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Chewing Ice is Bad for Your Teeth

Published on June 22, 2022
Chewing ice is an incredibly common habit. Some people chew on ice after finishing a drink, while others do it to cool off in the summer heat. No matter what the reason people chew ice, just like many other hard foods, chewing ice can cause cracked or chipped teeth. It can also damage your enamel, causing increased sensitivity to hot and cold leaving you more prone to tooth decay and cavities. Chewing ice can even damage existing dental work like fillings, crowns, and veneers creating expensive trips to your local dentist.

If you wear braces, have a retainer, or an expander, chewing ice makes you particularly vulnerable to tooth damage.

Why Chewing Ice Can be Dangerous

Destroyed Orthodontic Appliances - Orthodontic applianceslike braces and retainers play a vital role in developing healthy smiles. Despite their sturdy construction, chewing ice can cause severe damage to brackets, wires and other appliances resulting in extra visits to our office and delayed treatment times.

Damaged Dental Fillings - Chewing ice can damage existing dental work like fillings, crowns, and veneers. Fillings can be cracked or dislodged by chewing ice. Damaging your dental work will require an immediate trip to your dentist for a repair. Something as simple as filling a cavity may be the solution, but other times root canals and crown replacements are necessary to repair the damage done from chewing ice.

Broken or Fractured Teeth - Teeth may seem tough and sturdy, but they are not designed to crunch extremely hard objects like ice. Chewing ice can easily lead to a cracked or chipped tooth, which will require an emergency dental visit to repair the broken tooth.

Cracked Tooth Enamel - Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, yet chewing ice can still damage it. Tooth enamel is the first line of defense against cavities, and helps protect teeth from sugar and acid attacks. If tooth enamel is damaged by chewing ice, it can leave teeth more vulnerable to acid attacks and tooth decay. That’s because acids produced by bacteria can penetrate the softer layer of the tooth, the dentin, much more easily and cause tooth decay. Cracked tooth enamel can also lead to hot and cold sensitives and tooth pain.

Chewing on ice is a common habit that can create a lot of problems for your oral health. As with any habit, the first thing you should do is make yourself aware. If you are concerned about your oral health or if you chew on ice frequently, make sure you schedule an appointment with your general dentist to have your teeth and gums evaluated. If your teeth are damaged, your dentist will know exactly what to do to help.

 

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