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While Alisson initially thought she’d have only headaches dealing with her insurance coverage during her orthodontic journey, she never envisioned the challenges she would face from the metal device that had to be installed.

As her teeth danced towards perfection, her head started pulsating in an accompanying rhythm.

If you’re worried about the link between dental alignment and headaches caused by braces, fear not! Today’s article is here to help you find relief from those pesky migraines and headaches caused by braces.

Are Headaches a Common Side Effect of Braces?

Braces can cause headaches, although not all patients will experience them. When braces are first applied or adjusted, they exert pressure on the teeth to align them, which can cause pain and discomfort. It is also likely that the pressure will strain the jaw muscles and tissues, leading to frequent headaches.

It is possible to experience headaches while wearing braces for several reasons:

  1. Initial adjustment period: Headaches are more common during the first few days or weeks, as the mouth and jaw adjust to the braces. However, they usually diminish in intensity and frequency over time.
  2. Tightening or adjustments: During braces tightening or adjustment, patients may experience headaches, as the teeth shift and the surrounding structures come under more pressure. As the mouth adjusts to the changes, these headaches should subside, just as they did during the initial adjustment period.
  3. Individual sensitivity: Braces can cause headaches for some patients based on their individual sensitivity.
  4. Oral hygiene: In order to minimize discomfort and headaches, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing.

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Can Orthodontic Treatment Address Headaches and Migraines?

Orthodontic treatment can significantly reduce headaches and migraines, especially if they’re caused by dental issues. Misaligned teeth, malocclusions, or bite problems can cause muscle strain, resulting in headaches.

In addition to alleviating the discomfort associated with these dental issues, orthodontic treatment reduces the strain on the jaw muscles.

However, dental issues are not the only cause of headaches and migraines. Stress, sleep deprivation, and dehydration can also lead to headaches.

Consult your orthodontist if you suspect that your headaches or migraines are related to dental concerns. They can evaluate your symptoms, determine if orthodontic treatment is appropriate, and offer suggestions for addressing your headaches and migraines effectively.

How to Alleviate Headaches Caused by Braces

You can relieve headaches caused by braces by following these nine tips:

  1. Over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen reduce inflammation and alleviate headache pain. Consult your healthcare provider before taking any medication.
  2. For relief of headache pain, apply a cold pack or a warm towel to your forehead, temples, or the back of your neck. You will find that a cold compress soothes tense facial muscles and relieves headache pain.Can Braces Cause Headaches,Headaches Caused by Braces,headaches,can braces cause tension headaches,do braces cause headaches
  3. By gently massaging the temples, jaw muscles, and neck, you will be able to relieve tension and reduce headache pain. Use your fingertips for gentle pressure and make small, circular motions as you massage the affected areas.
  4. You can relieve tension in your neck, shoulders, and upper back by stretching, which will improve your posture and lower the intensity of headaches.
  5. The best way to prevent inflammation and discomfort is to maintain good oral hygiene while wearing braces. Be sure to brush and floss your teeth regularly, and use mouthwash to keep your mouth fresh and clean.
  6. Proper hydration will prevent headaches from occurring (but not to the extent of overhydration).
  7. Sleep well each night, as sleep deprivation can aggravate headaches.
  8. Take steps to reduce the tension contributing to headaches, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, and relaxing activities.
  9. If you continue to experience headaches, consult your orthodontist. Your braces may need to be adjusted or alternative solutions may be recommended to help you.

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Ready to Give Braces a Shot? Look No Further Than Loudoun Orthodontics!

Contact Loudoun Orthodontics if you think braces are the solution to your dental woes. Whether you want to learn more about the benefits of braces or have questions about the process, use our live chat or call (703) 858-0303 or send us a message through our Contact Us page to connect with our friendly staff today to book a complimentary orthodontic consultation! Our office, located at 19465 Deerfield Ave, Suite 304, Leesburg, VA 20176, proudly serves not just Loudoun County but also the Greater Washington DC area. So, if you’re residing in Ashburn, Lansdowne, or Sterling, and are looking for one of the best orthodontists in Virginia, don’t hesitate to visit our office! We also invite you to keep up with our blog to get answers to many of the frequently asked questions about maintaining sparkling oral health, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to become a part of our smiling community!


  1. “What Happens When You Drink Too Much Water?” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/diet/what-is-too-much-water-intake. Accessed 27 Apr. 2023.