Don’t. Chew. Ice.
I used to have a girlfriend who would chew ice all the time. It never really bothered me, to be honest, but I was always wondering how such behavior would impact her teeth in the long run. She’d always tell me it was fine and that she always ate ice, but I always had a sneaking suspicion that it wasn’t great for anyone’s dental health.
Fast forward to an article I read just a few days ago, and it turns out that I was right all along. And while I won’t be calling up my ex to say “Hey! Stop eating ice if you want your teeth to be okay in the long run”, I do think it’s important to share with you all.
I mean, my dog will chew ice here and there when I give him a piece. It’s a nice way to reward him with a “treat” without it actually being a treat I have to pay for or one that’s unhealthy for him. But he’s not people. (I mean, he thinks he’s people.) But he eats it infrequently enough and doesn’t have molars that could be harmed in the same way ours could.
So, after I realized that chewing ice cubes actually isn’t good for your teeth at all, I decided to write down a few of the reasons why. Read on!
Chewing ice causes microfractures
While you may have never heard of such things, they’re really not good for your teeth. Basically, they’re what they sound like: tiny, thin cracks that can run from the tops of your teeth down to the roots. These are small enough to avoid being seen by the naked eye, but they’re big enough for any bacteria to infiltrate your tooth. This alone should make you not want to chew teeth lest cavities take hold.
Ice can cause your teeth to break
The microfractures not only can cause cavities, they can also compromise the structure of your teeth, meaning they’re weaker and can break off even easier in the case of too much pressure bearing down on the tooth (think jawbreaker or hard candy or even some tough chips). And what’s worse? Chewing ice down the road can be the very thing that causes your teeth to chip or break.
Ice will sensitize your nerves.
“Don’t you mean DEsensitize?
No, I don’t. I mean that the bacteria that can get into your tooth will eat away at your tooth’s nervous system, causing the tooth to be more sensitive to pain, heat, and cold (ice, riiight?). You don’t want your teeth becoming more sensitive to things unless you somehow enjoy the pain.