When you finish your soda, iced tea, or other cold beverage, do you like to munch down on the ice that is left in your cup? This is a common habit that people have, plus it seems to be a great way to cool down when you are feeling warm. However, it isn’t usually the best idea because it can harm your smile. Continue reading to learn about the negative consequences of chewing on ice and some alternative things to do instead.
What Is the Harm of Chewing on Ice?
Whenever you decide to crunch down on an ice cube, you can crack or chip your teeth. It also damages your enamel over time, causing you to experience tooth sensitivity when exposed to foods and beverages that at either hot or cold. Chewing ice can even damage dental restorations that you have, like fillings, crowns, veneers, and dental implants. In the end, it is a good idea to just avoid this potentially harmful act overall. You don’t want to be left with a dental emergency on your hands.
What Can You Do Instead of Chewing on Ice?
Habits can be difficult to give up, just like anything else you have become accustomed to. Here are a few things that you can do instead as an effort to quit:
- Understand why you do it: There are multiple reasons why someone could have the urge to crunch on ice. One may be due to an iron deficiency. This is something to discuss with your doctor. You may benefit from a diet that is higher in iron or an iron supplement.
- Allow the ice to melt: Do you enjoy the cold, refreshing sensation when you have the ice in your mouth? That’s okay, just don’t bite down on it. Simply allow it to melt in your mouth.
- Chew on ice slush instead: Instead of hard, solid ice cubes, try a softer version that is less likely to harm your smile, like shaved ice or slush.
- Have some crunchy veggies: If it is the crunchy nature of the ice that you like, choose a healthier option instead. Try baby carrots, cucumber, or apple slices.
- Cut out the ice: If you just can’t resist the temptation, order your beverages without the ice.
Ice chewing is common but isn’t done without any risk. Try following the tips listed above so you can avoid a dental emergency in the future.
About the Author
Dr. Shelly Strohman is an experienced dentist who has been working in the field for 13 years so far! She earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery from the UMKC School of Dentistry. Currently, she is a member of the American Dental Association, Texas Dental Association, 13th District Dental Society, and Texoma Christian Care Center Board of Directors. For more information or to schedule an appointment at her office in Wichita Falls, visit her website or call (940) 613-0299.