During facial surgery, incisions are made in the mouth in order to achieve mandible contouring, genioplasty, and/or silicone cheek implants. Given that internal mouth incisions are not visible, there are no scare care instructions given to patients. That said, maintaining proper oral hygiene and complying with dietary restrictions is crucial to reducing swelling and preventing the incisions from opening up. Learn more about how to keep these incisions clean and advance their healing process below.
For mandible contouring, incisions are made along the row of bottom teeth, between the teeth and the lip. This incision wraps around both sides of the mouth. For genioplasty, an incision is made from one canine tooth to the other, also along the bottom teeth between the teeth and the bottom lip. For silicone cheek implants, the rarest of these three procedures, two incisions are placed below the cheeks, at the top of the upper gums on the left and right sides of the face.
Typically, it takes about 2 weeks for these internal incisions to heal completely. They are done with dissolving sutures, so no material will have to be removed from the mouth as the healing process continues. However, in order to achieve the best results possible, it is important that patients eat a soft diet for 2 weeks to allow for full and complete healing.
Patients should use mouthwash at least twice daily after their meals to help make sure that they are clearing the incision area of all food remnants, as this will help the mouth incisions heal faster. For an even cleaner option, patients may use a water flosser on a low setting to gently clean their mouth incisions once a day; however, great precaution should be used as water pressure could reopen sutures. Once the incisions have healed considerably, around 3-5 days after surgery, patients can begin brushing their teeth with a soft or baby toothbrush.
In addition to the activity restrictions above, patients should eat a soft low-sodium diet for 2 weeks. See below for sample food items that are considered appropriate during this time. Remember that patients should make sure to gently clean/rinse out their mouth incisions after eating to help prevent any irritation or infection of the incisions. Likewise, even after the first two weeks, as a result of bone contouring, many patients may still experience sensitivity when trying to chew harder foods for a few weeks.