The following nutrition recommendations are provided by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
After any type of surgery, the body automatically sets about the task of healing itself, starting a natural rebuilding process. In order to heal as quickly as possible, the body requires sufficient nutrients—carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins—as well as adequate amounts of fluid.
The oral and maxillofacial surgery patient has perhaps even greater difficulty getting proper nutrition because often the surgery has been in the mouth. Good nutrition ensures the body will have all the nutrients the healing process requires, and means eating the right foods and consuming a well-balanced diet. For an adult, normal daily nutrition would include a balanced intake of two cups of milk or dairy products, four or more servings of grain or cereals, two or more servings of meat or other sources of protein, and three or more servings of vegetables.
Sometimes eating right is easier said than done. If you fail to give your body adequate nourishment, the result can be fatigue, infection, and delayed healing. In the case of multiple tooth extractions or when surgery is performed for dentures, chewing can be difficult. When jaws are wired shut, normal eating is nearly impossible and food must be consumed in liquid form.
Since solid foods cannot be chewed, they can be liquefied in a blender. Although the food may not always look appetizing, it can be tasty. Cooked servings of your favorite foods can be blended separately or in combinations to suit your taste. Normal seasonings can be added. But, best of all, you'll be getting your full supply of nutrients.
To ensure getting your recommended daily requirements of nutrients and calories and to satisfy your hunger, you may wish to eat more frequently than usual, consuming five to six meals per day. To determine how much food to put in the blender, place the desired portions on a plate, add seasonings, and transfer the portions individually or in combinations into the blender. To make the blended mixture the proper consistency, use either milk, juice, broth, or water as a thinner, choosing the liquid that will either add to the flavor or will have little effect on the flavor.
In liquid form, food can be taken through a large plastic straw, it can be sipped out of a cup, or, if you can open your mouth wide enough, you can eat it with a spoon. To prevent oral hygiene problems for people with wired jaws, the blended food mixture can be strained to remove food fiber and particles. Food supplements and vitamins may be used to provide additional nutrients. There are several commercially prepared food supplements available that our office may recommend.
The following recipes are provided as examples of blended meals that ensure getting proper nutrients during oral and maxillofacial surgery convalescence. Supplement these selections with your own favorite recipes to meet your nutrient and calorie requirements (for active adult females, 2,000 calories a day; for active adult males, 2,700 calories per day). Snack suggestions are included to lend variety to your rehabilitation diet and to satisfy hunger between regularly scheduled meals.