Chill Out on Ice Chewing
Relaxing with a cool beverage on a hot day can be incredibly refreshing. The small, melty ice cubes clinking around at the bottom of your glass quickly cool you down and quench your thirst. Even better, chewing the ice that’s keeping your beverage cool, right?
If you wear braces you probably already know this practice is a no-no, says our Vestal pediatric dentist and orthodontist, Dr. Meunch. If you find yourself absently – and happily – chewing away at a couple ice cubes after you’ve finished a drink, you’re not alone. There are many people who enjoy chewing ice not just incidentally but as a matter of habit. It can be oddly satisfying to crunch your way through an ice cube, adds our orthodontist in Vestal.
Do You Enjoy Crunching Ice?
Even if you are a patient who is straightening your teeth with Invisalign and can remove your aligners, it’s a BAD habit to have. And – though it may be enjoyable to you – it can certainly be annoying to the people around you. The need to chew ice can also be a sign of a more serious medical condition. (Be sure to check with your doctor if you have concerns.) It’s not so great for your teeth either, which is why the American Dental Association recommends avoiding persistent ice chewing to prevent tooth injuries such as cracked or chipped teeth, enamel damage, or gum injuries. Your teeth are simply not built for the wear and tear caused by eating bags or trays of ice every day and can wreak havoc on your orthodontic work.
Love Shaved Ice or Slushies?
You can continue to enjoy them, says our orthodontic team in Vestal, (although those type of sugary treats should be limited too!) The damage to braces is usually caused by chomping on the hunks of ice rattling around in the bottom of your glass, or worse, ice cubes straight from the freezer.
What’s an Ice Chewer to Do?
If you have severe ice cravings, you need to find out why. It’s important to seek proper diagnosis and treatment. Any behavior that is not done in moderation can cause problems and chewing ice is one of them. Additionally, if you’re having jaw pain or toothaches, let Muench Orthodontics in Vestal know, as we may be able to help you avoid serious damage to your teeth and jaw.
In the meantime, Meunch Orthodontics suggests that you try to let the ice dissolve in your mouth rather than chewing. Or, you could try sucking on semi-melted ice slivers instead of cubes, to prevent any damage to your braces. For patients with Invisalign, you have the more convenient option of slipping off your aligners and soothing your craving for a hard icy crunch by eating cold carrots, celery sticks or apples. These crunchy hard foods should still be avoided with braces, reminds Dr. Muench.
Have Questions for Our Vestal Orthodontist?
If chewing on ice is becoming a problem in your life, or if you have any other questions on the topic, give Muench Orthodontics a call. Our experienced doctor may be able to help you with this issue by preventing or repairing any damage to your teeth.
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to orthodontics, feel free to contact Muench Orthodontics, with a convenient orthodontist office in Vestal, NY, by clicking here or by calling 607.341.7476.