Author: Buffalo Pediatric Associates, LLP

Fluoride Update July 2023

Cavities and poor oral health causes pain, inability to eat normally, and mar’s the smiles of children. It has also been shown that cavities increase the lifelong risk of heart disease and stroke. In short, the healthier the mouth, the healthier the person.

Fluoride treatments have been shown to make a dramatic difference in the rates of cavities in children and are part of recommended care. Fluoride varnish is a low cost-effective preventative tool that spares children, family and the health care system the much higher costs of anesthesia and dental repair.

In the city of Buffalo this is especially critical, as news broke in 1/2023 that unbeknownst to all, the municipal water in Buffalo has not had appropriate added Fluoride for 7.5 years. This means that the children of Buffalo were failed by the public institutions that were supposed to be providing the most basic of health interventions, and the public was kept in the dark about this failing.


water dripping from faucet with fluoride written on it


It is now more important than ever that we make fluoride treatments easily available to the most vulnerable of Buffalo’s children. In addition, there is a shortage of dental providers that accept public assistance insurance, creating long waits to access a dentist. Pediatricians providing Fluoride treatments at well visits is key to improving preventive dental health in Buffalo and helping to fill this gap.

If a prior-authorization and a separate visit are required this means that the families that struggle with finding time off work and transportation will be unable to access care, these are the families that need this care the most. There is always a need for preventive dental care in children, but in the city of Buffalo there is an acute crisis of public health failing that has drastically increased this need. Fluoride Varnish given by primary care pediatricians can help make a difference.

A Moment of Reflection to Honor the Victims of the Tops Tragedy Last Year: May 14, 2022

Echoing a Message of Hope in the Words of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dear Patients and Our Beloved Buffalo Neighbors,

There are no words for the tragedy that took place last year, May 14, 2022, at the Tops on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo, NY. As we approach the one-year anniversary of that senseless tragedy, we take this moment to reflect on the lives that were lost almost one year ago today.

Honoring the Victims of the Tops Tragedy Last Year: A Message of Hope in the Words of the Inimitable Reverend, Martin Luther King, Jr.

In the words of the inimitable, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair, and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe, working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows. Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.”

Our thoughts are with all of those who faced unimaginable loss because of the senseless tragedy on May 14, 2022, the clinicians who served on the frontlines of that tragedy, and for all residents who were and still are devastated with grief.

What Can We Do to Address the Compounded Food Insecurity Issues as a Result of That Tragedy?

In a quest to address the compounded food shortage issues as a result of the shooting at the Tops on Jefferson Avenue, The Buffalo Community Fridge always welcomes food donations, as well as volunteers to help unload, organize, and hand out food to residents.

Please consider donating the following:

(i) fresh produce
(ii) milk
(iii) eggs
(iv) cheese
(v) formula
(vi) baby food
(vii) juice
(viii) water
(ix) labeled cooked meals.

Food Drop-off Site:

Food can be dropped off at 286 E Ferry Street.

We acknowledge that there is still so much to be done to address the overwhelming disparities unjustly experienced by the residents of our underserved areas. We just hope to impart that through our collective efforts and resources, together, we can make a difference.

As a Community Member and member of The Medical Society of Erie County, we stand hand in hand and heart to heart with all residents of our “city of good neighbors” as we reflect on those who lost their lives on May 14, 2022.

Fluoride and your child’s teeth

Start Brushing Your Child’s Teeth with Fluoride Toothpaste

It is important to start brushing your child’s teeth with fluoride toothpaste as soon as the first tooth erupts, which is at 6 months of age on average. By using fluoride toothpaste and a toothbrush, brushing your child’s tooth not only physically removes food particles, it also bathes the tooth in fluoride, a naturally-occurring mineral. Fluoride combines with saliva to strengthen teeth against acids. Acids are produced when bacteria metabolize food particles in the mouth, and this acid can lead to tooth enamel erosion and cavities. Cavities can be painful and can lead to infection.

Fluoride and your child's teeth.
Children under the age of 3 years should use a smear (or rice-grain amount) of fluoride toothpaste. Children over the age of 3 years should use a green-pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Everyone should brush their teeth for two minutes in the morning and at night.

Remember to have your child see their dentist by the first 12 months of age, then at least every 6 months afterwards.

Our team at Buffalo Pediatrics will also apply a protective fluoride varnish on your young child’s teeth at the appropriate well checks. This fluoride varnish should stay on for at least 4 hours, so there is no need to brush the night after application! Your child can eat soft foods immediately after the varnish is applied like meats, pastas, etc.; just avoid hard foods like chips, crackers, etc. Avoid eating or drinking any hot or sticky foods until the next morning to allow the
varnish to stay on the teeth longer.

If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to ask one of our providers for more information.

COVID-19 Information and Updates

To make sure that you, your entire family and our staff are safe, new office policies have been put in place. Here are changes you should know about should your child need care. Our priority is your family’s safety!!

It is important to keep your child healthy as she/he grows. Continuing immunizations and other well care is essential.
We kindly request that only one healthy adult accompany your child to their appointment. We will continue to see three children at most per well child checkup. It is essential that you and your child/children are not experiencing any sickness at this time when coming in for well child checkups. NO fever, cough, runny nose, congestion, vomiting or diarrhea.

To keep everyone safe and our office site secure, anyone with COVID-19 symptoms cannot be seen in our office. We need to determine the best place for your child to be seen. Your child may just need a COVID-19 test. We can help you find the most current available COVID-19 testing sites. In other cases, an urgent care site or a hospital Emergency Department. Please call our office so together we can decide the best place for your child to be seen.

COVID-19 screening questions are asked prior to your child’s appointment, not at the time of scheduling. Please expect to be contacted prior to your appointment. When you arrive at our office, you will be asked to sit in your car until your child’s appointment.

Evening sessions are now open as an option. TeleHealth appointments are also available for some appointment types.

We are constantly monitoring the situation. We may need to make additional changes to make sure that everyone stays safe and gets the best care possible. These are very difficult times causing great worry for everyone, particularly families with children. We are doing all we can to help you through this crisis.

New Telehealth Visits

Buffalo Pediatrics has Video Visits!

If you have concerns about your child, it is now possible to schedule an appointment for a secure video call with your regular Buffalo Pediatrics providers over your smartphone or computer.

We are also still open at both locations to see your child for in-person visits as well. Please call us, and we will help you determine what kind of visit is best for your child.

Important COVID 19 Update

To Our Buffalo Peds Family

Both of our offices are open and able to care for your children throughout this COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to protect our patients, their families, and our staff, we have implemented some temporary changes within the offices.

Currently, the CDC recommends SOCIAL DISTANCING as the best protection against community transmission of the COVID-19.

We are pleased to announce we have begun to see sick patients again, in office, and on a limited basis.

If your child is ill, please call us! Our nurses will be able to help determine the best path for your child’s care

When scheduling an appointment, please advise the nurse if you are able to wait in your vehicle. Upon arrival, please call our office and check-in for the appointment by phone. The nurses will then call/text you when a room is ready for your child. You and your child will bypass the waiting room.

*If this is not an available option for you, you will find fewer chairs in the waiting room to optimize spacing, and staff will make every effort to lessen the time spent waiting there.

If anyone (parents/siblings) attending your child’s appointment is sick, please call to advise the nurses prior to your arrival.

Testing is being coordinated by the Dept of Health.

Erie County Department of Health
(716) 858-2929
Phone lines are open Monday-Friday, 9 am – 9 pm

New York State Dept. of Health

Telehealth Visits

If you have concerns about your child, it is now possible to schedule an appointment for a secure video call with your regular Buffalo Pediatrics providers over your smartphone or computer.  We are also still open at both locations to see your child for in-person visits as well. Please call us, and we will help you determine what kind of visit is best for your child.


View FAQs from Erie County Department of Health 

Information for Child Care Programs

The County Executive also announced that the Childcare Resource Network provides free help in finding childcare options for you and your family.

View information and FAQs

Contact information

By Phone: (716) 877-6666
By Email:

Thank you and may your family stay well,
Buffalo Pediatrics