A Pediatric Dentist Can Help a Patient Beat the Ice-Chewing Habit

by | Dec 10, 2021 | Dentist

A Pleasanton pediatric dentist may see signs that a patient has been routinely chewing on ice. The parents could be unaware of this habit, or they might not realize doing so can cause problems with teeth.

Some children and adults find ice chewing very enjoyable, but it’s unhealthy behavior. Biting down on hard materials like ice, lemon drops, and unpopped popcorn kernels can result in chips and fine cracks in tooth enamel. Doing so regularly causes excess wear on the enamel.

Possible Medical Reasons

The Pleasanton pediatric dentist will want to rule out any possible underlying reasons for the habit. The parents should schedule a medical exam to check for deficiencies in iron, calcium, and zinc. Eating ice is a symptom of those health problems. Scientists have not yet determined why people with those mineral deficiencies crave ice.

Chewing Gum Instead

Usually, though, the habit appears to have no underlying reason. The dentist may recommend the child swap other substances for ice. Chewing sugarless gum might work, for example. Gum containing the sweetener xylitol strengthens enamel, thus providing protection against cavities. In fact, any type of sugar-free gum is useful for preventing tooth decay because chewing stimulates saliva production. Saliva has protective effects on enamel.

Learning Self-Discipline

The youngster has the chance to learn about self-discipline when breaking this habit. Deliberately overcoming unhealthy behavior during childhood can lead to continued positive action in later years.

Information about one particular dentist providing care for pediatric patients can be viewed at Mona Gokani, DDS – Pleasanton Dentist or visit https://www.pleasantondentaloffice.com/.

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