During facial surgery, incisions are made in the mouth in order to achieve mandible contouring and/or genioplasty. 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.
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 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. Once the incisions have healed considerably, around 3-5 days after surgery, patients can begin brushing their teeth with a soft 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.