Invisalign clear aligners are a popular choice for adults seeking an esthetic and comfortable path to a brighter, straighter smile. While most patients adapt well to wearing the plastic trays, some do report experiencing temporary discomforts and side effects.
One common question we receive at Lansdowne Family Dental is: Can Invisalign cause headaches for patients during treatment?
Let’s explore why some patients get headaches with Invisalign aligners, how to find relief, and how an experienced orthodontist can help adjust your treatment plan for greater comfort.
Why Do Aligners Sometimes Cause Headaches?
Invisalign functions by using customized plastic trays to gently shift your teeth into an improved position over several months. As your teeth move, this places new pressures on the bones, nerves, muscles, and tissues in your mouth.
For most patients, this realignment process feels like minor pressure or tightness. But for some, it may trigger headaches as the nerves and muscles adjust.
Potential causes of Invisalign-related headaches include:
- Pressure on nerves in the roots of teeth
- Tenderness of the jaw muscles
- Alignment changes affecting TMJ (temporomandibular joint)
- General discomfort from wearing trays 20+ hours a day
- Increased tooth sensitivity
Headaches from Invisalign aligners tend to be most noticeable at the very start of treatment or when advancing to a new set of trays. The good news is that they normally resolve within a few days as your mouth gets used to each tray stage.
Tips to Relieve Invisalign Headaches
If you experience headaches when wearing your Invisalign aligners, try these tips to help find relief:
- Take an over-the-counter oral pain medication like ibuprofen
- Apply a warm compress to tense facial and jaw muscles
- Massage temples, jaws, and neck to encourage muscle relaxation
- Practice stress-reducing techniques like yoga or meditation
- Stay hydrated and get enough sleep each night
Additionally, be sure to closely follow all Invisalign instructions from our Lansdowne Family Dental team to allow your teeth, bones, and soft tissues time to adjust properly:
- Wear aligners 20-22 hours daily
- Only switch to new aligner trays as directed
- Never “jump ahead” tray stages
Carefully following the treatment plan minimizes discomfort overall and with each new set of aligners.
|Invisalign Headache Relief Tips
|First 48 hours
|Take over-the-counter oral pain medication as needed
|Use warm compresses and massage tense areas
|Stay hydrated and get enough sleep nightly
|Follow all instructions from your dental team
- Take oral pain relievers as needed, especially in the first 1-2 days with new trays
- Apply warmth and massage muscles to calm the nerves
- Support your body through proper sleep and hydration
- Stick closely to all directions from your orthodontist
Adjusting Invisalign Treatment for Headaches
If you follow all the steps above but still struggle with recurring headaches while wearing aligners, consult your treating dentist or orthodontist right away.
At your appointment, we can:
- Evaluate for any issues with the fit or position of your current aligners
- Assess if tray changes are happening too rapidly for your mouth’s comfort
- Update your treatment plan timeline as needed for an extended adjustment period
- Offer tailored home care tips to minimize discomfort
- Determine if aligners should be worn slightly fewer hours per day
There are also specialized Aligners First prescription-strength pain relievers containing acetaminophen available that your dental provider may recommend as a temporary supplement if over-the-counter options aren’t fully effective.
The goal is to keep you as relaxed and comfortable as possible throughout realignment. Be sure to inform our team of any ongoing issues so we can make adjustments personalized for your unique needs.
Can Invisalign cause headaches? For a minority of patients, yes – generally at the start of treatment stages as the teeth shift. Thankfully headaches are usually temporary and manageable with the right care tips.
If you follow recommendations but still struggle with recurring headache pain from your aligners, promptly consult your treating orthodontist or dentist. We can reassess your situation to minimize discomfort and keep your treatment progressing positively.
At Lansdowne Family Dental, we work as your partners in care – updating your Invisalign plan as needed for optimal comfort on the journey to an improved smile. Contact us with any questions!