Whether its ice cubes, nuts, toasted bread, or candy, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as crunching on our favorite hard snacks, even at the risk of cracking teeth. There are no calories when chewing ice, but there can still be dental health consequences. The impact of these crunchy snacks can damage teeth in several ways.
Why Chewing Ice is a Bad Snacking Habit
Americans love to chew on crunchy ice cubes and crushed ice. It’s just water, so how can it be bad? The larger cubes can crack teeth, while crushed ice is so cold that it too can create micro-cracks in tooth enamel. Over time, this impact will weaken teeth, leading to decay, cavities, broken teeth and eventually infections that can ruin a tooth.
If you have ever tried to loosen a jar lid by running it under hot water, you know that metal expands and contracts. So do metal amalgam (aka silver) fillings. Freezing with ice can shrink the filling, leaving a pocket around it. This affects the stability of fillings, giving them a shorter lifespan while opening the door to other dental issues.
If you crave the crunch of ice cubes, it is recommended to check with your doctor to ensure you don’t have iron deficiency anemia. While it seems like an odd relationship, a craving for cooling ice to soothe oral inflammation has been related to this disease.
Top Foods That Crack Teeth
Many of our favorite foods can damage teeth. Be aware if you have sensitive or already fractured teeth and consider a proactive approach including limiting how and how much crunching you do, and consulting with your dentist on your specific situation.
Here are some of the most common foods that crack teeth.
* Popcorn, Corn nuts®, Sunflower seeds, Almonds
* Biscotti, Toasted baguettes or bagels
* Olive pits, Fruit pits, Nuts
* Caramel, Caramel apples, Sticky candies, Taffy
* Frozen candy bars
* Ice cubes, crushed ice, ice pops
* Hard candy, jawbreakers (it’s in the name!)
Cracking or breaking a tooth is a common occurrence for both young and old. While not all broken teeth are preventable, annual dental exams and x-rays can provide some early detection. Find out if you are at risk before extensive and expensive dental problems happen. Be sure to tell your dentist if you have any chomping habits. For more information about teeth cracking, or to regain your beautiful smile after a cracked tooth, contact Whitmore Dental.