Even though your teeth are made to chomp down on stuff, perhaps munching on ice is not the best way to test them. They may be strong, but they’re also prone to sensitivity. This is why constantly chewing on ice can be bad for your teeth. Despite seeming harmless, the hard texture of ice cubes can wear down your enamel.
The outermost layer of your teeth is known as Enamel, and it’s what mainly protects your pearly whites from extreme damage. However, if the enamel itself breaks down, it can give way to tooth decay and other oral infections.
So, even if crunching on ice brings you satisfaction and relief from a hot, blistering day, doing so regularly can cause serious complications. After all, not all habits we form are beneficial to our health. Nonetheless, let’s try to find out whether or not chewing ice destroys your teeth and what causes such cravings in the first place.
Why do People Chew on Ice?
There are multitudes of reasons why people chew on ice. These causes range from being severe to something that can easily be outgrown. In either case, though, if it causes concern, consulting your dentist should be your first priority.
- Anemia Iron deficiency is one of the prime reasons for chewing ice. When your body runs out of red blood cells, so does the oxygen carried to your brain. According to recent studies, eating ice blocks causes blood to rush to your brain. This creates enough oxygen, resulting in you staying alert and feeling energized.
- Pica Pica is an eating disorder where people feel the need to eat inedible food items like paper, dirt, ash, clay, eggshells, etc. Pagophagia, on the other hand, is a subcategory of Pica where people crave snow, ice cubes, and other frozen items.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Someone with OCD might be suffering from obsessive compulsions. These obsessions could lead to chewing on ice to seek relief or even just for temporary satisfaction.
- Stress Relief If you’re suffering from stress or other intrusive thoughts, the loud crunch of an ice cube could serve as a nice distraction and even help reduce stress.
- Dehydration When dehydration strikes, your body craves water or anything that can satisfy internal thirst. Ice cubes can relieve a dry mouth and quench that thirst.
7 Reasons Why Chewing on Ice Bad for Your Teeth
Your teeth are an essential part of yourself. From smiling to aiding in eating, your pearly whites take precedence over everything. This is why it is crucial to ensure that munching on ice doesn’t bring harm to your teeth. This frosty habit of yours can cause long-term effects, such as:
- Chipped or Broken Tooth
- Enamel Breakdown
- Damage to Fillings, Veneers, or Crown Placements
- Jaw Soreness or Displacement
- Gum Recession
- Heightened Tooth Sensitivity
- Broken Braces, Aligners, or Dentures
How to Stop Eating Ice
Just like how every problem has a solution, Waller Dental has the perfect remedy for your ice obsession. With a little bit of mindfulness, you can break your habit and enable strong teeth.
- Substitute the hard texture with something more liquidy in consistency — for example, slushy or shaved ice.
- Switch to reusable ice cubes rather than the plain ones. Silicon and Metal ice cubes are all the rage these days. Save water and get rid of your habit, all in one go.
- Replace the crunch with a healthier alternative. Instead of biting down on frozen water crystals, reach out for celery, apples, or even carrots to boost energy and get that satisfying crunch.
The Final Takeaway
In conclusion, as tempting as it is, chewing on ice can be bad for your teeth. However, in case of an underlying health condition, visit Waller Dental for a professional evaluation. Just dial (936) 372-2673, and we’ll take it from there. We take you and your dental health seriously.