1612 Pennsylvania Avenue
Fort Worth TX 76104
Is chewing ice really bad for your teeth?
Ice is very hard and repeated crunching on ice can damage your dentition. Although teeth are very strong, they are not invincible. Preserve your oral health by finding something else to chew like sugar free gum. Repeated chewing on ice may lead to an unexpected trip to the dentist for:
Broken or fractured teeth – A broken tooth is not going to be repaired easily. A dental crown may be needed which is a treatment that might have been prevented. A crown usually involves two dental visits. On the first visit, the tooth is prepped for the crown which involves anesthetizing the area; filing down the tooth, taking a dental impression, and placing a temporary to protect the tooth until the crown is ready. On your second visit about two weeks later, your crown can be seated.
Worn enamel or damage to existing dental repairs – Previously placed fillings can be damaged; or enamel can be chipped leading to the need for cosmetic work.
Why do people chew ice? The need to habitually chew on ice is known as pagophagia. It is part of the pica family of habits (where people are compelled to chew on something with no nutritional value). This may be a sign of some type of anemia or deficiency.
Other reasons people chew ice may be due to boredom (some people bite fingernails to combat boredom – another bad habit); stress; as a solution for a dry mouth; or as a means to break an addiction to something like tobacco use or overeating.
Endangering your oral health is a great reason to quit the ice chewing habit. And the constant noise from munching on ice may be making those around you more than a little annoyed. So what are alternatives?
Sucking on ice is OK, but if you are suffering from the compulsive need to chew on ice, you may not be able to be satisfied with sucking on it. So put your jaws to work by chewing on sugar free gum.
Drink water to keep your mouth moist or ask your dentist for a recommendation on a product that will help promote saliva production.
Brush and floss daily; and visit our dental office every six months for cleaning and dental exam. Risking your oral health can compromise overall health.
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