Every morning before I sit down to work, I fill up a large mason jar with ice water. And after I finish the liquid (and give myself a pat on the back), I go to town chomping on the ice. I realize that the sound of ice on teeth might make some cringe, but it’s never bothered me — I’ve always figured that I’m just consuming more water.
Much to my surprise, though, my dentist probably wouldn’t be too thrilled about my ice chewing habit.
“When I’m asked to name a food that has a high potential to cause trouble, I call out chewing ice as an issue,” Dr. Matt Messina, DDS, an ADA spokesperson, says. “Ice is a crystal and tooth enamel is a crystal. When you push two crystals against each other, one will break.”
The somewhat good news is that Dr. Messina says that most of the time, the thing that breaks is the ice — however, sometimes it can be a tooth or a filling. “And that’s a self-inflicted injury,” Dr. Messina adds.
Along with unpopped popcorn kernels, Dr. Messina says ice is the most common culprit for broken teeth. “However, most of the time, a broken tooth or filling was in the process of failing and whatever you were eating was just the last straw.” Basically, you’re taking a risk.
Not going to lie — for me, that pile of ice on the bottom of my mason jar isn’t so appetizing anymore. Looks like I’ll be letting it melt, or leaving it out entirely, from now on.
Image Source: Getty Images / Doucefleur