Many people chew ice out of habit when they get to the end of their beverage. Others may chew ice compulsively as a result of another underlying health condition. Unfortunately, chewing ice causes oral health problems, some of which need to be repaired by our Richmond, VA, braces provider. We explain some of the damage that chewing ice can do.
Effects of Chewing Ice
The adverse effects of chewing ice include:
- Chipped or cracked teeth. Your teeth aren’t designed to crunch hard objects like ice and will chip or break under pressure. This can lead to treatments like bonding or crowns to repair the damage.
- Damaged tooth enamel. Tooth enamel protects your teeth from decay. If tooth enamel is damaged by chewing ice, it can leave a tooth more vulnerable to cavities.
- Damage to oral appliances. Hard foods can damage braces and retainers, causing loose wires and broken brackets.
- Dental filling damage. Fillings can be dislodged or cracked by chewing hard substances.
It’s essential to break this habit to maintain good dental health!
Causes of Ice Chewing
While many people mindlessly chew ice out of boredom or when they get to the end of their drink, others may have a condition called pica that compels them to eat ice in large amounts. Pica is generally a symptom of other health conditions – such as iron deficiency – that your primary doctor can diagnose and treat. Contact your physician if you believe this could be affecting you. Protecting your overall health goes hand-in-hand with protecting your dental health!
If You’ve Damaged Your Teeth
Chewing ice can damage teeth and oral appliances, leading to an emergency dental appointment. If you’ve experienced a crack or break in your tooth, or have broken brackets or wires, contact our doctor immediately. Untreated dental trauma can lead to worse problems down the road if they aren’t treated promptly. After your treatment, be sure to avoid chewing ice in the future!
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The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to orthodontics, feel free to contact White Orthodontics, with a convenient orthodontic office for braces or Invisalign in Richmond, VA, by clicking here or by calling 804.715.1998.