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Is Chewing Ice Bad For Your Teeth and Health?


According to the American Dental Association (ADA) chewing ice is bad for your teeth for a few reasons. Chewing ice can chip or break teeth, damage enamel, or even damage oral apparatuses like braces, bridges, crowns, and so on. 

Any kind of damage to teeth puts your overall dental health at risk, and may lead to the development of cavities, tooth sensitivity, or nerve pain.

A woman smiles as she holds a cube of ice near her teeth.

Why Do People Chew Ice?

While there are no actual side effects of eating ice cubes, chewing ice may be indicative of an underlying problem called pagophagia. According to the Mayo Clinic, pagophagia is the craving to chew ice, which can be caused by an iron deficiency, though not necessarily linked to anemia. Pagophagia, a type of pica, may point to a compulsive or depressive disorder, as well.

It is important to note this is not the same thing as chewing leftover ice in the bottom of a fast food soda, but rather a distinct craving or persistent need to chew ice. If pagophagia is suspected, we highly recommend consulting with your physician or dentist.

Healthy Alternatives to Protect Your Oral Health

If you discover that you have an occasional craving for ice, then you should try an ice alternative like apple slices, carrot sticks, or cucumbers. Pickles and popsicles can help satisfy a cold crunch craving, as well.

Seeking these alternatives can prevent you from wearing down your teeth even fasters, which could lead to chipped teeth, cracks and expensive dental care treatments.

Schedule With A Dentist Close To Wood Dale, Illinois

If your teeth have been chipped, cracked or worn down due to a habit of eating ice, then you need to see a dentist for a follow up. Schedule at the practice of Brian Homann DDS today for a routine exam or restorative dental treatment.

For more information on chewing ice or pagophagia, please feel free to contact our office for a consultation.

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Schumer Family Dental Care

901 Biesterfield Rd. Suite 111

Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

P:    847-439-1371

F:    847-439-1373

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