Blog Topics from Dr. Ward and Norman Pediatric Dentistry
Dental Emergencies


Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek

If there is bleeding, use firm but gentle pressure applied with a clean gauze or cloth. After 15 minutes, if bleeding persists and cannot be controlled with pressure, then take the child to the hospital emergency room. For any bruising apply ice.

Knocked out Permanent Tooth

First, if possible, find the tooth. Only handle the top of the crown, DO NOT handle the root portion of the tooth. You can rinse the tooth in milk if needed, but DO NOT clean or handle the tooth unnecessarily. Next, try to reinsert the tooth into the tooth socket. If you can do this, then have the child keep the tooth firmly in place by biting down on a clean cloth or gauze. If you are unsuccessful at reinserting the tooth, then put the tooth in a cup of cold milk for transport and come see us IMMEDIATELY, so we can try and save the tooth.

Knocked out Baby Tooth

Contact us and let us know. Unlike the adult tooth, you do not need to reinsert the baby tooth, because this could cause potential damage to the permanent tooth. In most cases there is no treatment necessary.


Always clean thoroughly the area around the problem tooth. Then rinse the mouth with warm saltwater as vigorously as you can. Sometimes you may need to use floss to dislodge any food that might be trapped. You can give ibuprofen for the pain, and use ice or a cold compress for any facial swelling, but DO NOT use heat or aspirin on the gum or aching tooth. See us as soon as possible.

Broken Tooth

Locate and save any tooth fragments you can. Rinse the injured area and tooth with warm water. Use ice or a cold compress on the face in the area of injury and come see us immediately.

Tooth Decay in Baby Teeth


What causes tooth decay?

Bacteria and acid. Yes that is right, bacteria in the mouth can alter the sugar in food and drink into an acid that attacks the teeth. Acid can attack the teeth for over twenty minutes, and over time this can cause tooth decay and a cavity can form.

How does tooth decay affect baby teeth?

Tooth decay occurs when a child’s baby teeth are exposed and in contact with sugary foods and drinks for long periods of time. This could be due to lack of brushing and cleaning teeth regularly and also could be due to a child being given lots of sugary foods and beverages like juice and soda.

A lot of people are surprised to realize that tooth decay can begin as early as when a baby’s first tooth comes in. Tooth decay in babies or children can cause pain in the gums and teeth and can even spread an infection. Tooth decay must be treated or it could destroy the baby teeth.

Tooth decay could affect the child’s overall health as well. If the child has pain in the teeth and gums it could affect their eating habits, and they may begin to not get enough of the vitamins and minerals they need to be healthy and grow up healthy.

If primary (baby) teeth are healthy then it is more likely that the secondary (adult) teeth will also be healthy. Children with decay in the baby teeth are more likely to have decay in their adult teeth as well.

What's the Best Toothpaste For Your Child


Ever wonder which toothpaste is best for your child? From different brands, to different ingredients, to different needs each toothpaste says it targets -- the choice can be overwhelming at best. Here are a few tips to choosing the best toothpaste for your child:

Fluoride! That's right, our famous friend Fluoride. You have probably heard this before, and you will probably hear this again, but choosing a toothpaste with Fluoride is the best option for your child. In fact, Dr. Ward suggests skipping the training toothpaste for babies, and to just use water, until they are one years old, and then using just a smear of toothpaste until they can spit.

Another tip for choosing a toothpaste for your child, especially high risk cavity patients, is to look for sodium laurel sulfate free or SLS-free toothpaste. The reason to avoid this ingredient because it can lower the effectiveness of the fluoride, which like we said, is the main thing you want in a toothpaste. SLS can also increase canker sores, which is another reason to avoid it.

Finally, it is a good idea to avoid whitening toothpaste for children under 12.

With these helpful tips, you can look for a toothpaste that best suits your child, and if you are curious about some toothpastes Dr. Ward suggests, take a look at these: Sensodyne for Kids, Sensodyne Pronamel, and Rembrandt for Canker Sores.

The Famous Fluoride


Ok - ok, so what’s the deal with fluoride? You keep hearing about it, it must be important, right?

Right! Fluoride is important for overall oral health. It is especially useful in preventing tooth decay. So what is it? Fluoride is a compound containing fluorine, a naturally occurring element. Did you know that fluoride is often added to community water supplies, where it is not naturally occurring? According to the ADA, water fluoridation, as it is called, has been known to lower tooth decay rates, as much as 50%. As great as that is, it is still very important to make sure your child is using fluoridated toothpaste. Not sure which toothpaste to choose for your child? Look for a toothpaste with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval to make sure it contains the right amounts of fluoride.

So what does fluoride do? Fluoride actually helps prevent tooth decay by preventing acid attacks and mineral loss to the teeth. Fluoride helps make your child’s teeth stronger by encouraging remineralization to the teeth. Lots of things can cause tooth decay in your child’s teeth, sugary drinks like juice and soda, candy and other unhealthy foods, to name a few. For the greatest benefit for your child’s oral health, combine a healthy diet and use of fluoridated toothpaste, with regular brushing two times a day.

Tonsil Time


Out of sight out of mind, right? Wrong! While tonsil tissue is hidden away in the back of the throat, tonsils have been found to play an important role in various development during childhood. Tonsils may be small in size, but they play a big role in a person’s body and overall health. Tonsils serve as the body’s first line of defense against ingested bacteria and viruses. While this is usually helpful, sometimes tonsil tissue can swell, leading to unwanted side effects in children such as lack of sleep, behavior problems, and mouth breathing.

So what do tonsils have to do with pediatric dentistry? Based on recent findings, Norman Pediatric Dentistry has made it part of our procedural protocol to check every child we see for any signs of tonsil swelling. While most parents may associate this check-up with their primary care pediatrician, we believe we are able to get a better view of the child’s tonsils because they are already lying down during their cleanings. We also get to see your child every six months and have the ability to notice any changes with these more frequent visits. If we do happen to notice any swelling, rest assured, that we will let the parents or guardians, know right away. If there is a need, we have a list of ear, nose and throat doctors, as well as primary care pediatricians, that we trust and can refer you to.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask during your child’s next appointment!

Meet max and Mandi


Max(illa): Upper Jawbone
Mandi(ble): Lower Jawbone

Fun Facts About Max & Mandi

1) Max and Mandi were named by our friends on Facebook!

2) Max has lost some teeth since this the patients at our office help us keep an extra eye on the ones he has left. 

3) They love having their teeth brushed constantly to keep away the dragon breath.

About Max & Mandi
1) Dr. Ward shows our first time patients how their appointment will go on our friends Max & Mandi. Who doesn't love a dragon exam?

2) Our patients love playing dentist on Max & Mandi! Our dragons help demonstrate that there is nothing to be afraid of at the dentist. They even hang around for some exams to keep our patients company.

Summer Time Snacking


Sweet summertime is here! With summer break beginning and kids staying home without school to go to there is a temptation for them to snack all day long. But, did you know, it's actually better for them to have organized snack times? Not only will this help your sanity by giving an easy answer to the often asked question, “When can I have a snack?” but it will also help protect your child’s teeth from cavities. Kids should have organized snack times between meals, and not graze on snacks or sugary beverages all day long. Here are some ideas to help you organize snack times.

Sometime between breakfast and lunch, try having your kids sit down for a healthy snack time. A good snack, that won’t cause cavities, would be a piece of cheese and a hard boiled egg, or some celery with nut butter. Another option of a snack that usually won’t cause cavities would be some apple slices or other crunchy fruit, or a smoothie.

Sometime between lunch and dinner, have another organized sit down snack. Some healthy options would be, carrots and cheese, or other crunchy vegetables. There are lots of options, please check out our healthy snack guide for more ideas on what snacks to choose that are best for your child’s teeth.

Just remember, if you organize your kids’ eating times, you are preventing opportunities for foods to cause cavities. The sugar from snacks like yogurt, smoothies and fruit or milk won’t stay in contact with the teeth long if your kids’ enjoy organized snack times. Drinking water with and after snacks will help with this as well. Grazing on unhealthy, or moderately healthy foods throughout the day will give more opportunities for sugars to linger on the teeth and cause cavities. Give organized snack times a try this summer and help your kids have healthy teeth with healthy smiles!

Thumb Sucking Graphic_500.png


Adorable as it may be to see a baby or toddler sucking their thumb, it isn’t a habit you want around when your child gets older.

Some of the problems with prolonged finger sucking are:

  • Changes in the mouth and/or facial structures - such as causing an anterior open bite

  • Narrow top jaw

  • Crossbite and increased overjet

In other words, it can affect the growth of their mouth, jaw and teeth.

A lot of children will outgrow this habit on their own by ages 2-4, but for those who haven’t there are steps you can take to help them break the habit. If you have an infant and have noticed a habit of finger sucking starting to form, you can encourage the use of a pacifier instead. A pacifier is easier to take away as children grow older. For older and for verbal children, you can talk to him or her about stopping the habit, having your child on board can really help in the process. It is important to set attainable goals with your child and remember that it is a process and probably won’t just stop overnight.

Ideas for breaking the habit:

  • Praise when you see a decrease or absence of the behavior

  • Sticker chart - earn a sticker for when your child stops or you notice they are not sucking

  • Celebration - when the chart is full, or the behavior is stopped you have a special reward or celebration - think of something special for your unique child.

  • Avoid negative reinforcement and frustration - it can have the opposite effect.

  • You can use mavala cream (topical ointment you have to be diligent about reapplying - Check out our amazon link with the Mavala cream)

  • Books about finger sucking can be helpful as well (Check out our amazon link for some book options)

As parents we all want the best for our kids, and often times we worry about their habits and behaviors, concerned with how it will affect them in their future. Norman Pediatric Dentistry is here to help. If you’ve noticed your child has a habit of finger sucking try these ideas with your child. We are here to support you as you work to break the habit.