Chew on This: Crunching Ice Can Be Bad for Your Teeth

While blenders and ice crushers are perfect for crunching ice cubes, teeth are not.

Many people habitually chew on ice, especially during the summer months. That’s when dentists' offices are crowded with patients suffering from gum injuries and broken teeth. The American Dental Association says avoiding chewing ice is a simple way to avoid tooth injuries.

For refreshment, instead of crushing big chunks of ice with the teeth, dentists recommend letting ice slivers melt in the mouth like candy. Dentists also recommend baby carrots or apple chunks to ice chewers who are seeking a crunch.

But anyone who has a persistent ice-chewing habit and finds it difficult to stop should let his or her dentist know. Craving and chewing ice is often associated with iron deficiency anemia.

As the name implies, iron deficiency anemia is due to insufficient iron. The body needs iron to make hemoglobin, a substance in red blood cells that enables them to carry oxygen.

It's a common type of anemia. Some 20 percent of women, 50 percent of pregnant women, and 3 percent of men are iron deficient. It is often corrected with iron supplementation.

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Common Conditions During ADULTHOOD

As we get older, dental care for adults is crucial. Here are a few of the conditions to be aware of:

Gum disease – if your home care routine of brushing and flossing has slipped and you have skipped your regular dental cleanings, bacterial plaque and tartar can build up on your teeth. The plaque and tartar, if left untreated, may eventually cause irreparable damage to your jawbone and support structures, and could lead to tooth loss.

Oral cancer – according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, men over the age of 40 have the greatest risk for oral cancer. About approximately 43,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer of the mouth, tongue or throat area, and the ACS estimates that about 7,000 people will die from these cancers. The use of tobacco products and alcohol increases the risk of oral cancer. Most oral cancers are first diagnosed by the dentist during a routine checkup.

Dental fillings break down – fillings have a life expectancy of eight to 10 years. However, they can last 20 years or longer. When the fillings in your mouth start to break down, food and bacteria can get underneath them and can cause decay deep in the tooth.

Keep your teeth clean with an oral health routine.

Establishing an oral health routine is important for a healthy mouth. Try one of our oral health products to help you establish a schedule.