The teeth comprise a hard protective layer called the enamel. This layer protects the inner teeth and maintains your teeth in good health. While the enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, poor oral hygiene, and bad oral habits such as chewing ice and pens can damage it.
The tooth structure comprises a soft layer called dentin that responds to temperature changes by expanding or contracting. Ice causes a sudden change in the mouth temperature, causing the dentin to respond faster than the enamel. This response causes cracks in the enamel. In the early stages, these cracks are usually invisible. However, if you habitually chew ice, whether plain or flavored, the cracks will increase in size and become visible on your enamel. On the other hand, if you chew sugary ice, the sugars will act as food for harmful bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria will then release acids that wear out the enamel and expose your teeth to decay. Thus, if your mouth craves something icy, consider a cold drink rather than chewing ice.
Just like ice, chewing pens cause cracks on your teeth. You may also ingest bits of the pen paint and germs from the pen, which may cause inflammation in your oral soft tissues. In addition to damaging your teeth enamel, chewing pens and ice increases your risk of developing bruxism. For most people, chewing pens is a subconscious habit, and becoming conscious may be all you need to break free.
Given the above dangers of chewing on pens and ice, consider replacing them with sugar-free gum if you have to chew on something. You can also chew hard, yet enamel friendly, foods such as nuts, which, besides sorting your craving, is beneficial to your teeth health. For more details on dangerous objects for your teeth, contact our office today.