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Breaking The Ice Chewing Habit To Protect Your Teeth

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Glass of Ice

For some of us, the idea of chewing ice is enough to make our skin crawl. For others, it’s a difficult-to-break habit that only gets worse when the summer heat hits. While it can be cooling and refreshing, it can also endanger your oral health. The visceral crunch of ice brings with it the risk of damage to your teeth, enamel, and gums. Despite these risks, this habit can be a challenge to overcome without options. Below we introduce various options that provide the same satisfying crunch while reducing the risk of oral damage.

Use These Alternatives To Chewing Ice To Break The Habit

While it may be made of water, ice is surprisingly hard and prone to sharp edges when cracked. Its hardness alone makes it possible for it to crack, chip, or even fracture your teeth. This durability also makes it possible for it to cause dangerous wear to your enamel. Eroding your enamel puts your teeth at greater risk of decay and cavities. If you have any form of dental restoration, you’re at risk of causing costly damage to these as well. These facts make it necessary to find an alternative to the habit before these possibilities become a reality.

Alternatives To Chewing Ice That Can Help Break The Habit Include:

  • Let It Melt – If you have the patience, you can let the ice cube sit in your mouth and melt. As it slowly disappears, it’ll produce a trickle of cool water that will be refreshing. It also gives you that oral fixation as you move it around with your tongue. Just don’t crunch it!
  • Avoid Temptation – In situations where you’d typically encounter chewable ice, ask them to hold it. The most common encounters are at restaurants and gatherings where cool drinks are being served.  
  • Chill Your Drinks – You can get your drinks close to that refreshing ice without actually freezing them. Keeping a water bottle in the fridge is an excellent way to keep up with your hydration while avoiding chewing ice. Just don’t let it tip the balance and freeze!
  • Slushies Take All – This is the convenience store answer to freedom from chewing ice. Slushies are made of ice, but it’s not in a form you can chew. Even better, they come loaded with delicious flavor. The sugar does pose a risk to your teeth, however.
  • Discover Why You Chew Ice – One of the most common reasons people chew ice is a mineral deficiency. Something about the crunchy nature of ice soothes an iron deficiency without actually giving us iron. Address this deficiency, and you may find yourself free from the habit.
  • Switch Your Crunch – This alternative has a proven track record. Find something that has that same crunchy texture without posing a risk to your teeth. Cucumber slices, carrot sticks, apples, and various other fruits and vegetables can all serve this purpose. You can even chill them to get that same refreshing burst of coolness.

Your Dentist Will Have Other Options For You

The length and breadth of your dentist’s experience make them a good resource. They’ll provide solutions and options you may not have thought of trying. Overcoming any habit is difficult, so don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Dr. Kevin H. Speer
Oak Grove Dental Center takes a comprehensive approach to dentistry that reaches throughout the Oregon communities, streamlining our dental services through an expansive reach of dentists and hygienists. By focusing on informing and educating our patients, we have pride in our ability to provide long-lasting treatments for those within the Portland, OR area.

Dr. Kevin H. Speer
Oak Grove Dental Center takes a comprehensive approach to dentistry that reaches throughout the Oregon communities, streamlining our dental services through an expansive reach of dentists and hygienists. By focusing on informing and educating our patients, we have pride in our ability to provide long-lasting treatments for those within the Portland, OR area.

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