How Bad Is Eating Ice? Silly Question..

Updated on July 26, 2011
R.D. asks from Richmond, VA
15 answers

You know those little plastic things you can pour juice into and make your own ice pops? Well my daughters keep asking me to use just water, to make, literally ICE pops. I mean, it's water... that's okay right? I only ask because me neighbor (the NOT psycho ones) Miss B was surprised when I told her what it was, and she said 'Can they eat ice like that? Is that good?'.... Uh, I guess, IT'S FROZEN WATER?!... I mean, it's hot, there's no sugar... ice is nice, yes?

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answers from Chicago on

I've chewed ice my entire life and have never had any dental problems, but I have strong teeth and have yet to have a single cavity in my life.

My hubby said that chewing ice is a form of pica and can sometimes indicate iron deficiency.

My 2 yr old LOVES to eat ice and always has. I let him, as long as it is crushed ice.

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answers from Los Angeles on

It IS frozen water, and is healthier than sugary treats, but because there's no sugar and other ingredients will be harder than regular popsicles which have a somewhat lighter frozen consistency. Chewing ice is hard on the teeth, so I'd be concerned with children crunching on it. One of my sisters was even told not to eat ice in any form because of all the problems she had before and after wearing braces, too hard on her gums and teeth..

I've seen ice shavers to use for shaving ice for snow cones at Target, they may even be on clearance right now. Might be better for them to eat shaved ice rather than eating ice cubes, would melt faster in their mouths so less chance of them biting or chewing on it.

As a side note, my mom craved ice when she was pregnant with one of my brothers, and it was due to a mineral deficiency, like women who eat dirt during pregnancies. So make sure your girls are getting plenty of water to drink...and maybe hide the popsicle molds ; )

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answers from Norfolk on

I think sucking on it is fine.
I've known people who've cracked molars biting it.
It's a bad habit to get into.
If you've looked at popsicles, they are kind of slightly spongy.
That's why you can suck the flavor/color out of them faster than they melt.
It's like the ice crystals form up but the flavored syrup almost flows between them.
Italian ice is crushed ice with a juice/flavoring poured over it.
I'd probably feel better if she were slurping crushed ice (no flavoring) instead of a rock solid ice cube-sicle.

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answers from Houston on

Eating ice can break enamel down quickly and chip your teeth and even damage your gums.

Ice addiction is usually linked to an iron deficiency. But this isn't necessarily the case here.

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answers from Philadelphia on

I would ask a dentist about the chewing it being bad for your teeth thing, cause I have heard this too but I am not certain I buy it.

It's water..... You're not talking about obsessively eating it and they're kids right? their teeth should be fine.

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answers from Boston on

It can be bad for teeth but if they are eating it as Popsicles and not chomping on it I think it should be fine :)

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Chewing ice can crack your teeth. Per dentists I know ice and popcorn are the worst for teeth.

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answers from New York on

Supposedly it wears away the enamel on your teeth... crunching on something that hard isn't good for them! No reason why they can't suck on the ice, but chewing isn't great for their teeth!

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answers from San Francisco on

Lucky you! Haha. I just know that chewing on the ice can be hard on the teeth. But if they're eating it like an ice pop than go for it!!!

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answers from Washington DC on

Yes, the iron deficiency ice craving is called pagophagia. There's more about it here:
If she's taking a multi vitamin with iron, then that shouldn't be a problem.
It's pretty simple to test. If she is not taking iron, or is tested as anemic and you start giving her iron supplements, she should then stop craving ice. Probably a good thing to check with you ped about. Good luck!

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answers from Hartford on

Have you had her iron tested? One of the signs of anemia is eating ice, just a thought.



answers from Richmond on

It's quite bad for your teeth to chew on ice according to my friend who is a hygenist in a periodontist's office (for 20+ years).



answers from Boston on

If she's licking an ice pop it's probably fine. If she chews it it's going to be quite hard, and rough on the teeth, unlike regular pops. My friend used to fill a cup with ice chips and just eat them. Turned out she was nutritionally deficient in a few things (can't remember what, exactly) because she had an undiagnosed eating disorder. Nutritional deficiencies can make people crave non-food items, and even ice chips, evidently. I'm not sure this is the same thing though.



answers from Norfolk on

my cousin asked her dentist if there was harm in eating ice. he says no. the only thing i can think of is that the craving for ice could be iron deficency....but it's probably that she's just hot . maybe get her the pre crushed ice instead. so that it wont break her teeth if she actually bites ice rather than sucks on it.



answers from Washington DC on

Working in a dentist office, they will tell you eating ice is the worst thing you can do. That causes the highest number of broken teeth.

Next question: Trying to Find Answers Re: Ice Cravings in a 32 Year Old.