Ice is served in many drinks, and you may be tempted to suck one of those ice cubes into your mouth when your cup is almost empty. Some people even make it a habit of chewing on pieces of ice. But should you? Can chewing on ice do any lasting damage to your teeth? Unfortunately, it can, and you need to avoid chewing on ice.
Ice Can Chip and Break Teeth
Ice is a very hard substance, and like any hard substance, if you bite down on it, it can do damage to your teeth. Chewing on ice can cause a tooth to chip or crack, especially if it's already weakened. If you catch the ice on the corner of your tooth, that corner could break off, leaving behind a jagged edge that could cut into your gums, cheek, or tongue. Even a small break can leave such an edge. These chips also leave the tooth weakened. Bacteria can now get into the softer inner parts of the tooth where it's easier to eat away at the enamel and cause cavities. It's also possible that a weakened tooth will actually crack in half or even fully break off if you bite down on it too hard. That can be very painful and require dental surgery.
Is It Safe to Chew on Any Ice?
While hard cubes of ice can obviously damage your teeth, what about smaller pieces? Unfortunately, any piece of ice has the capability of causing damage to your teeth if it's fully frozen. Biting down on any hard surface like that of ice is never a good idea, even if your teeth are strong and healthy. If you chew on ice, you should stop or try to replace that habit with something healthier, such as chewing sugar-free gum. If you chip, break, or crack a tooth while chewing on ice, give us a call right away. We will get you in to look at the damage as soon as we can.