Chewing ice is a mindless habit for most people. It’s somewhat a reflex to scoop those frozen cubes after being refreshed with a glass of iced tea or juice. While chewing ice may look like a cool habit, the cold, hard truth is, it is bad for your teeth. Here are a few consequences of this mindless habit:
Tooth Enamel Loss
One of the reasons chewing ice is bad for your oral health is it may damage your tooth enamel. When you munch the ice, you expose your teeth to extreme temperature changes. This causes the enamel to expand and contract, resulting in microfractures in the teeth.
Remember, the enamel is the outer layer covering of the tooth, which serves as a shield against harmful bacteria. So, if your tooth enamel is damaged, your tooth becomes more sensitive to hot and cold substances, keeping you from finding any delight in eating soups and desserts. Dentists in Tauranga also add that damaged enamel puts your teeth more vulnerable to cavities.
Munching ice could also cause dental injuries, such as a broken or chipped tooth. Teeth may be strong, but they’re not built to handle the frequent grinding of hard objects. So if ice chewing is part of your everyday snacking routine, you might find yourself in a Tauranga emergency dentist’s chair. For the sake of everyone’s peace, kick the chewing habit.
In the event you experience chipped tooth though, rinse your mouth with salt water as soon as possible. Then, take a sugarless chewing gum to cover the sharp edge of the chipped tooth, so it won’t cut your tongue or the inside of your cheek.
Damaged Oral Appliances
Chewing ice is also bad for those who wear braces or retainers. Even though they’re fitted snugly into your teeth, wires and braces may break away or get damaged when you bite on hard objects. So, if you wear braces or retainers, you should watch what you put in your mouth — and remember that hard objects are a no-no to avoid costly orthodontic treatment.
Chewing ice may look harmless, but it can seriously affect oral health. Plus, this habit may be a sign of a health condition, like iron deficiency anaemia or pica. So, to address this habit, it is best that you consult your doctor.