Before we dive into this article, let’s take a look at some very interesting reporting done by the Washington Post. As it turns out, chewing ice may help people with anemia concentrate better. There’s speculation (as of yet unconfirmed) that this is because chewing on something cold promotes oxygenated blood flow to the brain – people with anemia might otherwise feel sluggish and slow.
Does that mean you should chew on ice cubes in order to focus if there’s not enough iron in your blood? Absolutely not. You should regulate your anemia. Chewing on ice is incredibly bad for your teeth, you see, and there are a lot of reasons for it.
Well, there’s really one reason – ice is very hard, and thus very hard on your teeth. Chewing ice has a slew of consequences, though. For one, you can bite on ice and literally break off bits of tooth. You might be even more susceptible to this if you have fillings or crowns.
Immediate consequences like that are reason enough to avoid chewing ice, but things get even worse. Chewing ice can also create small cracks in your teeth – so small, in fact that they’re barely noticeable. Unlike cavities, these cracks don’t generally cause any pain, so you might not think to go to the dentist. One of the reasons it’s so important to have regular dental appointments is so your dentist can spot miniscule cracks like these. The cracks can get worse over time, which leads to – you guessed it – you breaking off a piece of your tooth.
The best way to avoid these problems is, of course, not to chew ice. Honestly, you should avoid chewing anything as hard as ice, too – please don’t bite down on jawbreakers (they’re called that for a reason). You might instead opt to just plop a piece of ice in your mouth and let it sit there. That can give you the cool refreshment you’re looking for (again, if you’re anemic, you really should go see a doctor). For those who really want the chewing sensation, you might instead opt to chew gum. Get some kind of really cold, fresh tasting, mint gum – it might not be quite the same, but it could help.
Whether you chew ice regularly or not, it’s a good idea to visit your dentist at least once a year. Have you chipped a tooth on ice? Don’t waste time reading this article (though it’s too late for that now) – call us right away. Our emergency dentist in Winnipeg will see you as soon as possible. With chipped teeth or teeth that have come right out, time is of the essence.