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Is chewing ice really bad for your teeth?

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

dentist 60616Your teeth were designed to chew a variety of foods, including hard and crunchy foods, such as nuts and fresh fruits and vegetables. In order to perform this task effectively, your teeth are very strong. In fact, the enamel is the strongest substance in the human body. Nonetheless, enamel is not indestructible. When you attempt to chew hard non-food items, such as ice cubes, you may potentially damage your teeth.

Chewing non-food items increases the possibility that you will break a tooth. If you do suffer that outcome, your dentist may need to restore the tooth with a crown or in more severe cases, perform a crown lengthening procedure to expose more enamel so that the tooth can be restored. This becomes necessary when so much tooth material is broken off that there’s not enough remaining on which to place a crown. If the pulp is exposed by the break, you may need to undergo a root canal treatment.

Your dentist urges you to give up these bad habits in order to protect your oral health. Sometimes, they can just be mindless activities, so the first step may be awareness that you are even engaging in the action. If you have habit such as biting your nails due to stress, some psychotherapy can help you substitute a healthier stress management strategy and ultimately benefit your smile.

If you do end up damaging your tooth from chewing on a non-food object, it’s important to see your dentist to repair the injury to the tooth as soon as possible. If you delay getting treatment, you may be more susceptible to issues such as infections and abscesses, which may require even more extensive treatment.

Chewing ice is a bad habit that can harm your teeth, as can other similar actions like biting your fingernails, chewing on pencils or attempting to use your teeth as tools. Limit your chewing to food, and you’ll reduce your risk of needing to pay a visit to our office for a restoration.

Contact our office if you have a broken tooth or just to get more healthy teeth tips!