Many people mindlessly chew on ice cubes after finishing a beverage or as a nervous habit. However, chewing on such non-food items has the potential to cause significant damage to your teeth. Although enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, it’s far from indestructible. Therefore, you should pay attention to any tendencies to chew on ice cubes on engage in other activities that may be bad for your teeth.
Why should I be worried about wear and tear on my teeth?
Your teeth are incredibly strong, allowing you to eat a wide variety of foods, but they are still susceptible to breakage under certain circumstances. Yes, your teeth are designed to help you chew even tough, fibrous foods, but they weren’t intended for chewing non-food items or being used as tools.
If you engage in these activities, you can easily chip, crack or break your teeth. At a minimum, this will require a restoration of some sort to repair the damage. Other cases might require root canal treatment with an endodontist. In a worst-case scenario, a tooth can be so badly damaged that it must be removed. Even if the activity doesn’t directly cause a chip or crack, it can cause the enamel to wear prematurely and create the conditions for such damage.
What kinds of things can damage my teeth?
Chewing on non-food items, including ice, pencils, fingernails and a plethora of other things that patients might use to soothe their nerves or avoid boredom, for example. Additionally, using your teeth to open packages or hold things while your hands are full is also potentially harmful.
Of course, there are other lifestyle habits that can harm your teeth. Smoking is the most noteworthy of these. Not only does smoking cause tooth discoloration, it is also associated with the type of inflammation found in diseased gum tissue.
We encourage you to discontinue any bad habits that may be harming your teeth, such as chewing ice. If you need guidance or support in doing so, don’t hesitate to reach out to any of our compassionate staff at Access Endodontics for suggestions!