Is Chewing Ice a Sign of Iron Deficiency?
December 28, 2018 ABC Children's Dentistry
Whether its crushed, cubed, or flaked, chewing ice is a habit for many of us. In this issue, the San Diego child dentist experts at ABC Child Dentistry will talk about the hidden dangers of chewing ice, and the surprising reason behind the habit.
Why do people chew ice?
Just to be clear, we’re not talking about enjoying a cup of shaved flavored ice on a hot day. Rather, this article is devoted to the habitual chewing of crushed or cubed ice. While it’s true that some of us chew ice simply because of a habit, there are reports of an iron deficiency – a common medical issue – linked directly to an ice chewing craving.
It’s believed that the chewing of the ice leads to an increase of blood flow to the brain, which in turn results in more oxygen in the brain…leading to more alertness and clearer thinking.
How can chewing ice damage teeth?
Even though the enamel is the strongest part of our teeth, it’s just not built to withstand the continual pressure from repeated chewing of ice. As the enamel is weakened, the tooth itself suddenly becomes more vulnerable to cavities and infections in the gums.
If you or your child wear dental appliances (braces, retainers, etc.), the supporting structure of them can easily be damaged by ice chewing.
What are safe alternatives to chewing ice?
Crunchy fruits and veggies like baby carrots and apple slices are ideal alternatives to chewing ice.
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