Sometimes it feels like summer is never going to fade away into fall, especially here in Florida. Over the summer, you got into the habit of chewing on ice cubes to keep cool. However, chewing ice is actually really bad for your teeth. It can cause your enamel to get chipped or cracked. If your tooth is weak enough, chewing ice can even make your tooth fall out! Also, it can cause some serious pain if your teeth are sensitive. If you’re having trouble kicking the habit, here are 3 healthier alternatives to ice crunching that you can try instead.
1. Let It Melt
Allowing the ice cubes to slowly melt in your mouth can cool you off just as much as chowing down on them. Not only will you still feel refreshed, but the sensation will last even longer. You’ll be getting more bang for your buck.
If you find the temptation too difficult to fight, you might want to stop getting ice in your drinks altogether and instead opt for a chilled beverage. You may actually be doing yourself a favor by skipping out on ice when you go out to eat. Ice makers are famously hard to clean, so you might be saving yourself exposure to bacteria that can cause infections and cavities.
2. Switch to Slush
If you have the chance to get shaved ice or a slushy instead of a regular iced drink, take it. Crunching on slushier ice will wreak a lot less havoc on your teeth.
Let your dentist know if you have a hard time quitting chewing ice. Sometimes, craving and chewing ice can actually be because of an iron deficiency. Taking an iron supplement might help squash your cravings.
3. Crunch on Something Else
While the cooling element of ice chewing is great, so is the crunch. When you feel a craving for something crunchy, take a moment to chew some crisp fruits and vegetables instead, like apple slices, cucumbers, or carrots. Not only will these foods satisfy your craving, but the fibrous outside of the fruits and veggies will stimulate saliva production. Because saliva washes away excess food particles and bacteria that can cause cavities and gum disease, it never hurts to have more of it. In addition, the fiber particles help scrub your teeth clean.
Chewing ice is seriously detrimental to your teeth. Try implementing these 3 alternative habits into your life. Your teeth will thank you later.
About the Author
Dr. Gary Nawrocki completed his dental degree in 1980 from the University of Florida. He has achieved Mastership status in the Academy of General Dentistry and Diplomate status in the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. For more tips on how to keep your pearly whites in good shape, contact Dr. Nawrocki here or call (321) 783-7514.