Is Eating or Chewing Ice Bad For Your Teeth?

Published on October 20, 2020

If your go-to method of cooling down on a hot day is to chew on ice, here’s why you may want to reconsider reaching for the ice cubes for the sake of your teeth.

Is eating or chewing ice bad for your teeth? 

With summer approaching and temperatures set to soar, we all have our own ways of staying cool in the summer heat. Maybe that means a dip in the ocean, a trip to an air-conditioned cinema, or stocking up on chilled drinks to keep the sweat at bay. 

For some people, eating or chewing ice can provide some much-needed chilly relief on those hot summer days. But as good as its cooling effects might feel, is eating ice bad for you? And could it have a damaging effect on your teeth?

Why eating ice can be bad for your teeth

You’d be forgiven for thinking that seeing as ice is nothing more than frozen water, it can’t possibly be that bad for your teeth - after all, it’s edible and quickly melts away. However, it turns out that munching on ice could cause long-term damage to your teeth.

With every bite of crunchy ice, you’re placing your teeth under stress, leading to the development of tiny cracks that can damage the protective enamel of your teeth and cause it to break down over time. This damage is even more significant with larger ice cubes.

Ice and sensitive teeth

Aside from posing a risk to your teeth’s enamel, eating ice can also lead to pain for those who suffer from sensitive teeth. Often caused by worn-down enamel, dental sensitivity is a sign that your teeth need to be examined, as it could lead to other issues such as tooth decay.

If you suffer from sensitive teeth, visit your local National Dental Care dentist to identify the cause and get advice on how best to manage the pain and discomfort of dental sensitivity.

Have a rethink about hard foods

While we’ve focused on the dangers of eating ice, it’s worth noting that any food that’s hard and needs to be crunched down by your teeth can cause damage. Crunching down on particularly hard foods can put a lot of strain on your teeth, which could lead to oral health issues or even result in an emergency dental visit if your tooth becomes cracked due to the pressure.

Hard foods that can be bad news for your teeth include hard lollies, candy canes, popcorn kernels, and even olives with unsuspecting seeds. 

To keep your teeth healthy and protected, avoid the temptation to chew on ice cubes and instead opt for a cool drink to help keep you chilled when the mercury rises.

If you need to visit your local National Dental Care practice, you can book an appointment online today.

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