shirley fluoride gel

In our last blog, we discussed how dental sealants help prevent cavities by putting a layer of protective plastic over the rear molars. But we also have another treatment that can strengthen the protective outer enamel. In today’s blog, your Shirley, NY, pediatric dentist and orthodontist talks about how we use fluoride treatments to protect little smiles.

The Causes of Tooth Decay

Cavities occur when the protective outer enamel is weakened or eroded, which can occur due to teeth grinding, injury, or more likely, plaque buildup brought on by poor oral health habits and lots of sugary foods and drinks. As the decay grows and spreads, your child could experience tooth sensitivity and toothaches, which worsen with time. Lack of treatment could eventually mean the onset of dental infection or the premature loss of a tooth. When your child complains about aches in the tooth, then you should contact our team right away for a diagnosis and to discuss possible treatment options, such as a lifelike filling.

Topical Fluoride Gel

Fluoride is a natural mineral that has been shown to protect the teeth from cavities by strengthening the outer enamel, replacing the lost calcium and phosphates that keep the outer enamel strong. For this reason, many communities have added it to the drinking water. During each checkup appointment, our team can apply the gel to the teeth to help keep them strong and to lower the risk of tooth decay. The application only takes minutes, and is usually done with a swab or possibly a tray. Afterward, your kids cannot eat or drink for 30 minutes. This will provide months of protection. If your child hasn’t had a visit lately, scheduling one now is a great idea. They don’t have to miss school, and they can start the summer with stronger teeth. This is especially important as the summer beak often gives them extra time for snacking and sodas.


When you or your children brush, you also need to use fluoride toothpaste, as this again helps lower the risk of cavities. For kids three and younger, a rice-sized amount should be used. Everyone over the age of three needs a pea-sized amount. Look for the ingredient on the packaging, or for the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance. If you have any questions about keeping little smiles strong, or if you would like to schedule a checkup and cleaning for your children, then contact our team today to learn more.

Schedule an Appointment With Your Shirley, NY, Orthodontist and Pediatric Dentist Today

We would like to help your children maintain good oral health. To learn more about how we help strengthen the protective outer enamel, then contact Shirley Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry in Shirley, NY, by calling (631) 399-1600.