Do you have a habit of chewing on ice? It turns out that what seems like a totally harmless thing is actually quite harmful for your teeth.
What’s wrong with eating ice? We cover the basics below so you can make smarter choices to protect your pearly whites.
Enamel, which is the strong, protective outer layer of your teeth, might be damaged by your ice chewing habit. Basically, the ice can cause wear and tear, and potentially even lead to microfractures, which may then make your teeth vulnerable to breaking. Who knew?!
Plus, as the enamel is damaged, you might also notice increased sensitivity, particularly to cold and hot beverages and foods. Ouch!
If you want to keep your enamel strong, avoiding acidic fruits and beverages is one way, but avoiding chewing on ice is another.
Healthy gums are necessary if you want to have strong teeth as you get older. But did you know that the simple act of eating ice might cause you to cut into or puncture your gums? And what seems, at first, like a little wound may even end up resulting in a more serious problem, such as an infection. Yikes!
If you need to refresh your mouth, consider placing small pieces of ice on your tongue and allowing them to melt. This can help you avoid chomping down on a big piece of ice and cutting your gums in the process.
Want to avoid cavities? Who doesn’t?! Well, it turns out that you might be increasing your risk of developing cavities if you keep chewing on ice.
We know it can be hard to believe—how is it even possible that ice, which is made of water, could lead to cavities? Well, it goes back to damaging your enamel. Once your enamel is compromised, your risk of cavities increases.
Also, the thing is that, when you chew on a piece of ice, you run the risk of not only damaging your enamel, but also of chipping a tooth, cracking it, or even breaking a crown or filling. Every bit of damage makes your teeth more vulnerable to bacteria getting in and wreaking havoc, to the point that you develop cavities that need to be treated.
Do you find it really hard to not chew on ice all the time? Then it may be worth talking to your doctor about your craving for ice cubes. It turns out that this habit might be caused by conditions like iron deficiency anemia, dehydration, and nutritional problems.
Mental health conditions, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and pica, might even be to blame. Or you might just be under a lot of stress that needs to be brought under control if one of your coping methods is chewing ice.
Your doctor will be able to evaluate your health to figure out what the root cause of your chewing-on-ice addiction is. Then, he or she can direct you to the appropriate treatment so you can bring your body back into a state of balance and stop putting your dental health at risk.
If you tend to chew on ice a lot, your dentist will be able to assess the state of your teeth and gums to let you know if your habit is doing any damage. And with the right Spirit dental insurance plan, you can see your dentist on a regular basis, so you’ll be able to catch problems early, when they’re easiest to treat.
When it comes to your teeth and gums, ice can do a surprising amount of damage, particularly when you chew on it. Consulting with your dentist and/or doctor, and replacing your ice chewing habit with healthier habits that won’t wreck your teeth, is definitely the way to go.