Dental FAQs: Barkoff Dental in Woodbury, NY


Barkoff Dental proudly provides a complete line of general, restorative, pediatric, and cosmetic dental services in Woodbury, NY. Call 516-921-1133 to schedule your appointment!

If you have an upcoming dental appointment, you might wonder what to expect. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding dental care.


Why Do I Need to Visit the Dentist Regularly?


Regular dental checkups and cleanings allow us to prevent most dental issues, and to catch any problems in their earliest stages, when they are easiest to treat. Regular dental care:

  •         Helps prevent tooth decay
  •         Protects against periodontal (gum) disease, which can lead to tooth and bone loss
  •         Reduces the oral bacteria that can cause bad breath
  •         Gives you a more attractive smile and increases your self-confidence
  •         Helps keep your teeth looking bright and white
  •         Strengthens your teeth to help them last you a lifetime

Do I Need to See the Dentist if My Teeth Feel Fine?


Your teeth may feel fine, but not all dental problems are obvious. Having us check your teeth twice a year can prevent serious issues from arising. In addition, we can address cosmetic issues that keep your teeth from looking their best, such as staining, chipping, or gapping, as well as missing teeth.

Cosmetic dentistry options include, but are not limited to:

  •         Professional teeth whitening
  •         Composite white fillings that blend seamlessly with the natural teeth
  •         Tooth replacement and full smile makeovers

What Should I Look for When Choosing a Dentist?


Choosing a dentist who “clicks” with you and your family is important, and you may wish to consider several dentists before making your final decision. During your first appointment, pay close attention to the following:

  •         Is scheduling convenient?
  •         Is the office easy to get to from my home or office?
  •         Is the office clean and orderly?
  •         Does the office staff keep good records?
  •         Does the dentist explain techniques for good oral health?
  •         Are treatment options and cost details presented before treatment is scheduled?
  •         Is the dentist a member of the ADA (American Dental Association)?

How Can I Care for My Teeth Between Visits?


Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice per day for a minimum of 30 seconds per quadrant of your mouth, and floss your teeth at least once per day. Be sure to brush your tongue as well to remove food debris and keep your breath fresh.

Reduce your consumption of sugar, which increases bacterial growth in the mouth. Rinse thoroughly with plain water after consuming sweet foods or beverages. Also avoid tobacco, which can stain your teeth, raise your risk for gum disease, and eventually lead to oral cancer.


At What Age Should My Child Start Seeing the Dentist?


The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children have their first dental checkup no later than one year of age. Pediatricians often handle this initial appointment, but we can see your baby if you prefer. By the third birthday, most kids are able to brush their own teeth with assistance, making this the perfect time to transition to regular pediatric dentistry.


How Often Should My Family See the Dentist?


In general, all children, teens, and adults should have a regular checkup every six months. Those who are at high risk for oral cancer, gum disease, or tooth decay may need more frequent visits. We will advise you on what schedule is right for you.


What Is a Cavity?


A cavity is a small hole that forms inside the tooth because of tooth decay. Cavities form when plaque buildup on the outside of the tooth combines with sugars and starches in the food you eat. This produces an acid that can eat away the enamel on your tooth. Untreated cavities will worsen over time. Fortunately, you can prevent most cavities by practicing impeccable oral hygiene.


What Is a Filling?


A filling is a synthetic material that fills in the space left behind after all decay is removed from a cavity. A local anesthetic is used to prevent pain or discomfort when a filling is placed.

Most fillings today are made of a tooth-colored composite resin. However, fillings can also be made from gold or ceramic. Dr. Barkoff will help you choose the material that is right for you.


How Do I Properly Brush My Teeth?


The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice per day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste. Spend at least 30 seconds brushing each quadrant of your mouth. Since people are notoriously bad at estimating time, consider setting a timer or using an electric toothbrush that beeps when it is time to change quadrants. Don’t forget to brush your tongue as well!


When Should I Change My Toothbrush?


We recommend that manual toothbrushes be changed every three months. Electric toothbrushes may not need the head changed this frequently, so check your owner’s manual. If you get sick, change your toothbrush as soon as you are well to avoid reinfecting yourself. If you have gum disease, you may need to change your toothbrush every four to six weeks to minimize bacterial spread. After each brushing, rinse your toothbrush thoroughly in hot water to clean the bristles and kill germs.


What Is Gum Disease?


Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is mostly caused by plaque and bacteria buildup that is not treated in its early stage. Other causes of periodontal disease include tobacco use, teeth grinding, some medications, and genetics.

Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease. It is easily treatable in this stage but will worsen if not treated. Advanced gum disease will lead to tooth and bone loss, and may be irreversible.

Common signs of gum disease include:

  •         Red, irritated, bleeding, or swollen gums
  •         Chronic bad breath
  •         Loose teeth, or loss of teeth
  •         Extreme tooth sensitivity
  •         Receding gum line
  •         Abscessed teeth

If I Have Braces, Do I Need Twice-Annual Checkups?


Yes! In fact, braces are tough to clean around, so it is particularly vital that you visit us regularly for checkups and cleanings. Dr. Barkoff will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure your teeth stay clean and healthy while you’re wearing braces.


How Do I Schedule My Next Appointment?


Just call our practice at 516-921-1133. Our friendly front desk staff will schedule your appointment and, if you are a new patient, will provide you with all the information you need.