Can Chewing On Ice Damage Your Teeth?

From a sensory perspective, chewing on ice can be quite appealing for many. Unfortunately, it is not good for your dental health. Long-term, ice can seriously damage your teeth, even if the damage might not be obvious at first.

While enamel is the strongest substance in your body, it isn’t invincible. Chewing ice can lead to small cracks in the enamel that can evolve into more significant issues. Fissures, tooth fractures and gum damage are just some of the problems that can happen.

This risk increases, especially if you have dental restorations like fillings. Chewing ice may break the bond of composite restorations, causing them to pop out or allowing bacteria to sneak underneath, leading to cavities.

The best course of action to protect your teeth in the long run? Avoid chewing ice altogether.

Why Do We Like To Chew On Ice?

Craving ice might seem harmless, especially on a hot day, but frequent and intense urges to chew ice could indicate underlying health conditions. Two significant reasons for constant ice cravings are ice pica and iron deficiency.

Ice Pica: If your compulsion to chew ice lasts for more than a month and starts affecting your daily life, it might be classified as ice pica. This condition involves an obsessive desire to consume ice or ice-cold beverages, often linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Iron Deficiency: Craving ice can also be associated with iron deficiency, with or without anemia. Some theories suggest it could be a subconscious response to fatigue caused by iron deficiency, or it might help soothe the swollen tongue common with anemia.

Other causes for ice cravings include autism spectrum disorder, dementia, intellectual disabilities, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and schizophrenia.

Does Chewing On Ice Hurt Your Teeth?

By now it should be clear that chewing ice is bad for your teeth and gums. Unfortunately, it’s common to occasionally forget or accidentally bite down on ice while eating or drinking.

Unlike those with an ice chewing habit, maybe you’re one of the people unfortunately experiencing pain from accidentally biting down on ice. While it is possible that biting down on ice can damage your teeth in the short term, more than likely you’re experiencing an underlying dental problem if pain is involved.

Take note of this pain when it occurs and make sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

Safe Alternatives For Your Teeth And Gums

Breaking the habit of chewing ice involves finding alternatives that are refreshing without posing a risk to your teeth:

  • Let It Melt: If you crave the coolness, let the ice cube melt in your mouth without crunching it.
  • Avoid Temptation: Ask for drinks without ice in situations where you might be tempted to chew it.
  • Chill Your Drinks: Keep drinks in the fridge for a refreshing alternative without the dental risks.
  • Slushies Take All: Opt for slushies as a satisfying, flavored alternative to chewing ice. Be mindful of sugar content.
  • Switch Your Crunch: Choose crunchy snacks like cucumber slices, carrot sticks, or chilled fruits and vegetables that provide the same texture without endangering your teeth.

Making these simple switches can help preserve your dental health while still enjoying a refreshing experience.

Restore Your Smile With RIo Dental & Orthodontics

If your child is complaining of tooth pain or has experienced a fracture, then bring them in to see us. Rio Dental & Orthodontics wants to protect your child’s teeth from current dental problems, and from even more issues as they age.

Our team of specialists excel in restorative dentistry that can help your child’s smile get back on track. Schedule your appointment with us now.

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You can play a part in preparing your child for his or her first visit to our office. Informing your child of the visit as an exciting experience for both of you can ease any hesitations. As a parent try to act relaxed, since your child may sense any anxiety on your part.

Explain to your child that the doctor will “count, brush, and maybe take pictures of their teeth”. We also ask that you assume the role of a silent observer. Cooperation and trust must be established directly between the doctor, staff, and your child and not through you. Your child may become confused if receiving instructions from multiple sources.

We recommend bringing your baby in for their first dental appointment by their first birthday, or within 6 months of their first tooth appearing (whichever comes first). During this appointment, we will examine your baby’s mouth to track their dental development and discuss age-appropriate dental care.

It’s easy to make appointments to visit our office online or over the phone. Rio Dental sees patients both for checkups and dental emergencies. Using our online scheduler, you can select the location and time slot that works best for you for either type of appointment. If you have any questions regarding our practice, or simply prefer to make your appointment with a live member of staff, please don’t hesitate to call!

Rio Dental Group accepts most PPO insurances. We recommend that new patients and returning patients with new insurance policies reach out to us before their appointment to confirm coverage. Our Fort Worth location also sees patients who are covered by Medicaid and CHIP programs.

We don’t like surprises, either! Our staff is prepared to discuss the cost of dental services before you undergo treatment so that you know what to expect in terms of fees. The cost of your services will be due at the end of your appointment. Our office accepts payment by cash, credit card, or check.

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