Chomping down on ice cubes after finishing a drink is a habit many people share. It may seem harmless, and even beneficial since you’re consuming water. However, no matter the size or thickness of the ice, you’re likely causing serious tooth damage. Breaking the habit and keeping up with family dentistry care can save you a lot of pain and hassle, so keep the following in mind next time you decide to bite down on an ice cube.
Ways Chewing Ice Can Damage Teeth
1. Wearing Down Enamel
The enamel layer on your teeth is the only protective layer you have, and decay-causing bacteria are constantly attacking it. When it becomes weakened, cavities and other decay-related issues can occur. Ice breaks down enamel, gradually weakening your defenses. Break the habit by dumping out your drink when you’ve finished, doing away with ice altogether, and schedule regular family dentistry checkups to keep bacteria at bay.
2. Damaging Dental Work
If you have crowns, fillings, dental implants, or other dental work, you need to remember that they’re not invincible. They can become dislodged or even break, and ice is a common culprit. The force required to chew ice puts immense pressure on tooth surfaces. Breaking dental work may open the door for infections and other problems, and you’ll also have to pay for costly repairs and replacements.
Chewing ice can also break your teeth. Serious breaks may require a crown, or in the worst cases, tooth extraction. Figure out why you chew ice. If it’s to combat dry mouth, you should drink more water and speak with a family dentistry professional about chronic dry mouth treatments. If it’s a nervous habit, you might want to look into ways to reduce stress and anxiety.
If you’d like more information about the harmful effects of ice, contact the family dentistry team at Aina Haina Dental. Serving Honolulu, HI, since 1976, these professionals offer comprehensive general dentistry services for patients of all ages. Dr. Keith W. Morikawa, DDS, is committed to his patients’ health and takes steps to ensure they achieve a lasting smile. Call (808) 373-2184 to schedule an exam, or visit their website to learn more about their general dentistry services.