Here in Brandon, FL, the summer heat doesn’t quite let up until October. People are doing their best to stay cool: huddling in air conditioned buildings, eating ice cream and cool drinks, or putting ice packs on their person. But there’s one habit of staying cool that could potentially hurt your teeth: chewing on ice cubes. We mean actual cubes straight from the tray or dispenser, not the crushed or chipped ice. While it feels good in the mouth, ice is a durable material that can damage your teeth if you aren’t careful. Read along as Drs. Richard and Brenton Assing explain how ice could be more foe than friend for your teeth.
For us, the most common reason is the heat. We’re doing all we can to fight back against the summertime shine, and sometimes the air conditioning just isn’t enough. Other times, it could be because you’ve already finished your meal at the restaurant and are chewing on ice to kill time while waiting for your friends to finish. For others, chewing on ice could be a sign of stress or even a medical condition; perhaps they have dry mouth or are getting over a throat sickness.
It’s all about the pressure and the material. Ice cubes are solid and take enormous strength to bite through. Your teeth are made of a few layers of different minerals to protect the sensitive pulp center. However, these layers are not completely resistant to ice cubes, and are prone to cracking or chipping as a result.
If you have dental implants, braces, dental bridges, or other dental restorations with individual parts, be aware that you could damage them when chewing on ice cubes. This could set your treatment back, or cause costly damage to your dental fixtures.
There’s also the risk of something called micro-cracks, which typically occur on your enamel when there are sudden shifts in temperature. For example, if you had some hot soup for dinner, followed immediately by ice chips, the expansion of enamel can lead to a feeling of tightness or stress in your teeth.
While chewing ice may feel cool, it’s not so great for your teeth. Here’s a list of other ways you can replace that ice with something healthier or easier on your teeth:
Don’t feel disheartened if you’ve been chewing on ice cubes. Just be aware that while teeth are the hardest substances in the body, they are still susceptible to cracking or breaking from other harder substances. If you have any questions on how to better care for your teeth in Brandon, FL, feel free to contact us at Brandon Complete Dental Care for more information. We also encourage patients to explore this infosite if you’re interested in dental implants.
Dr. Richard Assing
719 W Robertson St.
Brandon, FL 33511
Monday: 8AM – 6PM
Tuesday: 8AM – 6PM
Wednesday: 8AM – 6PM
Thursday: 8AM – 6PM
Friday: 8AM – 12PM