Are You Flossing Correctly?

Sunday, September 9th, 2018

You may already be brushing your teeth twice a day. This should be an important part of your oral hygiene regimen. Equally important, if not more so, is flossing. Brushing only affects the bacteria and particles that are easy to reach and remove. This bacteria combines with saliva and food particles to create plaque, a sticky but clear and colorless substance that adheres to your teeth. Plaque creates a fertile environment for tooth decay and eventually cavities.

This where flossing comes in. Flossing can remove the plaque that your toothbrush cannot reach in places such as in between your teeth. However, it is important that you are flossing correctly. As the old adage says “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Flossing can be that ounce of prevention, helping you to avoid painful, time-consuming and potentially costly dental procedures that may become necessary due to tooth decay being allowed to flourish unchecked between teeth.

But how are we supposed to floss? What is the proper technique? The steps below will educate you on the proper method. See if your flossing measures up to how the professionals (your dentist) recommends you do it.

  1. Around your middle fingers wrap a length of floss about eighteen inches long. You can use your thumbs and forefingers to move the floss. Wind more around one finger than the other so you can wind the dirty used floss toward the finger with less floss wrapped around it and use a fresh length.
  2. Push the floss between two teeth and use a gentle “sawing” motion all the way from the top of the teeth down to their base where they erupt from your gums.
  3. Wrap the floss around the side of one tooth, making a “U” shape then gently slide up and down your tooth. Repeat this several times, making sure to go slightly underneath the gum-line, then repeat on the other side of the tooth.
  4. Again make sure you wind up the floss around your finger so you’re using a clean length of floss for each space between your teeth that you floss.
  5. Do not be alarmed if you see that your gums are bleeding as you floss. This is due to inflammation caused by the bacteria dwelling there. If you floss daily as recommended by your dentist, you should see an improvement in the health of gums in one to two weeks.

Some people prefer to use floss picks, which are “Y” shaped pieces of plastic with floss strung between the “arms” of the “Y”. Although using these is preferable to not flossing at all, dentists prefer using a length of “free” floss and your hands. Floss picks are at a disadvantage when it comes to proper flossing as you cannot wrap them around a tooth in the “U” shape recommended above due to it being already strung in a straight line.  

“Super floss”, a special thick and fuzzy type of floss, is also available. This type of floss is used to floss between teeth with extra space in between them. For teeth with very little space between them, squeezing even regular floss in between can be difficult. Floss can become stuck, shred or even break. These difficulties can lead to people choosing not to floss due to frustration. Waxed floss is available to help you get into those tight spaces you may have between your teeth.  

Whatever you choose make sure that it is American Dental Association approved to be safe for use. You should only use a length of floss once. Bacteria that has been removed on floss can linger and make you sick if reintroduced later.

Research recommends flossing after your brush as there will already be less plaque and food particles to get stuck on the floss.  If you have any additional questions about brushing, flossing or your oral health, call 252.507.0373 or schedule an appointment online with Dr. J. Stephen Hoard today.

Posted in: bleeding gums, Dental Care, General Dentistry, oral hygiene

3 Facts About Wisdom Teeth

Thursday, August 9th, 2018

wisdom teeth new bern nc dentist

Wisdom teeth are notorious for causing anxiety in patients even before they’ve experienced symptoms. Some patients may never have problems with their wisdom teeth, but it’s one of the most dreaded procedures in oral health. New Bern dentist Dr. J Stephen Hoard can help alleviate some of that anxiety.

1. Not Everyone Has Them

Some people are born without wisdom teeth! Dentists can see whether a patient’s wisdom teeth will ever erupt on a dental X-ray. If a patient doesn’t show any signs of the third molars below the gum line by their mid-twenties, there’s a good chance they aren’t going to develop. In some cases, however, wisdom teeth can erupt many years or even decades after young adulthood.

Next time you see Dr. Hoard, ask if your wisdom teeth are still hiding in the gums or if you could have been born without them. You might be surprised!

2. They Have A Formal Name

While you might be familiar with molars, the larger teeth towards the back of the mouth, wisdom teeth are formally called “third molars.” This is because they are similar to the first two sets of molars, and they erupt later in life.

Third molars are commonly referred to as “wisdom teeth” because they erupt in young adulthood — usually between the ages of 17-25, when the teeth are almost finished developing. During this time, the rest of the teeth have almost completely settled into their permanent positions, and wisdom teeth will begin to show behind the existing molars.

3. They Don’t Always Come In at the Same Time

Although they are collectively referred to as “wisdom teeth,” they don’t always erupt at the same time. The ones on top may come in first, years before the ones on the bottom, or one on top and one on the bottom may stay beneath the gums while the other two erupt.

It’s also possible to have only one or two wisdom teeth causing problems. It depends on the amount of space available in the jaw and the positioning of other teeth. Because of their position, wisdom teeth can be harder to clean, leading to infection — but this doesn’t mean they will all become painful or infected.

If you have questions about your wisdom teeth, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Hoard today by calling 252-507-0373 or scheduling an appointment online.

Posted in: General Dentist New Bern, oral health, Uncategorized

Are Dental Veneers Right For Me?

Sunday, July 29th, 2018

Dental veneers new bern ncMany people who have cosmetic concerns with their teeth, such as gaps, cracks, or discoloration may consider extensive dental procedures to correct these problems. For some patients, porcelain dental veneers might be a great option to take care of multiple cosmetic issues all at once.

A porcelain veneer is a thin shell of dental porcelain that is permanently bonded to the tooth to improve the shape, color, size, and position of teeth. New Bern dentist Dr. J Stephen Hoard can use these veneers to correct small gaps between teeth, visually improve alignment, enhance tooth color, repair cracks or chips, or even reshape or lengthen teeth.

Over time, our teeth become less white, thanks to wine, coffee, and other pigmented foods. Teeth are porous, and the pigments in our food can stain them, making your smile less bright. Dental veneers are more stain-resistant than our own teeth, so instead of multiple whitening procedures, you might want to consider asking Dr. Hoard if dental veneers might be right for you.

Dental veneers can also help hide minor misalignment or gaps between your teeth without the need for extensive orthodontic treatment. Since veneers are placed on top of existing teeth and customized to every individual, Dr. Hoard can design the veneers to hide any small gaps, cracks, or minor misalignment.

Unlike crowns, where a significant portion of your tooth is removed or altered, veneers only require a small part of the tooth to be removed. To place a veneer on your tooth, some of the outer layers of enamel is removed, and the veneer is placed on top. You get to keep your natural teeth and fix several cosmetic issues at once.

Dr. Hoard will consult with you to help you determine whether veneers are right for you, but there are some situations where other options are better. For example, if you’re prone to grinding your teeth, you may want to see if in-office or at-home teeth whitening would work better for you. Cosmetic bonding is an alternative option for hiding minor gaps or chipped teeth.

To learn more about whether porcelain veneers are right for you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Hoard and our dental care team. Call 252.507.0373 or schedule an appointment online today.

Posted in: dental veneers, New Bern Dentist, New Bern Porcelain Veneers, porcelain veneers

Why do I wake up with a headache?

Thursday, June 21st, 2018

headaches tmj jaw pain treatment for tmj new bern ncDid you know that if you suffer from daily headaches, they may be related to your dental health?

If you wake up with headaches nearly every morning and find little relief from over the counter pain medications,  you may have TMD. Temporomandibular Disorder affects many patients, often goes undiagnosed and is commonly mistreated. Patients become frustrated by painful symptoms, headaches, and chronic fatigue.

New Bern, NC Dentist Dr. J. Stephen Hoard provides patients with comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of TMJ disorders. TMJ has no one cause but is common in patients who grind their teeth in their sleep. Pinpointing the underlying cause of TMJ can allow for more effective treatment that minimizes discomfort.

Do I have TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint, used for speaking and eating, is the delicate joint that attaches the skull to the jaw. The jaw joint can be easily damaged or may become misaligned or overused. Patients who grind their teeth while they sleep put added pressure on the joint. Patients typically grind their teeth in their sleep which prevents the joint and surrounding muscles from relaxing and having time to regenerate. Teeth grinding is a common cause of TMD and headaches.

  • Headaches, including migraines
  • Jaw pain and dysfunction (clicking, popping and locking)
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Ear pain or loss of hearing

Dr. Hoard evaluates occlusion during all routine visits and look for signs of teeth grinding. Typicall signs that a patient may grind their teeth include excessively worn or damaged teeth.

Headaches caused by teeth grinding can be reduced with the introduction of an oral sleep appliance. An oral sleep appliance is a custom designed to reduce the tension in the TMJ caused by malocclusion or teeth grinding. The oral appliance repositions the jaw into a comfortable bite allowing the will alleviate headaches and other possible symptoms. This can be accomplished with appropriate treatment- addressing the underlying cause for lasting comfort and a healthy smile.

If you have been experiencing recurring headaches or migraines with no relief from traditional treatment options, discuss your concerns with Dr. Hoard at your next visit, or make an appointment. You may have an undiagnosed bite TMJ disorder.

Call our office or go online today.

Posted in: TMJ, tmj symptoms, TMJ Therapy, TMJ Therapy New Bern

Test Your Oral Health Knowledge

Monday, May 28th, 2018

Testing dental knowledge new bern nc How much do you know about oral health? Dr. Stephen Hoard is an experienced dentist in New Bern, NC who is dedicated to patient education, preventive dental care, and healthy smiles. To educate patients on healthier oral habits, we encourage you to test your knowledge on our New Bern dental office’s True or False quiz!

Dental Knowledge: True or False

Bleeding gums are a common sign or gum disease. True or False?

  • (True) Bleeding gums are one of the signs of gum disease. Gum disease is a progressive oral health concern that affects the health and function of the gums. When gum disease is caught early, patients can receive a more conservative, comprehensive treatment option. New Bern dentist Dr. Hoard offers a full range of periodontal therapy solution for patients with mild to advanced stages of gum disease.

You should brush your teeth immediately after eating. True or False?

  • (False) You should avoid brushing the teeth for at least 30 minutes to an hour after you eat. Certain foods create acids in the mouth that attack the enamel. Your teeth are the most sensitive after eating so brushing can weaken the enamel.

If you brush your teeth, you don’t need to floss. True or False?

  • (False) Brushing is an effective way to clean the teeth and freshen the breath. However, brushing (alone) cannot effectively remove debris and bacteria between the teeth. Flossing is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy oral hygiene routine. Flossing can even help minimize your risk of developing gum disease. Flossing should be performed at least once a day.

You only need to visit the dentist if there is a problem with your oral health. True or False?

  • (False) Most dentists recommend patients should visit the dentist biannually (twice a year) for preventive care exams. Preventive care visits allow Dr. Hoard to carefully examine the teeth, gums, muscles, and jaw joints to ensure they are are functioning appropriately. Dr. Hoard will also screen for complex dental problems like oral cancer, gum disease, and tooth decay. Preventive dental care is a vital part of maintaining a healthy smile.

Missing teeth do not need to be replaced right away. True or False?

  • (False) Missing teeth should be addressed as soon as possible. If left untreated, missing teeth can lead to facial sagging, bone deterioration, and infection. Dr. Hoard offers a full range of tooth replacement options in the comfort of our New Bern, NC dental facility. We offer dentures, dental bridges, and dental implants to restore missing teeth in our New Bern dental office.

Visit Our New Bern, NC Dental Office

If you are searching for a highly skilled dentist in New Bern, NC, visit Dr. Stephen Hoard. To learn more about our services, call 252.507.0373 or request an appointment online.

Posted in: oral cancer symptoms

Treating Broken Teeth in New Bern, NC

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

Broken Teeth New Bern NC As a highly trained dentist, Dr. Stephen Hoard has extensive experience treating a wide range of dental concerns. As a Dawson Academy trained dentist, Dr. Hoard never over treats his patients. Dr. Hoard takes the time to examine the entire masticatory system to check for any signs of dysfunction. It is essential that all parts of the masticatory system are working in harmony to produce a stable bite. If TMJ disorder or another bite disorder is the underlying cause of tooth damage, Dr. Hoard offers advanced, effective solutions to treat bite disorders.

After a comprehensive exam, Dr. Hoard will determine if an underlying dental concern causes your tooth damage, Dr. Hoard will address the underlying dental issues before addressing any cosmetic dental problems. Our goal is to help you restore and maintain a healthy smile.

Treating Broken Teeth in New Bern, NC

We offer a wide range of cosmetic and restorative treatments to restore broken teeth. We can work with you to create a custom-made treatment plan to improve the appearance and function of your smile. Depending on the extent of damage, Dr. Hoard may suggest one or more of these treatments to restore your smile.

Dr. Hoard will work with you one on one to discuss your cosmetic dental goals and determine which solution best suits your needs.

Schedule An Appointment

If you are looking for treatment for broken teeth, visit our New Bern, NC dental office. Dr. Hoard and our dental care team can work with you to find the most natural looking, effective solution to treat your dental concern. If you would like to schedule an appointment, call 252.507.0373 or schedule an appointment online.

Posted in: Broken Teeth

Dental Care in New Bern, NC

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

Office Tour Dr. J Stephen Hoard, DDS New Bern dentist Dr. J. Stephen Hoard is committed to providing state of the art, high-quality dental care to each of his patients. Dr. Hoard undergoes continuous education to stay up to date on the current technology, techniques, and practices in dental care. Earlier this year, Dr. Hoard attended the Seattle Study Club symposium in California where he learned about the future of dentistry. Dr. Hoard undergoes continuous education to improve the patient experience in our New Bern dental office. Ensuring that our patients are receiving the highest standard of dental care they need in safe, comfortable environment is one of our top priorities. Dr. Hoard and our dental care team are dedicated to helping each patient achieve a healthier smile.

If you are looking for a dentist who can address a wide range of dental concerns from routine to complex dental problems, visit our New Bern dental office and schedule an appointment with Dr. Hoard.  Dr. Hoard offers a wide selection of general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry services. We also offer convenient hours and work closely with patients to get the dental care they need to enhance their smile. If you would like to schedule an appointment, contact our New Bern, NC dental office or schedule an appointment online.
Check out what some our patients are saying about their experience in our New Bern, NC dental office.

Dr. Hoard and his staff are the most efficient and friendly I have encountered in my many years. I lost some teeth and Dr. Hoard came up with a plan that was affordable for me and I am very pleased with the outcome. The quality of the materials and replacement teeth are remarkable. I can smile again and feel confident. -Zipper C.

I was introduced to Dr. Hoard a little over a year ago after an unexpected dental issue arose. He came highly recommended to me by multiple people. He has recently completed some cosmetic dentistry for me, and I must say that I am more than pleased!! Dr. Hoard and his entire staff are incredibly knowledgeable, caring, and understanding. -Kim B.

When I needed major, extensive repair work and ultimately an entire bite adjustment- he was the man for the job. The work took numerous consultations, a mature dose of patience and many years. Dr. Hoard made the most conservative decisions to ensure my original dental work was as preserved as possible but confidently advised me when we needed to proceed with invasive treatment. I was never uncomfortable. -Anna B

Posted in: Dental Care

Oral Cancer Screening in New Bern, NC

Monday, February 26th, 2018

Oral Cancer Screening New Bern NC Getting routine screenings for complex dental problems can save your life. Oral cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer because it is often diagnosed in the most advanced stages. However, visiting your dentist for bi-annual dental check-ups and knowing the signs of oral cancer can help you get the treatment you need to possibly save your life.

Dr. J. Stephen Hoard offers routine screenings for complex dental problems, including oral cancer. Oral cancer screenings are quick, noninvasive, and may help you get the diagnosis and treatment you need to restore your health. Dr. Hoard is a highly skilled dentist, trained in spotting signs of oral cancer and other complex dental problems. If you have not scheduled a biannual dental exam, we suggest you visit our New Bern dental office for the dental care you need.

Why Get Screened For Oral Cancer?

Better safe than sorry! Getting screened for oral cancer can help your dentist spot any early warning sigs. The earlier oral cancer is caught, the more options you may have for treatment. Dr. Hoard takes his time to thoroughly examine all aspect of your oral cavity, face, and neck. During your screening, Dr. Hoard will check for signs like sores, lesions, lumps, swelling, pain, numbness, and tenderness in any part of your oral cavity, throat, and face.
If oral cancer is suspected, Dr. Hoard may order a biopsy to confirm the presence of oral cancer. If oral cancer is found, Dr. Hoard will work with a specialist to coordinate your treatment.

Schedule A Screening For Oral Cancer in New Bern, NC

It is vital that patients schedule regular dental checkups. Dr. Hoard offers a wide range of services to treat patients with mild to advanced dental issues. Routine dental checkups can help you get the diagnosis and treatment you need to maintain a healthy smile and body. If you need to schedule an appointment, you can contact our New Bern Dental office or schedule an appointment online.

Posted in: Oral Cancer Screening

Find A Solution For Bleeding Gums

Sunday, January 28th, 2018

Bleeding Gums New Bern NC Do your gums bleed during regular brushing or flossing?

If you are experiencing bleeding gums on a daily basis during your oral hygiene routine, you may want to schedule a visit to your dentist. Bleeding gums can sometimes be an early warning sign of gum disease. Gum disease is an infection of the soft tissue that supports your teeth. When the gums are infected, you may notice symptoms like receding gums, swollen gums, red gums, halitosis, and sensitive teeth. When left untreated, gum disease can lead to loose, shifting teeth and eventually tooth loss. Treating gum disease in its earliest stage gives patients the chance of receiving a more conservative, minimally invasive dental treatment.

Regular dental checkups can help patients keep their smile healthy. New Bern, NC dentist Dr. J. Stephen Hoard offers comprehensive exams during each visit to screen patients for complex dental problems, including gum disease. If gum disease is discovered during your dental exam, Dr. Hoard can work with you to develop a treatment plan that addresses all your dental needs. If you haven’t visited the dentist for one of your biannual dental exams or have a dental concern you would like addressed, contact family and cosmetic dentist Dr. Hoard.

Gum Disease Treatment In New Bern, NC

Finding the right solution to address your dental concerns can improve the health and function of your smile. It is important to receive treatment for gum disease as soon as possible to minimize the chance of developing a more advanced dental issue. During your visit, Dr. Hoard will examine your teeth, mouth, and gums to determine which periodontal therapy service will restore health back to your smile. Depending on your needs, and the stage of gum disease, Dr. Hoard may suggest one or more of restorative or general dentistry service to treat your smile.

In the earliest stage of gum disease called gingivitis, Dr. Hoard may be able to treat your smile by performing a procedure called scaling and root planing. Scaling and root planing is an extensive deep cleaning of the teeth and gums. Scaling and root planning may need to be performed multiple times to restore health back into your smile.

In the most advanced stage of gum disease called periodontitis, in order to restore health back into your smile, you may need surgical treatment. Laser Dentistry may be an ideal treatment option for patients with gum disease. During Laser dentistry, a dental laser can be used to remove infected tissue and eliminate the infection. With laser dentistry, patients experience minimal bleeding and discomfort, resulting in speedier recovery time.

Dr. Hoard can work with you to find the right solution for your dental needs. Patients should keep in mind that to have a healthy smile they must follow a healthy oral hygiene routine and visit the dentist regularly. During your preventive care visits, Dr. Hoard can examine your smile to check for any complex dental problems. During their visit, patients also receive a dental cleaning that helps remove plaque buildup from the teeth.

Posted in: Gum Disease

Keep Your Smile Healthy This Holiday Season

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

During the holiday season, many people are busy making plans with family, attending holiday parties, and preparing special holiday treats. With all these plans, it is easy to forget to take care of your smile. What if we told you there is a way to enjoy all the joys of the holiday season while maintaining a healthy smile!

Cosmetic and restorative dentist Dr. Stephen Hoard is an experienced dentist in New Bern, NC. Dr. Hoard has dedicate hours of advanced training to ensure he provides patients with high-quality, comprehensive dental treatments and procedures. Dr. Hoard is dedicated to helping patients achieve excellent oral health through complete dentistry. He works with each patient to provide them with the tools they need to improve there smile. At our New Bern dental office, we understand that the holidays season can be a busy tme, so we have listed a few tips to make sure you enjoy your holiday season and take care of your smile.

Healthy Teeth During The Holidays

  • Try to avoid or limit the number of sweets you consume. The holiday season is full of tasty treats and drinks. But certain sweet foods can damage your teeth. If you are consuming sugary drinks, try to drink through a straw to limit the amount of sugar that passes through the teeth. Drinks like wine and soda can stain the teeth.
  • Drink water. Drinking water helps remove debris and sugar from sticking to the teeth. When sugar sticks to the teeth, it can harm the tooth enamel and lead to cavities and tooth decay. Drinking water helps keep your teeth protected and eliminate some of the harmful bacteria in the mouth.
  • Don’t neglect your oral hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing in the morning and at night only takes a few minutes out of your routine. Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the holiday season affect your oral health. Maintaining your oral hygiene routine can minimize your chance of cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay.

Visit Our New Bern, NC Dental Office

Take care of your smile this holiday season. You only get one set of natural teeth, so it is crucial you take the necessary steps to keep them protected, healthy, and functional. As the new year rolls around, don’t let your oral health fall by the wayside, finish this year up strong and show your dentist all the progress you made in the new year. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hoard, you can contact our New Bern dental office.

Posted in: oral health, oral hygiene