Chewing ice is a common habit that can cause a surprising amount of damage. Here’s how chewing ice can ruin teeth, which may end up in a costly trip to the dentist or orthodontist.
Teeth may seem tough and sturdy, but they aren’t designed to crunch very hard objects like ice. Chewing ice can easily lead to a cracked or chipped tooth, which requires an emergency dental visit to repair the broken tooth. If your child has a cracked tooth, then try to save the remnants of the tooth in a small bag of milk, and immediately schedule an appointment with our office. If you act in time, a dentist will be able to repair a fractured tooth.
Broken Oral Appliances
Despite their sturdy construction, chewing ice can damage oral appliances. Oral appliances like braces and retainers play a vital role in developing healthy smiles that have proper tooth and bite alignment. Those with braces risk dislodging wires or even damaging brackets, which can result in an expensive trip to the orthodontist. If your child has an oral appliance, it is important that you communicate to them the dangers of chewing ice.
Damaged Dental Fillings
Dental fillings are one of the most common oral appliances used today, and are adhered to teeth by a bonding agent. Many fillings are made of porcelain, which can be cracked by chewing ice. Additionally, the glue adhering fillings can crack, which causes the filling to become dislodged. Losing a filling hurts, and requires an immediate trip to the dentist for a repair. Dental fillings play an important role in keeping teeth healthy, and when they’re cracked the tooth is more vulnerable to cavities and sensitivity.
Cracked Tooth Enamel
Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, yet chewing ice can still damage it. Tooth enamel is the first line of defense against cavities, and helps protect teeth from sugar and acid attacks. If tooth enamel is damaged, it can leave a tooth more vulnerable to acid attacks and tooth decay. Tooth enamel takes enough abuse from food as it is, so tell your kids to avoid chewing ice, it’ll save them from a trip to our office.
Bad Dental Habits Damage Teeth
Chewing ice is a common habit, and can become a reflex that children don’t even notice. If you see your child chewing ice, talk to them about it, and communicate how it can negatively impact their smile.