Jacob J. Ridl, DDS

Attention College Bound Students – Dental Care Checklist

As a young adult, you’re savoring the last few weeks of summer 2016 and preparing for the transition into college. Enrollment, books, dorm essentials are all set. It’s time to enjoy family, sunshine and relaxation before the studies begin. It is also time to ensure you have scheduled a visit to the dentist to avoid any unexpected dental concerns that may distract from your education.


Consider these factors regarding your dental health before heading off to college:


#1) Freshen Up and Check Up

When microwave dinners, dorm food, late night snacks and pizza become a regular diet at college it is important that you’re on track with your oral health and home care regime. Our Dental Hygienist will ensure to provide guidance on homecare and how common dietary changes in college will affect your dental health. Dr. Ridl will address any dental concerns and determine if any treatment is recommended.

#2) Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth can lead to pain, infection, or damage to nearby teeth as they erupt. To avoid unnecessary dental pain which may interrupt your schooling it is best to have Dr. Ridl evaluate wisdom teeth prior to determine if you are a good candidate for extraction. Typically between the ages of 17 and 25 are the best stage to examine and remove wisdom teeth as they have not fully formed yet are close to eruption.


As you prepare to embark upon the college experience, there’s still time left to complete your college checklist. Make your oral health care needs a priority and set yourself on the pathway to success and a lifetime of healthy smiles.

The Cold Hard Truth

Why Chewing Ice Is Bad

Summertime is here and indulging in icy cold beverages is a must! Chances are that you’ve chomped through an ice cube or two on occasion, without second thought. Though it may seem harmless, the act of chewing ice can lead to costly and painful dental conditions.

The muscles used for chewing produce a powerful force. When combined with the density of ice it can cause the tooth’s enamel to weaken, chip and fracture. When your enamel is worn, chipped, or fractured it increases your chance of experiencing sensitivity when eating and drinking. Fractures can occur vertically or horizontally and can compromise the tooth structure enough to require root canal treatment or crown treatment. Another risk in chewing ice is due to the repetitive cold exposure which can cause existing dental fillings to expand or contract. This fluctuation may shorten the life span of your fillings due to the stress the change in shape creates. Lastly, chewing ice can cause trauma to the jaw muscles by creating unnecessary tension and stress with the extra force and exertion it takes to break through the cube.

With the weather warming up, Dr. Ridl and his team wanted to remind you to avoid biting into those refreshing little frozen delights when you enjoy a cold beverage. Enjoy the summertime heat and stay cool without causing your teeth trauma – it’s the cold hard tooth truth… avoid chewing ice.

Spring Clean Your Smile

We have officially embarked upon springtime, making many of us want to clean and refresh. Dr. Ridl and his team want to remind you that this does not only apply to your house and yard. While you’re cleaning out your closets and scrubbing the bathroom, remember to invigorate your oral health as well!

• Make sure your toothbrush is changed every 3 months and the bristles are still effective. We recommend an extra-soft bristled brush to prevent gingival wear. Electric toothbrushes are also beneficial but not necessary, the main importance is brushing for a 2-minute duration. Brush the inside, outside and top surfaces of each tooth, also use your toothbrush as a tongue scraper.

• Flossing is imperative! Research shows that a lack of flossing leaves substantial plaque bacteria behind on approximately 30% of the tooth’s surface. Using hand-held flossers is a great substitute if you hate regular floss, REACH has an excellent hand held flosser.

• Choose a product containing fluoride. Most over the counter toothpastes contain fluoride as it is proven to be the number one anti-cavity preventative. But if you or your family members are prone to cavities there are many other products to supply you with additional cavity protection including MI paste plus and ACT mouthrinse.

• Chewing sugarfree gum stimulates your saliva, which in turn provides your teeth with excess nutrients and buffering. This step has become the latest addition by the American Dental Association to a “normal” oral homecare routine. Additionally, eating a healthy diet while avoiding sticky, acidic and high sugar intake is essential.

• Spring into a brighter smile by treating yourself to whitening! We are pleased to discuss the safety and efficacy of all whitening options available. Our office currently offers custom trays with different strengths of whitening gel.

• Make sure you and your family are up-to-date on your dental visits. Not only are routine dental cleanings and exams imperative. But allowing cavities and larger dental concerns to go untreated will cause further tooth destruction and place your oral cavity at risk. Call (509) 235-6241 to schedule any needed treatment.

Make sure that your spring-cleaning list includes scrubbing and refreshing your oral health care routine. Don’t fall into the same old habits, go above and beyond to keep your smile healthy and sparkling.


Protect Yourself- April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, a time when your dental office rallies to defend against and bring awareness to a serious disease. Although some may think oral cancer is rare, it will affect nearly 40,000 people in the U.S. and more than 8,000 will die this year. The high death rate is attributed to the fact that most oral cancers go undiagnosed until the disease is well progressed and has spread. Early detection and defense is crucial to survival. Dr. Ridl and our team are devoted to ensuring each patient receives a thorough oral cancer screening at your routine dental visit. So protect yourself and make sure your next dental visit is on the calendar.

Are you at risk?

It may be surprising to find out that the fastest growing segment of oral cancer patients are young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals. For this reason it is more important than ever for all adults to have regular oral cancer screenings. So get checked, and stay a step ahead of oral cancer this April. Knowing the risks and symptoms for oral cancer is also very important. They include:

  • Smoking and tobacco use
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • The HPV virus, a sexually-transmitted disease, is the leading cause of oropharyngeal (the back part of the mouth) cancer.


  • Sores in the mouth that do not heal
  • A thick or hard spot or lump
  • A roughened or crusted area
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down
  • Look for changes in color, shape, size or consistency of any bumps, lumps, or lesions.

Contact Dr. Ridl and our team at 509-235-6241 if you have any questions regarding oral cancer or need to schedule your routine dental visit including an oral cancer screening.

Savor the Flavor of Eating Right

March is National Nutrition Month, as we approach the halfway mark of the month, our staff wanted to check in to see if you and your family have adopted any new healthy eating habits. If not, we wanted to provide some encouragement and remind you that it’s not too late!

The theme for this year’s Nutrition Month is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right.” Taking 31 days to slow down and appreciate the many varieties, traditions and tastes. As dental professionals, we understand not only the importance of enjoying the flavors but also ensuring that the foods you choose are nutritious.  We wanted to bring you some insight into why we find Nutrition Month so important and how it relates to your oral health.

A varied diet with components from each of the five food groups is essential to both oral and systemic health. It is well known that limiting sugar intake and avoiding acidic drinks and food will decrease the risk for dental decay. Vegetables, fruits and foods with roughage provide mechanical removal of dental plaque whereas sticky soft foods tend to compact into crevices in our teeth.

Take a minute to think about your dietary habits for the first part of March. Are you happy with the choices you’ve made? Or is it time to look at the glass as half full and know that we still have half of the month remaining to make conscientious and wise choices. Think about what foods are healthy for your teeth, it is likely that these choices are healthy for your entire body.

How To Handle A Dental Emergency

Dental emergencies can happen at any time.  Do you know what to do if you or your child has a dental emergency?  Being prepared for this situation can make the difference between saving and losing a tooth.  Below are examples of common dental emergencies and a quick summary of what to do in that situation.

If you knock out a tooth:

– Find the tooth if possible.  Pick it up by the crown (the portion of the tooth visible above the gum) and gently rinse with water.

– Try placing the tooth back into the socket, but do not force it.  If you cannot place the tooth back in, place it in a cup of milk.

– Rinse your mouth with warm water.  If bleeding occurs apply a piece of dampened gauze or a moist tea bag.

– Call our office immediately at 509-235-6241.


If you have a broken tooth:

– Try to find the broken pieces to prevent swallowing or inhaling it.

– Rinse your mouth out with warm water.

– Call us right away at 509-235-6241 to rule out a more serious problem.


If you experience a toothache or swelling:

– Rinse your mouth with warm water and floss between the teeth to remove any food debris that may be causing the pain/swelling.

– Call our office as soon as possible at 509-235-6241 to rule out a more serious problem.


If you lose a dental crown:

– Save the crown and clean out the inside.

– If possible coat the inside of the crown with Vaseline and put it back on.  DO NOT use household glue or super glue.

– If the crown does not stay on put it in a zip lock bag in a safe place and bring it with you to your appointment.

–  Call and make an appointment to have the crown recemented.


If you bite your tongue or lips:

– Gently rinse the area with warm salt water or clean gently with a cloth.

– If bleeding persists apply a moistened gauze or tea bag.

– If you have any concerns or the bleeding does not stop, call our office for an appointment.


How to avoid dental emergencies:

– Never use your teeth to cut things, use scissors.

– Do not chew ice, hard candy, or popcorn kernels

– Wear a mouth guard when playing sports or doing recreational activities.

–  Be sure to schedule your routine dental cleaning and exam.





Keep Your Smile Sparkling This Holiday Season

The holiday season is upon us and with it comes holiday parties and family gatherings.  Even though this time of year we become very busy, we don’t want you to take a holiday from your oral health.

You can still enjoy the holiday season without scraificing your dental health.  Here are are a few tips to keep your smile sparkling.

  •  Be sure to keep up with your dental checkups.  With all the preparations for the holidays, it is easy to forego your dental visit.  Staying up to date with your regular dental checkups will help prevent dental problems and keep your smile sparkling.
  • Be careful when it comes to chewy treats.  Foods like caramel and taffy can stick to your teeth for long periods of time which encourages tooth decay.
  • Watch your consumption of sugary drinks which can lead to tooth decay. This happens when the sugar stays on your teeth for long periods of time.  Also red wine and dark sodas can lead to staining.
  • When you are able, drink water after eating sweets or drinking sugary drinks.  This can prevent bacteria from forming on your teeth which can lead to cavities.
  • Don’t crack nuts between your teeth. This can cause serious enamel or gum damage.
  • Manage holiday stress.  Stress and anxiety during the holiday season is very common, but it can lead to clenching and/or grinding your teeth.  Being aware of this and possibly having a night guard made if the problem persists can help protect your smile.
  • If you are traveling this holiday season don’t forget your travel dental kit.  Nearly everything comes in travel sizes these days.  Be sure to pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash for the whole family.

By following these tips during the holiday season you can keep your smile healthy and bright.  Don’t forget that the holiday season is also a busy time for us as well, be sure to call and get your appointment soon.  If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to schedule a dental appointment, please gives us a call at (509) 235-6241 or email us at [email protected]





Diabetes and Your Smile

November is National Diabetes month.  At some point in our life either you or someone you know has been or will be affected by diabetes.

Diabetes not only affects your whole body, but your oral health as well.  The most common oral side effect of diabetes is gum disease.  Below are the most common problems associated with diabetes that you should be aware of.


–  Periodontal (gum) disease which includes red or swollen gums and bleeding gums

when you brush and floss

–  Chronic bad breath

–  Tooth decay

–  Dry mouth which can lead to soreness, infections, or ulcers

–  Fungal infections such as thrush


Not only is controlling your blood sugar levels important, but also preventative dental care at your dental office to control oral health problem associated with diabetes.  Be sure to brush your teeth twice daily, floss once a day, and have regular dental cleanings.   If you have any questions or concerns about how diabetes affects your oral health please give us a call at 509-235-6241 or email us at [email protected].

Enjoy Halloween With a Healthy Smile

Fall has arrived and Halloween is just around the corner. This brings pumpkins, costumes, and of course trick- or- treating.  It is important to understand what sugar does to your child’s teeth and their oral health.

When your child eats sugary candy, the sugars in the candy mix with dental plaque on the teeth creating a mild acid. This acid attacks the enamel of the teeth which is the hard outer layer of the tooth.  This plaque can be removed daily by brushing and flossing.  If not removed the enamel can become soft and a cavity can form.  The damage done to the tooth depends on how long the sugar remains on the teeth.

Here are a few tips to keep your child’s smile healthy this Halloween.

– When your child gets back from tick- or- treating have them make 2 piles:  one for the candy they will eat and another for the candy they won’t eat.  Consider donating the second pile to a food bank, senior citizen home, or a children’s hospital.

– Encourage your child to pick candy that can be eaten quickly like miniature candy bars.  Candy such as fruit snacks/gummies can stick to your child’s teeth.  Lollipops also create longer contact time for sugar on the teeth.

– Set a treat time.  Frequent snacking on candy puts your child’s risk of tooth decay greater due to constant contact with sugar and acid.

– Brush, floss, and rinse.  Encourage your child to brush and floss after a sugary snack.  If they can’t do that, have them rinse with a glass of water to help wash away the sugar and acid.

By following these tips we hope that you and your family have a fantastic Halloween. If you have any questions please give us a call at 509-235-6241 or email us at [email protected].


Breast Cancer and Your Oral Health

At some point in this modern day world of ours, each of us or someone we love will be affected by cancer. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Dr. Ridl and his team want you to be aware of the many ways in which your oral health is impacted by this disease.

It is usually the side effects from the treatment of breast cancer that commonly effect oral and dental health. If you or someone you know is about to start treatment be sure to have a dental exam and cleaning. Many severe problems with teeth can be avoided if caught before traditional chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment begin.


Below is a list of side effects to be aware of.

  1.  Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

This is probably the most common oral side effect and can lead to massive amounts of tooth decay and even tooth loss. It is best alleviated with use of a prescription strength fluoride gel at home. Custom trays can be made and the fluoride placed in them. Typically the fluoride used is a very mild gel and in the oral tissue is not effected with a burning or stinging sensation like a paste can cause.


  1. Inflammation of the mouth (mucositis)

This is often times very painful and can make chewing and swallowing very difficult. Your dentist or oncologist can prescribe a rinse to comfort the tissues. Brush your teeth with an extra soft toothbrush or wash cloth with warm water, no toothpaste.


  1. Burning mouth syndrome

This may be the beginning of mucsotis. Brush with warm water and an extra soft toothbrush or wash cloth. Avoid any mouth rinse with alcohol and spicy foods.


  1. Low white blood cell count

Your immune system is suppressed from the cancer treatment making you very susceptible to any infections. Because a dental cleaning can expose your blood to bacteria, it is best to check with your oncologist before having a cleaning during or immediately after cancer treatment.


  1. Osteonecrosis

This is a fancy word for dying bone tissue. If your chemotherapy included any bisphosphate medications you might be susceptible to osteonecrosis. This usually only occurs with the more invasive the dental work, like a tooth extraction. The best treatment for necrosis is to have any invasive dental work completed prior to cancer treatment.


Your oral health is very important to us. If you have any questions/concerns or would like to schedule a dental cleaning or exam please give our office a call or email us at [email protected].