don't have that option!
  • Ask for alternatives to oral medications and contraceptives. This is especially important for those who have allergies or are prone to stuffy nose. Try a nasal spray. As for birth control, chewable tablets can be diluted in warm liquids. Speak to your doctor or gynecologist for other options.
  • Collect recipes. While some patients can puree a burger and fries and sip happily, don't expect that you can stomach this blend or any of your other favorite solid meals. There is a good chance you'll be cycling through soup, shakes, and smoothies. Give yourself variety by looking up recipes before your surgery (test them while you can still spit them out!).
  • Stay with a friend or family member who can take care of you for the first week or two. This isn't absolutely necessary, but there will most likely be some bad days. And when those days roll around it helps to have someone who can bring you a bowl of soup or motivate you to get out of bed. If you can't stay with someone, make a list of people you can text or email, the ones who will gladly visit a recovering buddy. Tell them ahead of time so that they will be on the lookout for your message.
  • Start an exercise routine. It's very simple. The better shape you're in, the better your chances of a quick and strong recovery (ABC News). Beginners should consult a doctor before starting any workout routine. If you are already active, start thinking about lightening your load. Anything strenuous is out of the question. While your mouth is wired, a 20 minute walk at 2mph could wipe you out for half the day, so plan accordingly.

Those are my suggestions. Good luck with your preparations and look out for more of the Mouth Wired Shut series!

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