Oral Surgery during the Holidays

The holiday season has come quickly upon us! This is a time when many patients choose to have an oral surgery procedure completed due to a prolonged break from work or school.  However, there are definitely concerns we hear from our patients when scheduling these appointments, especially because the holidays are about food, enjoying time with family, and travel. Not to fear! The holiday season can still be enjoyed with some minor modifications while healing from surgery.

Here are some tips for recovery while still taking advantage of the enjoyment during the holidays:


For most procedures, air travel does not present a problem for recovery and healing. There are some procedures where we would recommend a couple of days of healing would  before getting on an airplane.  If you are traveling via car, be sure to give yourself enough time to rest, especially after sedation. The most common sequelae from surgery are pain and swelling. If you are on a medication that makes you drowsy or foggy, make sure you have a travel buddy or driver who would be getting behind the wheel. For the swelling, make sure to bring an ice pack with you to decrease the amount of puffiness and discomfort you might have.


During recovery, your jaw might be sore and make it difficult to chew. It is recommended to stick to a softer “scrambled-egg consistency” diet until you feel a normal diet is manageable. Try to avoid spicy foods or citrus as these foods can tend to cause more discomfort. It is crucial to maintain a good nutritious diet after surgery to allow for the surgical sites to heal. Some recommendations:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Soup
  • Stuffing
  • Baked yams
  • Yogurt
  • Shredded meat such as Turkey or ground beef
  • Pumpkin pie with ice cream

Nutrient shakes, fruit shakes or boost shakes are also a great option for nutrition while you are healing. (remember to avoid using a straw!)

Foods to avoid:

  • Bone-in meat
  • Crispy or sharp foods
  • Foods that require significant chewing force such as jerky, pizza crust, etc


During recovery, you will want to rest and “take it easy.” So, high contact sports like a friendly family flag football game might be tough. However, low impact activities such as board games, card games, or taking a stroll is usually okay.

Ultimately, keep in mind that it takes time to heal. If you feel more throbs or aches in the surgical site or if you notice an increase in swelling or bleeding, you might need to take things more slowly. If you have any questions/concerns or want to find out more about healing after a particular surgery, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Zachar or myself at Colorado Oral Surgery Group.


Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!

Sarah Bong-Thakur, DDS, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon