Nutrition

After oral surgery, your body will automatically start the healing process.  It will naturally start to rebuild itself. Nutrition plays a key role in your healing process. Your body will require a sufficient amount of nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins, along with adequate amounts of liquids to accomplish its goals. This can be challenging, because your healing sites are located in your mouth. Many foods can be processed in a blender for easier consumption.

Calories

We strongly suggest that you eat enough calories to maintain your weight during your healing period.  It is important to get enough calories so that your body can save the protein you eat for healing instead of having to convert it to energy.

Protein

It is easy to calculate your protein needs.

Multiply:

Your weight x 0.45 = Protein needs/day
(pounds) x  (grams of needed protein) = total protein grams needed daily

Examples:

A 175 lb man needs about 80 g of protein/day
A 130 lb woman needs about 60 g of protein/day

How to find Protein Content

You can find the information you need for packaged foods on their Nutrition Facts label.  It will list grams of protein for one serving size of the item. Remember to check how many servings are in the package.

For foods without labels, please use these guidelines to estimate how much protein a food item provides.  Each of the following items provides approximately 8 grams of protein:

2 tbsp. peanut (or other nut) butter
1 oz cheese,
1 egg
1 cup whole milk, yogurt, ice cream
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
1/3 cup protein powder
4 oz tofu
1 cup soy milk

To estimate portion sizes

3 ounces meat = A deck of cards or the palm of your hand
1 ounce cheese = 1 inch cube
1 cup of milk or yogurt = 1 baseball
1 oz meat = A matchbook portion

We recommend that you follow the Food Pyramid to get all of your nutrients in a day.

You may also take a vitamin or mineral supplement. If you choose to supplement, we recommend you have a liquid multivitamin or supplement, for example, Ensure, protein shakes, etc.

If you are ADDING EGGS to increase protein

Raw eggs carry a high risk of Salmonella contamination.  Instead of raw eggs, use cooked eggs or pasteurized egg product, available in the refrigerator section of grocery stores.

We recommend a BLENDER Or FOOD PROCESSOR.

A good blender or food processor is the key to good nutrition while your jaw is healing. Make sure yours is capable of pureeing food until almost no texture remains. Small pieces of food can get stuck in the wires and between the teeth.

Time Saving Convenience Foods

  • Baby food. Strained meat is a good source of protein.
  • Canned soups, creamy and chunky.  Blend. Add milk to thin if necessary.
  • Canned fruits or vegetables.  Blend. Add fruit juice or tomato juice to thin if necessary.
  • Carnation Instant Breakfast. Just add whole milk, sugar, wheat bran.
  • Fruit smoothies from retail juice stores.  You can order with added protein powder, frozen yogurt, or ice cream. Avoid seeds.
  • Nutritional supplements like Ensure, Boost, or Resource.
  • Prepare more than one serving at a time. Store in refrigerator for 3-3 days, or freeze in individual foam cups, label and date them. Defrost in the refrigerator.

Milk or Lactose Allergy

  • If you are lactose intolerant, use Lactaid-brand Milk and lactose-free (check labels) nutritional supplements, such as Boost, NuBasics, Resource, Pediasure (in most drugstores).
  • If you are allergic to milk protein, substitute calcium-fortified soy, almond, or rice milk and cheese.
  • Use soy-based frozen dessert such as Tofutti in place of ice cream for shakes.