Who Needs Baby Teeth Anyway?

A child's primary teeth, sometimes called "baby teeth," are as important as the permanent adult teeth. Primary teeth typically begin to appear when a baby is between age 6 months and 1 year. Primary teeth help children chew and speak. More importantly, they also hold space in the jaws for permanent teeth that are growing under the gums.

The American Dental Association recommends:

Your child have a dental visit within six months after the first tooth comes in and no later than the first birthday. A dental visit at an early age is a "well-baby checkup" for the teeth. Besides checking for tooth decay and other problems, the dentist can show you how to clean the child's teeth properly and how to evaluate any adverse habits such as thumb sucking.

What to expect at home:

When teeth first come in, some babies may have sore or tender gums. Gently rubbing your child's gums with a clean finger, a small, cool spoon or a wet gauze pad can be soothing. You can also give the baby a clean teething ring to chew on.

 If your child is still cranky and in pain, consult your dentist or physician. Most children have a full set of 20 primary teeth by the time they are 3.

Questions?  Give us a shout.  We’re happy to help! 716-689-6300


mouthguardsOkay moms and dads, it’s that time of the year again.  Soccerbaseballlacrossefootball…the list goes on and our kids are ready to play.  Today’s topic…the top 5 Questions we get on Athletic Guards:

  1. What’s the purpose?

    Great question and we get it every day.  There are 3 Main purposes of an athletic guard. 

    1. Protect the teeth.  Trauma to the teeth, especially the upper front 6 is as much about heartache, as it is toothache.  From chips, all the way to losing a tooth or teeth, athletic guards can make a big, big difference.
    2. Protect the gums and bone.  Teeth aren’t the only things that break.  Bone does too!  Your kids can break their jaw bone just like they break an arm or a leg.  And as bad as a tooth problem is, this is much worse!
    3. Concussion.  Many parents know about the first two purposes as they either have a child who’s lived through it, or know one who has.  Concussion is different.  Thankfully, word is spreading.  Long-story-short, having a flexible cushion between the upper and lower teeth means when trauma to your child’s head hits, the blow is absorbed by that cushion, no their noggin.
  2. Is one kind better than another?

    Yes!  Custom athletic guards are always better than store bought.  How come?  Fit.  When we make impressions and add in some pretty cool technology these days to fabricate a guard, kids put them in and leave them in.  Your child’s athletic guard is only as good as the fit. 

  3. What about the cost?

    We can’t speak for other dental offices, but we make athletic guards for one reason.  To protect as many kids in our practice’s teeth as possible.  That said, our cost is right on point with the boil and bite guards you’d buy at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

  4. How often should they be replaced?

    It depends on your child’s age and if they have all their adult teeth or some adult and some kiddo teeth.  If your child has all of their adult teeth and they have grown all the way in, athletic guards will last a couple years easily.  If your child is still losing teeth and getting their adult teeth in, one season is a fair expectation.  We do want to protect your child’s teeth, gums and brain.  We do not want to get in the way of their adult teeth coming in.

  5. Can our team all be fitted together?

    You bet they can!  We’ll need a heads up so we can coordinate our team’s schedule with your child’s team, but we will make it happen.  Give us a shout at 716-689-6300.  We’re happy to help!!


International Earth Day…Saving our planet…an awareness of how what we do today can affect our well being tomorrow.  Sounds a lot like what we focus on every day at East Amherst Dental Center.

Think about it.  Your health is a lot like the health of our planet.  Take great care of it today…and odds are, it will take great care of you tomorrow.  Neglect it…and, well, you know the story.  Now, as giant fans of the KISS principle, here are 3 simple strategies to take care of your oral health today, so you can stay healthy tomorrow:

  • Diet

Don’t freak…we’re not talking the dropping weight kind of diet…we’re talking nutrition, and specifically, sugar.  On the general nutrition side, we’ve all heard or read about how bad processed sugars can be.  In dentistry, the same holds true.  What we know about all things cavity driven is there are only 2 major factors.  The bacteria in our mouths, which diet cannot control AND sugar, which you and I can control in our diet.

Now, just like our physician counterparts, we’d love it if you eliminated sugar all together.  Is that realistic?  Not so much…we eat it too!  However, limiting sugar…that’s doable and remembering that it’s more important dentally to focus on limiting the frequency of sugar…key!!

  • Waterpik

Brushing and flossing are still the best…but we read the statistics and we’re realists.  So, if you’re a brilliant brusher…keep it up.  If you’re a fab flosser…go for it.  But…if you’re an okay brusher and a questionable flosser, get yourself a waterpik.  We don’t endorse many products by name.  This one…the waterpik…and specifically the waterflosser…winner!

  • Fluids

Staying hydrated is huge for the health of your teeth and gums.  How you stay hydrated is just as important.  See #1…the sug is bad for your oral health.  So, what’s the best source of hydration?  Buffalo’s finest…water.  You can filter it if you prefer.  And if you must, you can buy bottled.  Understand though, that the fluoride in the water is a large part of the benefit you get.  So steer clear from the sodas, the power drinks AND anything beyond 8 oz. of juice…it has just as much sugar in it as the sodas do, AND get on the water.

Questions??  Give us a shout.  We’d love to share more.



March…it’s our favorite month of the year!  And for all you NCAA basketball fans, although we’re fans too…we’re bigger fans of our friends at Camp Good Days.  These are some of the most amazing people you’ll ever meet.  If you’d like to learn more, please click on the image below. 

For our Smiles for Life Campaign…we’re in our  12th year and going strong.  We have a big goal this year… $20,000…so we’ll need your help to make it happen!  

It’s a Win:Win

As a patient, you get a beautiful white smile for a huge discount!

Camp Good Days, you get lots-o-money! We’re proud to donate 100% of every penny!


If you’re looking for a sparkly new smile give us a call716-689-6300.  If you’ve whitened before and know someone else, pass it on.  And if everyone you know is looking good, no worries.  We’re happy to add your donation to the Campers J

Oh…ps…stay tuned for some office shenanigans to help inspire!!



Roses are red; violets are blue; thank God the sun’s here…it’s allergy time J  And since we’re big believers in whole body health, we’re stepping out of our normal oral health mode to bring you some great tips for allergy season.


With up to 30% of us living through itchy eyes, the sneezes and everything else that comes with…these bad boys are pretty popular.  On the plus side, they help up to 80% of our symptoms according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America The challenge…they rarely relieve the other 20%.  And…on the downside, sleepy time often follows.

So, our advice…first and foremost, check with your physician.  Your doc went to school for a lot of years and believe or not…knows a ton of info you might want to know.  And in addition, if you’re up for some natural helpers, check these out per a great article on Mashable:

  1. Take some butterbur
  2. Try some stinging nettle leaf
  3. Sip some apple cider
  4. Probiotics
  5. Flush your nose with nasal irrigation
  6. Take a hot shower
  7. Breathe in some eucalyptus oil
  8. Eat some spicy food
  9. Give acupuncture a try

Some we’ve tried…others totally new to our ears.  Either way, knowledge is power.  Have a read, enjoy the break in the weather and as always, drop us a line with any questions.

Happy Spring!

The East Amherst Dental Center Team

The short answer…yes.

 Dental insurance can help defray the cost of your dentistry.  Delaying necessary treatment can only leads to higher costs. The right dental insurance has the ability to take the cost of what you need, and help ease your payment concerns.

The long answer…it depends! 

Dental insurance is confusing today.  There are so many companies with so many plans it’s a challenge for an expert to decipher what makes sense.  Here are a few suggestions that will hopefully help you decide.

So here are 3 things to help you:

  1. Most plans will allow you to see a participating or a non-participating provider and still provide you with a reimbursement.  Check your policy to see what your levels of coverage are.  The most important factor is to seek a dental provider where your dental health is the priority.   Be aware in advance of a participating provider’s policy on necessary procedures that are not covered on your plan.   You may not be able to get the most appropriate dental care from a participating provider due to plan restrictions.  Non participating providers are not obligated to plan restrictions.
  1. Keep in mind that your dental insurance is just like any other insurance in the respect that it is a business.  Reimbursements for each procedure are calculated based on how much money comes into the plan from monthly premiums and co-pays with very little correlation to the actual procedure.  Insurance companies need to ensure that they are profitable in order to continue to provide a service to its subscribers.  Therefore, “If my insurance company says they’re not paying, then I must not need it” is not necessarily true. 
  1. In closing, many factors go into choosing a dental policy that is right for you.  Certainly your home care and past dental history play a very important part.  Monthly out of pocket premium expenses along with annual maximums and deductibles also need to be taken into consideration.  So take a minute and do the math to determine if you can benefit from the dental insurance that is being offered to you.

Questions on dental insurance?  Give us a call at 716-689-6300 or ask us a question at http://www.eastamherstdentalcenter.com/index.php/contact-us   We’re happy to help!

“I don’t grind my teeth”…Would it surprise you to know that we hear that a lot?  Most people don’t realize they’re doing it…it often occurs while you sleep.   But, as Shakira would say, “the teeth don’t lie”. 

Wait a minute, that was “hips”…all the same…neither do the teeth.


Top 3 Signs your dentist might see

  1. Wear on the tops of your back teeth.
  2. Wear on the edges of your front teeth.
  3. Shrinking back of your gum tissue.

Top 3 Symptoms you might feel

  1. Sensitive teeth to cold
  2. Sore jaw, especially when you wake up in the morning
  3. Headaches or neckaches

Top 3 Things you can do

  1. When in doubt, check with your dentist.  We’d much prefer to tell you everything is okay than miss something important.
  2. If you can, Motrin or Advil to help with discomfort.
  3. Ask about Occlusal guards or bite splints.  They are the least expensive alternative and they are 100% reversible.

You’re not alone.  In fact, in the last 20 years I’ve been doing this dentist thing, I ‘ve seen a dramatic increase in patients that need the same.  So let’s go through the basics…

What is it?

The short answer is an occlusal splint is a dental appliance used to minimize the damage of you grinding your teeth AND protect your jaw joint at the same time.

Why was it recommended to me?

Occlusal splints are typically recommended for one of two main reasons. 

  1. Your teeth are showing signs of wear and barring an unusual habit, the only thing in the U.S. diet that can truly wear your teeth are your teeth.
  2. Your jaw joint is unhappy.  You might know this if you wake up with a sore jaw, ear aches or headaches.  You also may know if your jaw pops, clicks…or worse locks open or closed on occasion.

Can I buy one at the store?

Not the best plan.  I know they cost less…sometimes substantially less, however, as mom and dad taught you, “ya get what ya pay for”…

The reason you want a dentist fabricated splint is material based.  When you’re grinding your teeth OR your jaw is acting up, you need to take the stress off both.  To make that happen, we need a material that’s softer than your teeth, but hard enough to control what teeth touch it when you bite down.  Store bought splints are soft.  AKA, when you bite down, you’re still putting the force on your teeth and jaw exactly as you did without the splint.  The only difference…something in between your teeth.  And what happens then…you actually bite down harder and put more pressure where you want less.

What do I do next?

Ask your dentist… or feel free to ask us…we’re happy to hop on the phone and answer your questions.  Whatever you do, don’t wait!  We see far too many people when it’s too late. 

The East Amherst Dental Team



The Sticky Truth About GUMMY BEARS

It’s February…

For the big kid, aka, moms and dads, it’s all about chocolate hearts, Valentine’s Day and the way the weather’s been..hibernation.  

For the little kids and for us here at the dental office…it’s all about Children’s Dental Health Month.  So in the spirit of treats and in the spirit of healthy eats, we thought we’d bring you a couple surprises this month.

The 1st surprise…Gummy bears aren’t so bad…in fact…one of their main ingredients; xylitol may just make them pretty good for your kids.

Did we just say that?

Yep…we did.  CLICK for the truth about gummy bears & more

Now remember moms and dads…we still need every food brushed and flossed off of your kiddies choppers AND if you want a better source for the cavity fighting xylitol, we’d highly recommend sugar free chewing gums.  They’re less sticky.  And less sticky is always a plus.

Until next time,

The East Amherst Dental Team

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