When it is scorching outside, and you want to cool down, ice is a great solution. You'll find many people drinking very cold drinks topped up with plenty of ice to keep the drink cool. Some people, in fact, go on to chew on the ice cubes as a quick solution and because it feels nice. However, science has shown us that continuously consuming ice can have detrimental effects on your dental health. Here is how.
Damage to the Enamel
The tooth's enamel is often its first line of defense against any external threats. Although it's a tough substance, it cannot take the constant wear caused by crunching something as hard as ice a lot. The enamel also defends the tooth against cavities, which can cause severe damage to your teeth. By always crunching ice, you weaken the enamel, meaning acid that causes the cavities can get in more easily.
Crack or Chip a Tooth
As you consistently crush ice, the enamel on your teeth slowly wears down. As such, the tooth loses its sturdiness. It could only take a few instances of crushing hard ice to either chip the tooth or crack it entirely. Cracked and chipped teeth aren't fun to have. Because the surface integrity is compromised, the nerve and blood vessels might be exposed, leading to tooth sensitivity and pain.
Damage to Dental Appliances and Fillings
If you have undergone any restorative or cosmetic procedures, its best to stay away from chewing ice. Braces, fillings, and retainers play a critical role in keeping our smile the way it is. The problem is that these appliances weren't designed to be continuously crushed against hard objects, such as ice. As such, you might find yourself coming back to see us so that they can be replaced, which is both expensive and time-consuming.
Although ice helps out a lot in keeping us fresh during the hot days, we shouldn't be chewing it. The damage to our teeth is not worth the pain and discomfort of an injured tooth. It could also lead to a cut in our mouth if the ice were to splinter and gouge our gums. Chewing ice simply is not worth the risk. Call us to make sure your teeth are safe if you have a habit of chewing ice.