Is It Bad To Chew Ice?

“This episode of DNews is brought to you
by…the BuyPower Card from Capital One.Every purchase brings you closer to a new Chevrolet,
Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicle.” I love chewing ice. What does that say about
me?! AM I GOING TO BE OKAY?! Hey guys, it’s Trace for DNews. Ice chewing
is a thing with records of it dating to the 1600s! People do it for different reasons,
like if your refill never came, or you just like the crunch… But one thing’s for sure,
it has NOTHING to do with being sexually frustrated. Abnormal ice cravings are part of something
doctors call pica, or the craving to chew something with no nutritional value. If it’s
specifically ice, that’s called pagophagia, and the MAIN thing ice chewing can indicate
is iron deficiency or anemia! Seriously, it’s a symptom! Of course, this is if you’re chewing
a massive amount of ice, not just a cube or two. They’re not sure why people who are iron
deficient crave ice, since there’s no iron IN ice cubes, perhaps it’s because they’re
crunchy? Ice chewing can also be symptoms of emotional
problems like stress, or something more serious like obsessive-compulsive or developmental
disorders. Again, you’d have to chew more than what’s in the bottom of your water glass
to be diagnosed with this, but anyway… Though we don’t know WHY people chew ice.
We know they do, and have for hundreds of years. Dentists don’t recommend chewing ice,
because YES, ice chewing CAN damage your teeth. You might not see the damage, but it’s there,
and it’s cumulative over time. Though they seem hard, tooth enamel is really brittle,
and is about as easy to break as glass. The reason they DON’T break is because your teeth
are made of microstructures of enamel and dentin. The microstructures keep microscopic
cracks from spreading, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t any cracks. A study in Proceedings
of the National Academy of Sciences found human teeth can withstand 1000 Newtons of
force, while other primates with crunchier diets have thicker enamel and thus stronger
teeth. Those primates can crunch nuts and fruit pits, or grind thick plants, where we
would literally crack a tooth. Add to that, the temperature shifts from chewing
ice. Your mouth stays around the high 90s normally, but introducing ice can drop that
temperature just as you crunch on the ice. Colder teeth are even more prone to cracks! Knowing people’s affinity for chewing the
cold chunks, a company called Scotsman Ice Systems created an ice machine that creates
an easy-to-chew ice nugget, it’s more like compressed snow. You can find it at Sonic,
if you’re near one. Bottom line, chewing ice doesn’t hurt you,
but it can damage your teeth if you do it too much. It can cause fractures, chipping,
and cracking, not to mention increased temperature sensitivity and decay. Plus, dental fillings,
crowns, veneers and such don’t have the resiliency afforded to natural teeth, so THOSE will wear
even faster. Enamel doesn’t grow back, so next time you’re
chewing on ice, think of your old person self, because they’re probably gonna be pissed. Are you like me? Do you chew ice? Why? Did
you ever think about it? If you don’t, why not?
Comments, leave one, that’s why they’re there. I love you guys, thanks for watching DNews.
Let me know if you have any pressing science questions on twitter: I’m Trace Dominguez.
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