Stop Chewing on Ice


| 3 Comments
While I know it is a habit for many (including myself), it's easy to finish a drink and just start biting on the ice left in your cup for fun. Chewing on ice seems harmless, however, this is unfortunately not the case. It can harm your teeth or even cause gum injury. By chewing on ice, you put pressure on your teeth which can cause your enamel to wear down. This makes it a lot easier for cracks and chips to occur and sensitivity often follows with the exposure of dentin in your teeth. If you have braces or just had dental work done, absolutely stay away from chewing ice. According to OralAnswers.com, it is also dangerous to create "a repetitive hot and cold cycle in your mouth, which can cause small cracks in the enamel." It weakens your teeth and may even cause fillings to expand faster. 
There are various reasons as to why people like to chew ice. If you're like me, it's there and gives me something to do when my drink is finished. Plus, if I'm still thirsty it provides that extra tiny bit of liquid. On the other hand, some people have a serious addiction to chewing ice. This could be a sign of iron deficiency anemia or a medical problem known as pica. Iron deficiency affects about 2% of adult males and up to 16% of females ages 16 to 19 in the U.S. Pica is related to OCD, stress or nutritional deficiencies and refers to the desire to eat substances with no nutritional value. 
Nowadays, there is even so such thing as "chewable ice" which has become extremely popular, with brands such as Chewblet and Nugget Ice. While these ice makers are more desired during the summer, some franchises such as Sonic Drive-Ins even sell ice in cups and to-go bags year round. The addiction is a lot more serious than I thought for some people who go through cups upon cups a day of shaved or chewable ice.
Good alternatives to chewing ice are sugarless gum, carrot sticks, celery or apples. Just be very aware of the dangers and health issues the habit can cause. Anyone out there addicted to chewing on ice?
ice.jpg
Sources: 
Brat, Ilan. "Chew This Over: Munchable Ice Sells Like Hot Cakes." The Wall Street Journal. N.p., 30 Jan. 2008. Web. 20 Sept. 2013.
"The Cold, Hard Truth: Chewing Ice and Teeth." Go Ask Alice! N.p., 30 Mar. 2007. Web. 20 Sept. 2013.
"Why Is Chewing Ice Bad for Your Teeth?" Why Is Chewing Ice Bad for Your Teeth? N.p., 28 Jan. 2013. Web. 20 Sept. 2013.

3 Comments

Thank you!! I always wondered why my mom always told me not to eat ice. She was never able to give me a straight answer, but now I will be able to give one to my future children (Flynn effect in action). I was also unaware that "a repetitive hot and cold cycle in your mouth... can cause small cracks in the enamel." I wonder how big the change in temperature needs to be in order to cause damage.

Also did not know another common habit is sucking on lemons. This also can wear down the enamel of your teeth. My one Friend sucks on ice and lemons and the doctor has told her many times that her enamel is wearing down and her teeth are not strong enough. So I hope you don't have a lemon sucking issue as well!

http://www.uthscsa.edu/mission/fall95/teeth.htm

I can't stand the sound of chewing ice. I didn't ever know why people did it, but I guess it's some people's gum chewing or hair twirling. My teeth are so sensitive I couldn't sit here and chew on ice! Thanks for letting us know why not to do it, usually parents just say "because it's bad for you" but never give you proof of why!

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