Recovering from oral surgery might seem like the kind of thing that causes you to cancel your plans and stay at home on the couch or in bed. Trying to eat or enjoy time spent with family and friends, especially around the holidays might seem impossible. But the truth is that you don’t have to become a recluse this time of year. Even while allowing your mouth to heal from an invasive procedure, you can still take part in the fun festivities, and here are three ways you can do it!
What You Should Remember When Planning Oral Surgery?
Many individuals turn to holiday time off from work when preparing to schedule oral surgery. While there is nothing wrong with this plan, it’s important to remember that you must evaluate what you’ll be doing this time of year.
Making preparations ahead of time (i.e., will you be traveling, what kinds of food will you eat, are there activities you’ll be participating in, etc.) will ensure that you will recover swiftly and without any complications. A meeting with your oral surgeon to understand how to navigate the holidays can help to eliminate any uncertainties and instead, have you enjoying time spent with family and friends without putting your recovery in jeopardy.
Some of these preparations include:
Getting Plenty of Rest
It cannot be overstated how much rest you will need after undergoing oral surgery. You’ll likely receive anesthesia and possibly some form of sedation, so making sure that these wear off completely before eating or trying to move around much is essential.
Whether you’re hosting or going somewhere for the holidays, taking time to rest will ensure that you do not experience additional swelling or discomfort.
Determining How and When You Will Travel
If you are preparing to fly to a family member’s house this holiday season, you’ll want to make sure that you think ahead.
Traveling by car or train should occur a few days after oral surgery. This way, you get the initial rest that you need before exerting additional energy to drive or move around in a train car. You’re likely to have some slight bruising and swelling, but this should dissipate after a few days.
If you plan to fly, you’ll want to talk to your dentist about any concerns they have before you schedule your oral surgery. Typically, it is not an issue; however, depending on your case, you may need to wait several days or weeks before getting on an airplane. The cabin pressure can make soreness worse, so try to be careful when picking a date for your surgery.
Plan to Eat Softer Foods
Enjoying delicious turkey, sides, and sweets this time of year may be normal, but if you’re recovering from oral surgery, you’ll need to stick to softer foods. These might include mashed potatoes, soup, yogurt, baked yams, stuffing, or applesauce.
Because oral surgery often causes some discomfort when attempting to eat, sticking to foods that do not require you to chew or bite down for several days is best. Once you begin to heal and feel more “normal,” you can start to incorporate firmer foods into your diet.
Don’t assume the holidays are a wash just because you’re undergoing oral surgery. By planning ahead, you can prepare to enjoy time spent with family and friends just like you do each year.
About the Author
Dr. Steve Koo is an oral surgeon in Houston who completed his Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1999 from the University of Texas Health Science Center. As one of three professionals at Piney Point Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, he helps patients recover from oral surgery without complications. If you are planning to travel for the holidays but don’t know what to expect after undergoing treatment for missing teeth, contact our office at (713) 783-5560.