If you ask dentists, the answer would be a thousand times, yes! Chewing ice, aside from being a symptom of possible other medical cases, can cause great damage to your teeth’s enamel. If you can help it, you must follow your dentists and avoid chewing ice altogether.
What could chewing ice mean?
Chewing ice could mean nothing. It could be a habit that you have developed as a child because you are trying to cool down. Hopefully, that is it and you don’t have any other conditions that need to be checked out.
Some people, however, have a case of pica. They tend to eat substances that have zero nutritional value. It cannot be explained. They just have a craving for it. Some link this to a spectrum of autism. Others, to psychosis. If you or your loved one has a nasty habit of chewing ice, you should check your other eating habits. If you tend to be orally fixated and you have eaten other things like paper or erasers, you must have yourselves checked by a doctor. It’s easy to get help.
Some anemic individuals have also had weird cravings for ice. However, since ice is just water and it does not contain anything with iron, it does not help the situation. You might want to go to your doctor, have yourselves checked, and buy iron supplements if necessary. You might find that the craving goes away after you have normalized your body’s iron levels.
Breaking the habit
Crunching on ice is bad for your teeth but it is habit-forming especially if you live in a hot country. Consider melting the ice in your mouth instead. This can still leave you refreshed and the ice lasts longer.
If you find that you are actually just looking for that crisp sensation in your mouth, you might want to chew on chilled, sliced apples instead. Apples are still satisfying to chew on and they are nutritious. Try this with pears too.
Some ice shapes are a bit friendlier for your teeth that ice cubes. If you must add ice to your drinks, consider this. This will lessen the impact of crunching on ice on your teeth enamel if you accidentally go back to the bad habit.
If you are only doing this to cool down again, try slushies instead. If gives you the same satisfaction of having something very cold in your mouth but at least, since the ice in this drink is already crushed, there is nothing for you to bite on anymore.
If you like cold things in your mouth but your teeth don’t (because they have grown sensitive), the good news is that there are plenty of dental pastes now that offer help for sensitive teeth. You can purchase this instead of your regular toothpaste.
Whenever you feel tooth sensitivity, or if you have been chewing ice for years, you must go and have yourself checked up by your dentists. You might not show symptoms of teeth sensitivity yet, but prevention is always better than cure. Check to see if your teeth enamel is still intact.
At Riverside Dental, we make sure every member of your family has a perfect smile. Contact us today and book an appointment with our dentist.