Don’t Let the Flu Catch You

It’s that time of year again – flu season! You don’t want the sniffles, coughs, or aches that come with the virus. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that about five to 20 percent of the population gets the flu, but more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from complications. Try these tips to prevent getting sick.

Wash Your Hands

The CDC says that about 80 percent of infectious diseases are spread by touch and physical contact. Flu germs can live on surfaces for hours, so if a sick person touches a doorknob or table, the object becomes infected. Other people come along and touch the same item, and then unknowingly touch their eyes, nose, or mouth, and they become sick, as well.

Washing your hands often and thoroughly can prevent contamination and spreading. Use warm water and soap to scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. If a sink is not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer will help disinfect the germs on your hands.

Cover Your Face

Flu germs are also spread through the air from coughing and sneezing. The infected germs get into the air and can be inhaled by other people. To prevent spreading the virus, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. It’s important to put your used tissues in a trash can, not on the floor or table. If a tissue is left out, it can contaminate the surface.

If you’re healthy, try to keep a distance from people who are sick.

Protect Your Body

When you’re sick, you probably feel like lying in bed all day. It’s good to make sure your body is fully rested, but also try to stay active to keep your immune system strong. Stay home as much as possible while you’re sick to avoid infecting others. Maintain a balanced diet to keep your body and mouth healthy. You should also drink plenty of water. Try to eliminate stress and keep your body relaxed so you can recover as quickly as possible. Also, don’t forget to keep practicing good oral hygiene behaviors to keep your teeth healthy. Keep brushing and flossing daily to get the harmful germs out of your mouth.

Don’t Share

Bacteria can easily be spread by sharing dishes, toothbrushes, and towels with other people. Sharing things that go in your mouth is never a good thing for oral health, but especially if you’re sick, so make sure the items you use won’t be picked up by someone else. Try using paper products, such as paper towels, to dispose of after you’re done. In addition, to protect your own future health, replace your toothbrush and towel after you’ve been ill to avoid being re-infected with the virus.

If you’ve had a cold or flu, please call Dr. Kobak at least 24 hours in advance to reschedule your appointment. The flu germs can live in your mouth for 24 hours before you start showing symptoms, and 24 hours after symptoms stop. After you’re fully recovered, you should schedule an appointment with Syosset Dental in Syosset, NY to make sure no infections are living in your mouth.

Stop Purging, Protect Your Teeth

Eating disorders are bad for your body, but they’re also bad for your teeth. Your peers and parents may not know if you have bulimia, a disorder in which a person purges after eating, but your dentist can tell.

For bulimics, binge eaters will make themselves vomit in the hopes of losing weight. If this is done often enough, acids will start to wear away your tooth enamel.

Vomiting brings up stomach acids through the mouth. When the acids touch your teeth, tooth enamel erodes. The destruction is mostly seen on the inside of the upper front teeth. When the enamel erodes, your teeth become weaker and thinner, and they are more susceptible to decay and sensitivity.

Bulimics are not the only ones who may suffer tooth damage. Pregnant women with excessive morning sickness can experience the same effects from vomiting. Enamel erosion can also occur if your diet includes too many acidic foods and beverages. The acid wears your teeth.

Excessive vomiting also causes other oral problems, like dehydration and dry mouth. Purging causes your body to lose water, and having a dry mouth increases your risk for cavities and gum disease.

If you purge often, rinse your mouth out afterwards. Also, make sure you are keeping up with good oral hygiene, to lessen the risk of serious tooth damage. Dr. Richard Kobak can make sure your teeth are healthy and recommend services to save your tooth enamel. Contact Syosset Dental in Syosset, NY at 516-433-2211 to set up an appointment.

DIAGNOdent Laser Technology Detects Cavities Early

It’s important to catch cavities at an early stage to reduce the amount of pain and dental work required later. Dr. Richard Kobak, a cosmetic and restorative dentist in Long Island, NY, uses the DIAGNOdent laser treatment to find tooth decay in its earliest stages.

What is DIAGNOdent?

The DIAGNOdent laser is used to inspect the surface of your teeth with great precision. First, Dr. Kobak will take benchmark reading from one of your healthiest teeth. He’ll then move the light from tooth to tooth to get a value between one and 100. If the laser finds a surface that reads differently than the healthy standard value, it will show the value on a screen. The level of enamel density corresponds to a number, so a higher number indicates softer tissue, which indicates demineralization (pre-decay) or a cavity. A beep occurs when the wand finds a potential problem area.

In addition to the classic system, the DIAGNOdent is also available as a mobile pen to detect a precise location.

How does the DIAGNOdent help me?

The tool can identify the smallest amount demineralization or of tooth decay. Found early, treatments will be simpler and minimally invasive. Fillings will be shallower, which means more of the tooth is preserved. Solving the problem and re-mineralizing the tooth at the start will also prevent the decay from spreading to other teeth, and eliminate the need for more serious restorative dental work like crowns, root canals, or extractions.

The DIAGNOdent is also accurate. Many cavities cannot be detected early enough on an x-ray. Dr. Kobak also won’t have to poke around your mouth at suspected areas. He will have an exact reading of the warning spots. Decay can also hide in grooves and gaps that are hard to examine. The laser device can detect those areas.

Using the DIAGNOdent system, we can examine your teeth accurately and thus offer very  conservative dentistry. Contact Syosset Dental office in Syosset, NY, at 516-433-2211 to schedule your appointment and DIAGNOdent screening.

Best Teeth Whitening Solutions

Whitening strips, trays, toothpastes, and gels… Dentist-prescribed home whitening… Zoom! Whitening in one office visit. Which is best? Which one is right for you?

When considering any tooth whitening option, it is critical that your dentist help you decide if you are a candidate for bleaching prior to using any of the systems. Certain teeth that have bonding, crowns, veneers or even deep intrinsic staining may not bleach and can actually lead to a more pronounced variation in color from one tooth to another! A thorough exam and cleaning is routinely performed before bleaching to be sure their are no cavities that can become sensitive if they are not restored before the bleach gel is used. We also want to be sure tartar and superficial stains are removed before bleaching to ensure best results.

Over the counter or non-custom whitening: For mild tooth enamel stains caused from foods and beverages, tobacco, and age, the strips, trays, toothpastes, and gels you can purchase at your local pharmacy or dental office may work well. Most contain about 10% carbamide peroxide, and you can select the system that you prefer. Sometimes these systems are recommended for younger teenagers when teeth are more prone to becoming sensitive or when jaw growth is still taking place and custom fitted trays will not fit long term. If you ‘re unsatisfied with the results from over-the-counter products, talk with Dr. Kobak about dentist-prescribed home whitening or one-visit whitening. These systems are more potent and can brighten teeth by many shades. Stains that don’t respond well to over-the-counter teeth whitening may vanish with prescription whitening.

Prescription home whitening:This is the most common bleaching procedure used in Dr. Kobak’s office, where custom fitted bleach trays are designed to be worn at home. These custom trays keep a strong, safe bleaching gel close to tooth enamel, while keeping out saliva. Some people prefer to whiten on their commute to work, while others like whitening at home before bed.  Dr. Kobak usually suggests wearing the trays for one to two hours per night. Many patients see results after just one day of treatment, but ten days to two weeks of treatment is recommended for optimal results. Keep your trays and purchase refills of the whitening gel from our office whenever your smile needs a touch up. The impressions and trays are all done on premises enabling the cost for this technique to be kept reasonable.

Zoom! Whitening in the office: For quickest results, Zoom! Whitening is best. If you want to brighten your smile before a special event or you just don’t have time to wear bleaching trays every day, light-activated Zoom! will give you a brighter smile in a single visit. This technique involves about 1 1/2 – 2 hours in the dental office and will obtain similar results as using the custom bleach trays, only quicker.

As a cosmetic dentist, Dr. Kobak serves patients from Long Island and the surrounding areas in his Syosset Dental office. Call today to reserve your consultation, and you could have a whiter smile tomorrow!

Our New Website Is Live!

Dr. Richard J. Kobak and the Syosset Dental team proudly announce the launch of our brand new website. We decided to revamp our internet presence to match the opening of our new office on Jericho Turnpike in Syosset, NY.

We are very excited. Our hope is that the changes we’ve made will be more convenient and comfortable for our existing patients, and very accessible and welcoming to our new and prospective patients.

Please visit our new locations, both on the web and in person. Dr. Kobak and our team hope you find the website easy to navigate and thoroughly informative. We have sections for contact information, registration forms, testimonials, and appointments, as well as information about us, our services, a picture gallery of smiles, and general dentistry facts.

We invite you to call 516-433-2211 and reserve your appointment with Dr. Kobak. Whether you need a checkup, you’d like to discuss smile makeover procedures, or you’re interested in improving your oral health with restorative dentistry, Syosset Dental is here to help. Our office is conveniently located in Syosset, New York  and is easily accessible from almost any location in Nassau, Suffolk, or New York City.

You Can’t Brush or Floss Oral Cancer Away

You may brush the recommended twice per day, you may floss once a day, but in the unfortunate case of oral cancer, these habits won’t get you very far. Oral cancer can be lethal. About 30,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer in the United States this year. Nearly a third will die within five years. A professional dental checkup every six months can ensure that the cancer will be caught in its early stage, when treatment is most effective. Early detection allows early treatment, which improves survival statistics dramatically.

Good oral homecare, including regular brushing and flossing, is vital to good oral hygiene. However, if you brush and floss diligently, don’t disregard checkups with a dentist. Checkups are for more than finding cavities. (more…)

Syosset Dental Patient Testimonial: Risa C.

Over the past few of weeks, we have presented video testimonials from actual patients of Dr. Richard Kobak, a dentist in Syosset, NY.

The fourth and final testimonial in our series comes from Risa C. Dr. Kobak placed porcelain veneers on Risa’s top teeth, giving her a beautiful smile and boosting her confidence. You can read her testimonial after the video.


Dr. Kobak is amazing. I have never gotten so many compliments on my smile as to when he did my top teeth, which are all veneered. I was very nervous as to how they would look, and they look absolutely exquisite.

People always ask me who my dentist is and they ask me how I got such a great smile. It has given me so much more confidence than I ever thought I would have as to before when I did not have them. If it wasn’t for him, I don’t think I’d feel as good about myself.—Risa C.

Would you like to become one of Dr. Kobak’s satisfied patients? Call our Syosset, NY, dental practice today at 516-433-2211. Be sure to visit our blog and subscribe for updates, and join our conversation on Facebook, too.

Syosset Dental Patient Testimonial: Estelle D.

Over the past couple of weeks, we have presented video testimonials from actual patients of Dr. Richard Kobak, a dentist in Syosset, NY.

The third testimonial in our series comes from Estelle D. Dr. Kobak performed a full-mouth reconstruction and gave her the smile of her dreams. You can read her testimonial after the video.

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Syosset Dental Patient Testimonial: Larry Needle

Over the next few weeks, we will present video testimonials from actual patients of Dr. Richard Kobak, a dentist in Syosset, NY.

Our second testimonial comes from Larry N., who received dental implants 15 years ago. You can read his testimonial below the video.


Syosset Dental Patient Testimonial: Roni S.

Over the next few weeks, we will present video testimonials from actual patients of Dr. Richard Kobak, a dentist in Syosset, NY.

The first testimonial comes from Roni S., who has been a loyal patient for nearly a decade. You can read her testimonial below the video.


I’m a patient of Dr. Kobak’s for almost 10 years. This is a wonderful office. He’s a very experienced dentist, caring, and very efficient. And now my two daughters are patients of Dr. Kobak’s. We feel like we’re part of a huge family here. The staff is so caring and wonderful. It’s a great dentist’s office and we love coming here. –Roni S.

Would you like to become another one of Dr. Kobak’s satisfied patients? Call our Syosset, NY, dental practice today at 516-433-2211.