Orthognathic Surgery (Post-Operative Instructions)


  • Make sure your wire cutters are with you at all times (on your bedside at night or on a string around your neck during the day). It is very important that these be with you at all times.
  • It is very rare to need to cut the wires that hold your upper and lower jaws together. In the event that it is necessary, cut the wires that stretch from your upper orthodontic braces to the lower orthodontic braces.

Health and safety

  • Keep your head elevated up on a couple of pillows.
  • Avoid blowing your nose if you have had maxillary (upper) jaw surgery.
  • If you need to cough or sneeze, make a fist and place it underneath your lower jaw and chin to stabilize the jaw.
  • Do not bend, lift, drive, or swim until your surgeon recommends it.
  • You will find yourself very tired the first few weeks; listen to your body and let the surgical areas heal. Rest is very important for healing.
  • You will have stitches that will dissolve on their own.
  • Take pain medication as prescribed and needed.

Oral hygiene

Oral hygiene is very important for healing.

  • Use a water pik on the lowest setting twice a day.
  • Rinse with warm salt water 4 to 6 times per day (1 teaspoon of salt to an 8-ounce glass of water).
  • Gently brush your teeth with a soft bristle toothbrush 2 to 3 times per day (consider using a child's toothbrush).
  • Use an antimicrobial mouth rinse if recommended by your surgeon.


Nutrition also plays a major role in healing.

  • We recommend that you drink three meals and three snacks a day, for a total of six drinks per day.
  • All foods need to be blenderized.
  • Be very creative with what you place in the blender; use broths, milks, juices (tomato), sauces and gravies to liquify the solid foods that you are blenderizing.
  • Some suggestions for snacks: Boost, Ensure, Carnation instant breakfast, milkshakes/frappes (try to use whole milk if possible)
  • This is not the time to be watching fat or calorie intake unless you are on a restricted diet.
  • Avoid alcohol of any kind while your jaw is wired shut.
  • Avoid any weight loss drinks.
  • Add fresh fruit to the blender for smoothies.
  • It is not unusual for some weight loss to occur, which we will monitor weekly; this usually occurs within the first few weeks.