Our Blog

Every Day is Earth Day

April 19th, 2017

During the early days of the environmental awareness movement, those who demonstrated against pollution, toxic chemicals, and the general public health were known as hippies. The early 1970s were a time of change, and assertions that we needed to pay more attention to the Earth's atmosphere were generally dismissed. But within a couple decades, it had become clear that the previous generation was right; the citizens of the world needed to become more environmentally conscious.

Many people feel that they can't make a difference if they don't do something big. But caring for the environment doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing concept. In fact, the little things you do can add up to make a great impact, especially in our community. Here are a few ways you can help the environment on Earth Day, April 22nd and all year around.

Four Small Ways to be Environmentally Friendly

  • Recycle Your Textiles. Nearly 21 million tons of textiles are added to American landfills each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Donating your unwanted clothing to a secondhand store or an organization that repurposes fabric helps cut down on solid waste and conserves natural resources.
  • Reduce Usage of Disposables. Plastic bottles and bags, disposable diapers and other things we can use and toss out are convenient, but they're not necessary. Simply choosing to replace one of type of disposable with a reusable product can help you cut down on waste that has a large negative impact on our environment.
  • Conserve Water. If everyone in the United States turned off the water while brushing their teeth, more than 1.5 million gallons of water could be conserved. Turn the water on long enough to wet your toothbrush for brushing and rinsing, and then immediately turn the water off again.
  • Turn Off the Lights. Flip the light switch to "Off" if you're going to leave a particular room for 15 minutes or more. This will conserve energy on incandescent light bulbs and cut down on cooling costs.

It's not necessary to be an activist or install solar panels all over your home to help the environment. Although you can do these things, the little everyday measures make a big difference in helping to conserve energy and the environment, while reducing your carbon footprint. Our team at Sharon J. Durrett, DMD, PA wants to remind you to celebrate Earth Day and help the environment, knowing that it will benefit your and your children's generation.

Family Easter Recipes

April 13th, 2017

With Easter right around the corner, why not bake and enjoy colorful delicious treats! Here are some simple recipes to do at home with the little ones.

Easter Blossom Sugar Cookies by Mykitchencraze

1 Egg

2 cups All purpose flour

¼ tsp Baking Soda

1 cup Granulated Sugar

¼ tsp Salt

1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Stick Butter

2 tbsp Milk

36 Hershey Kisses

Pink, Yellow, Blue and Purple Sugar crystals.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove wrappers from candies; set them aside.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar in a stand mixer, until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, making sure both are completely incorporated.
  3. In a small bowl add flour, baking soda and salt, whisking together to combine.
  4. With your stand mixer on slow, add the flour mixture and milk. Alternating each and ending with the flour mixture. Ladle sides and bottom of bowl to make sure everything is blended together.
  5. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll dough in colored sugar crystals and place on baking sheet.
  6. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until cookies are set. Remove from the oven and let them sit for 2 minutes on baking the baking sheet.
  7. Press a Hersey kiss into the center of each cookie. Remove cookies from baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Chocolate Bunny Cupcakes by Kraft

1 pkg. (4 oz.) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate

6 Tbsp. butter or margarine

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

1-1/4 cups flour, divided

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1-1/2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

3/4 cup water

Few drops food coloring

Suggested Decorations: Jet-Puffed Bunny-mallows Marshmallows, tinted bakers angel flake coconut, jelly beans

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Add sugar and vanilla; beat with mixer until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each. Stir in 1/4 cup flour and baking soda. Add remaining flour alternately with water, beating well after each addition.
  3. Spoon into 12 paper-lined muffin cups.
  4. Bake 19 to 21 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 min.; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Tint COOL WHIP with food coloring; spread over cupcakes. Decorate as desired. Keep refrigerated.

Durrett Orthodontics hopes you enjoy these tasty treats!

What is a water pick and do I need one?

April 12th, 2017

Water picks, sometimes called “oral irrigators,” make an excellent addition to your regular home care regimen of brushing and flossing. Especially helpful to those who suffer from periodontal disease and those patients of ours undergoing orthodontic treatment with full-bracketed braces, water picks use powerful tiny bursts of water to dislodge food scraps, bacteria, and other debris nestled in the crevices of your mouth. Children undergoing orthodontic treatment may find using a water pick is beneficial if their toothbrush bristles tend to get caught on their wires or brackets.

When you use a water pick, you’re not only dislodging any particles or debris and bacteria you might have missed when brushing, you are also gently massaging the gums, which helps promote blood flow in the gums and keeps them healthy. While water picks are an excellent addition to your daily fight against gingivitis and other periodontal diseases, they are incapable of fully removing plaque, which is why Dr. Sharon Durrett and our team at Sharon J. Durrett, DMD, PA want to remind you to keep brushing and flossing every day.

If you have sensitive teeth or gums and find it uncomfortable to floss daily, water picks are a good alternative to reduce discomfort while effectively cleaning between teeth. Diabetics sometimes prefer water picks to flossing because they don't cause bleeding of the gums, which can be a problem with floss. If you have a permanent bridge, crowns, or other dental restoration, you may find that a water pick helps you keep the area around the restorations clean.

So how do you choose the right water pick?

Water picks are available for home or portable use. The home versions tend to be larger and use standard electrical outlets, while portable models use batteries. Aside from the size difference, they work in the same manner, both using pulsating water streams. A more crucial difference between water picks is the ability to adjust the pressure. Most home models will let you choose from several pressure settings, depending on how sensitive your teeth and gums are. Most portable models have only one pressure setting. If you want to use mouthwash or a dental rinse in your water pick, check the label first; some models suggest using water only.

Please give us a call at our Tampa, FL office if you have any questions about water picks, or ask Dr. Sharon Durrett during your next visit!

Play it Safe this Spring

April 5th, 2017

It's springtime and it's again time to remind our patients at Sharon J. Durrett, DMD, PA to protect their faces and pearly whites while out on the field playing sports. According to the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, children, high-school athletes and adults have more than 5,000,000 teeth knocked out in sporting events annually.

If you are planning on participating in spring sports, it’s imperative to have a proper-fitting mouthguard. Mouthguards can prevent chipped or broken teeth, lip and cheek injuries, jaw fractures, mouth lacerations and even concussions.

Having a mouthguard can make the difference between losing your teeth or not, and because many of our patients who play high school sports have jaws that are still growing, last year’s mouthguard may no longer fit as it should. Dr. Sharon Durrett and our team at Sharon J. Durrett, DMD, PA can fit you for a new guard.

To learn more about mouthguards or for general questions about your treatment at our Tampa, FL office, please give us a call!