It’s ice-cream-eating season. In Utah, we LOVE Ice Cream, but HATE brain freeze! Someone talked to a guy at Ben & Jerry’s who works as a, quote, “Flavor Guru,” and asked him how to avoid brain freeze. And his best tip is really simple: Just turn the spoon upside down.
Brain freeze happens when something cold touches a bundle of nerves on the top of your mouth, near the back. (They’re called your “sphenopalatine ganglion” pronounced sveen-oh-PAL-uh-tine GANG-glee-uh. Or SPG for short.)
Turning your spoon upside down helps, because it allows your tongue to heat up the ice cream a little bit before there’s any direct contact with that group of nerves.
That won’t really work with something like a Slurpee though. And it could still happen with ice cream, even if you do the spoon trick. So we’ve also got three quick ways to GET RID of brain freeze . . .
1. Press your thumb up into the roof of your mouth to warm the nerves back up. Or if that’s too gross, use your tongue.
2. Breathe with your hands cupped over your mouth. Which uses the heat from your breath to warm the nerves back up.
3. Drink something hot. You need to have a hot drink ready to go for that one though. So it’s really for CHRONIC brain freeze sufferers who know it’s coming.