Resolving a Problem With Ice Chewing With Assistance From a Clinic for Pediatric Dentistry in Sparks NV

A dentist who provides service for Pediatric Dentistry in Sparks NV may find evidence that a child routinely chews on ice. The parents may have noticed this habit and might not think much of it, or they might have encouraged the youngster to stop. Chewing on ice is very pleasurable to certain kids and adults, but it’s not considered normal behavior. In fact, there’s even a medical term for this habit: pagophagia. It’s a form of pica, a condition in which people experience cravings to consume specific things that aren’t considered food.

Sometimes chewing on ice is a symptom of iron-deficiency anemia, so the child should be checked by a doctor for that. Eating ice also can be a sign of a zinc or calcium deficiency. Researchers aren’t sure why these deficiencies would lead to a craving for ice since frozen water is not a significant source of these nutrients.

However, often there is no explanation for this habit. Unfortunately, chewing on ice can cause teeth to chip and develop fine cracks. It also wears down tooth enamel. A dentist providing service for Pediatric Dentistry in Sparks NV will find signs of these problems and may offer suggestions on how to convince the child to stop. Chewing ice also can be a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder, but if the parents haven’t noticed other symptoms, this is probably not the answer.

Chewing sugar-free gum may be the solution. Ice pops may be attractive as snacks if the child especially likes the cold temperature. The boy or girl may ask about chewing hard sugar-free candy instead since the crunchy texture is so appealing. But chewing that substance comes with similar issues as ice chewing, in that teeth aren’t meant to chomp on something so hard and resistant. The youngster will need to develop some self-discipline in regard to this habit. If nothing else, overcoming an unhealthy habit in childhood can result in positive attention to potentially unhealthy behaviors in the future.

A clinic such as Sparks Dental may recommend chewing gum containing xylitol since that sweetener is known to provide protection against decay. Click here for more information on this particular dental facility.

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