Is Chewing Ice Really That Bad for Your Teeth?

by Power Road Dental Care

Is Chewing Ice Really That Bad for Your Teeth?

Reviewed By Dr. Tyler N Davis, DMD

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Are you someone who constantly chews on ice? If so, you might want to reconsider this habit. While it may seem like a harmless and refreshing activity, chewing ice can actually be damaging to your teeth and overall dental health.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at why chewing ice is bad for your teeth and the potential consequences of this seemingly innocent habit. We will also consider some underlying causes that might be driving you to chew ice and how it could be a sign of an underlying health issue.

The Hard Impact of Chewing Ice

Many people enjoy chewing ice because it can provide a sense of satisfaction and crunchiness. However, ice cubes are not meant to be chewed on, as they can cause significant damage to your teeth.

The hard, cold surface of an ice cube can easily chip or crack your teeth. This is especially true if you already have weak enamel or any existing dental issues, such as cavities or fillings. Chewing on ice may also irritate your gums and cause them to recede, exposing the sensitive roots of your teeth.

A crack can be a gateway to serious dental problems. It can expose the sensitive inner layers of your teeth, leading to pain and infection. Not only can this affect your daily comfort, but it may also require complex dental treatments.

Our teeth aren’t indestructible! Every time we chew hard substances like ice, we risk creating small fractures that can develop into bigger problems over time.

The Underlying Causes

Have you ever caught yourself chewing ice and wondered why? Sometimes, it’s not about health issues at all. Many people simply enjoy the crunching sensation it provides. However, in other cases, it could hint at underlying health conditions or emotional problems.

Chewing items that have no nutritional value is called “pica”. It can often be a sign of anemia with or without iron deficiency. If you find yourself constantly chewing on ice, it might be worth getting your iron levels checked by a doctor.

In some cases, the urge to chew ice could also be linked to emotional issues such as stress, anxiety, or obsessive compulsive disorder. Chewing ice may serve as a coping mechanism or a distraction from negative emotions.

Key Takeaway

Chewing ice may seem harmless, but it can lead to dental issues like cracked teeth and increased sensitivity, and sometimes it signals underlying health problems such as iron deficiency anemia.

Breaking the Habit

If you’re struggling with an ice-chewing habit, there are creative ways to manage it. Switch to softer snacks like carrots or apple slices, or chew on sugar-free gum to keep your mouth busy. 

It’s also helpful to understand the triggers for your ice craving. Finding other ways to keep yourself occupied can be effective if it’s linked to stress or boredom. Remember, the goal is to find substitutes that are kind to your teeth and still satisfy that craving for a crunch. If you must chew ice, make sure that it is crushed ice, and not cube ice.

Helping You Keep Your Teeth Strong and Healthy

At Power Road Dental Care, we want to help you maintain a healthy and beautiful smile. Our experienced team of dental professionals can provide personalized advice on how to protect your teeth from damage caused by ice chewing and other harmful habits.

If you have concerns about the condition of your teeth or need help with breaking an ice-chewing habit, schedule a visit with Dr. Tyler N Davis, DMD. We are committed to helping you achieve optimal oral health and overall well-being. Let’s work together towards a healthier smile!

If you are in the East Valley and are searching for a ‘dental exam near me’ or a ‘dentist in Mesa, AZ,’ we can help. To book an appointment, call (480) 664-1438 or complete the online booking form.

Is Your Ice-Chewing Habit a Cause for Concern? Take This Quiz

Frequency: How often do you chew ice?

a) Rarely
b) Daily
c) Multiple times a day

Craving Intensity: How strong is your urge to chew ice?

a) Mild, I can easily resist
b) Moderate, but manageable
c) Strong, I find it hard to resist

Physical Reactions: Do you experience discomfort or pain in your teeth while or after chewing ice?

a) No
b) Sometimes
c) Often

Alternatives: Have you tried replacing ice with other crunchy foods like carrots or apples?

a) Yes, and it works well for me
b) I’ve tried, but I prefer ice
c) No, I haven’t tried alternatives

Health Check: Have you been tested for iron deficiency anemia or other related health conditions?

a) Yes, and my levels are normal
b) Not recently
c) No, but I have symptoms related to anemia


Mostly a’s: Your ice-chewing habit seems to be a mild preference rather than a health concern. However, be mindful of the risks to your teeth.

Mostly b’s: Your habit could be a sign of a bigger issue. Consider trying alternatives and monitoring your health.

Mostly c’s: It’s highly recommended to consult a healthcare professional. Your habit might indicate an underlying health issue that needs attention.

This quiz is for informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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