September 12, 2021
When sitting outside on a hot day, the most refreshing thing might sound like a glass of water. Once you gulp down your cooling beverage, you find there to be a standing tower of ice just waiting to either melt or be consumed in its current frozen state. If you’re someone who enjoys indulging in this particular practice, you might assume there’s nothing harmful about it. Unfortunately, that is not true. Read on to learn the dangers of chewing on ice and what you can do to stop it.
Why It’s Dangerous to Chew on Ice?
If you think about it, biting down on a hard, frozen piece of ice is causing much pressure to be applied to your durable but not indestructible tooth enamel. Each time you chew to break down the contents in your cup, small bits of your teeth are becoming chipped and fractured. As a result, they become vulnerable to things like tooth decay and increased sensitivity. The more your tooth enamel is damaged, the greater your risk for cavities and other common oral health problems. Also, if you have any kind of restoration (i.e., dental filling, crown, bridge, veneers, dental implants), you run the risk of damaging them and spending additional time and money attempting to restore them.
Alternative Solutions to Eating Ice
Instead of filling up your cup with ice to chew on, why not consider some healthier and safer options out there, such as:
- Reaching for crunchy vegetables. If it’s the crunch factor of eating ice that feels good, at least bite down on something healthy and that will benefit both your oral and overall health. Carrots, apples, cucumbers, and celery are excellent choices.
- Determining if you have an iron deficiency. Because it is believed there is a link between a lack of iron and a person’s desire to eat ice, ask your physician about recommendations for an iron supplement that will help.
- Switching to shaved ice. If you simply love ice but don’t care what form it comes in, make the switch to a softer option. Ice that is shaved or slushy won’t contain the same large pieces that can easily damage your teeth.
- Skipping ice altogether. If you’re far too tempted, don’t consume beverages with ice in them. Ask for your drinks without ice when visiting a restaurant or fixing one for yourself at home.
- Eating popsicles (unsweetened) to avoid cavities and still get that frozen treat.
It might take trying different things to find the one that works for you, but as long as you avoid taking a bite out of a big piece of ice, your teeth will remain damage-free and in place for years to come.
About the Author
Dr. Racha W. Kadamani is a trusted dentist in San Antonio who oversees a team of professionals at Laith Family Dentistry. Pleased to provide individuals with helpful ways to maintain optimal oral hygiene and healthy smiles at home, she is always willing to offer tips and suggestions on what to curb bad habits that can negatively impact a person’s appearance and dental health. If you’re looking for ways to quit eating ice and damaging your teeth, contact us at (210) 782-0008.
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