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March 11th, 2014

Happy St.Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time — a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.” Adrienne Cook

Lucky green shamrocks, leprechauns, and pots of gold: It must be St. Patrick’s Day! If you’re not Irish, how do you go about celebrating St. Patrick’s Day? It’s easy: You just put on one of those tall leprechauns hats, dress in green from head to toe, and wear one of those carefree pins that say “Kiss Me, I’m Irish”. On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish, and that is the universal beauty of the holiday. Celtic pride does not discriminate

All kidding aside, St. Patrick’s Day is an important cultural and religious holiday. There are lavish parades and church services across Ireland on March 17th. Over time, however, the holiday has developed into a day to observe Irish culture in general. In places like England and the United States, where there is a large Irish Diaspora, the holiday has greater significance than other countries. From the streets of Boston to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, it is a day of celebration, and many Americans of Irish descent will cook up a traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage.

So, to all of you with Irish ancestry, and to all of you who have decided to be Irish for the day, our office wishes you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Good luck looking for a pot of leprechaun gold, which is said to exist at the end of the rainbow. However, keep away from those sugary Lucky Charms; sweet cereals might taste good, but your kids’ teeth might not be feeling too lucky if they eat it for breakfast every day. Have a great St. Paddy’s day and remember to call your favorite orthodontic soon to keep your oral health in check!

February 6th, 2014



Caring for Primary Teeth

Take good care of your child's baby teeth. They do eventually fall out. But until they do, your child's baby teeth play an important role by helping your child bite and chew food, and speak clearly. Baby teeth also save space for the permanent teeth, and help guide them into place.

Begin using fluoridated toothpaste to brush your child's teeth when the child is 2 years old. Be careful to use only a small dab of toothpaste (about the size of your child's pinky fingernail). Young children tend to swallow toothpaste when brushing rather than spit it out. Though it's uncommon, this can sometimes lead to fluorosis and cosmetic problems in the permanent teeth.

As soon as two teeth touch each other, floss between them once a day. You can use regular floss or special plastic floss holders

Early Childhood Caries

Early childhood caries, or ECC, is a serious form of cavities. It can quickly destroy your child's teeth. In the past it has been called baby bottom tooth-decay  nursing caries or nursing bottle syndrome. ECC often occurs when your baby's teeth are exposed to sugars for long periods throughout the day. Baby bottles or sippy cups with fruit juice or milk both contain sugars. When these liquids are in the mouth, bacteria start eating the sugars and then produce acids. These acids cause decay if they remain on teeth long enough.

Early childhood caries can occur if your child:

  • Is put to bed with a bottle filled with any liquid other than plain water
  • Drinks from a bottle filled with sugary liquids or milk during the day
  • Receives a pacifier dipped in sugar, honey or a sweet liquid

Decayed teeth that are not fixed can cause pain and infection. Teeth that are very badly decayed may need to be removed. Tooth decay is a bacterial infection, and it can spread if it is not treated. Also, the permanent teeth under the gum can be affected if the decay is not treated.

The Permanent Teeth

Children typically start to lose their baby teeth and replace them with adult teeth when they are 6 or 7 years old. Some children start losing teeth earlier. Others start later. The order that your child's teeth come in is more important than when they start to come in.

Most often, the first permanent teeth to come in are the lower front four teeth. However, some children get their first permanent molars  (sometimes called the 6-year molars) first.

The 6-year molars come in behind the primary teeth. They do not replace primary teeth. Around age 11 or 12, the second permanent molars (also called 12-year molars) come in behind the 6 year molars.

By the time your child is 13 years old, most of his permanent teeth will be in place Wisdom Teeth or third molars, come in between ages 17 and 21. However, some people don't get any wisdom teeth, or don't get all four. More often, wisdom teeth develop, but there may not be room in the mouth for them.

Caring for Permanent Teeth

You should continue to help your children brush their teeth twice a day until they are 8 years old or can show that they can do a good job on their own. Brush after breakfast and before bed. Keep your children's teeth free of food particles, especially the molars. Molars have lots of little grooves and crevices. Food particles can hide there and act as food for bacteria.

Your dentist also can place sealants on your children's molars to protect them from decay. But it's still important to brush and floss.

A few other tips:

  • Use a soft nylon toothbrush with a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste.
  • Teach your child to spit out the foamy saliva.
  • As soon as any two of your child's teeth touch each other, floss between them. After age 9, children can floss their own teeth. Flossing removes food from between the teeth where a toothbrush can't reach.
  • Talk to your child's dentist or doctor to be sure he or she is getting the right amount of fluoride.

Diet and Your Child's Teeth

While what your child eats is important for healthy teeth, how often a child eats is just as important. Frequent snacking can increase a child's risk for decay.

Cavities can develop when sugar-containing foods are allowed to stay in the mouth for a long time. Bacteria that live in the mouth feast on these bits of food. They create acid, which eats away at tooth and enamel. Between meals or snacks, saliva washes away the acid. If your child is always eating, there may not be time for this acid to get washed away.

When most people think of sugar, they think of the white sugar that is found in candy and baked goods. But all foods that contain carbohydrates will ultimately break down into sugars. Bacteria don't care whether you eat a lollipop or a pretzel. It tastes the same to them!

Here are a few tips for snacking and mealtime:

  • Give your child healthy snack foods, such as fresh fruits, vegetables and cheeses.
  • Buy foods that are sugar-free or unsweetened.
  • Serve sugary or starchy foods as part of a meal rather than as a snack. Most children drink liquids during a meal. This will wash many bits of food off the teeth. Saliva also does a good job of clearing the teeth.
  • Avoid certain foods unless your child plans to brush right after he or she eats them. These foods get between teeth and are hard to remove from the grooves in the tooth surface. Some of these foods include:
    • Cookies
    • Dried figs
    • Granola bars
    • Jelly beans
    • Doughnuts
    • Potato chips
    • Pretzels
    • Puffed oat cereal
    • Raisins
  • Offer fewer snacks.
  • After your child snacks, make sure his or her teeth are brushed. If this isn't possible, have your child rinse with water several times.
  • Encourage your child to choose xylitol-sweetened or sugar-free gum.

December 2nd, 2013

2013 Buy Back: WOW!!! We collected 25 pounds of leftover Halloween candy!!!

With your help we collected 25 lbs of patient donated Halloween candy and Dr. Durfee donated $50 to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, $50 to the Navy Seals and $50 to the American Red Cross. We hope to triple the amount of donated candy next year!

All of the Halloween candy was shipped overseas to our troops, through Operation Gratitude. We want recognize and thank the Hogan Family, the Christensen Family, the Froum family, Dr. Rives and the Plante family, the Biggs family, the Lawler family and the Walston family for donating to our event!

November 4th, 2013

Braces-friendly recipes for Thanksgiving

Most parents would agree that cooking for kids can be difficult, but when children have braces, the task can seem especially daunting. From sore teeth to picky eating habits, finding something that suits everyone in the family can become a real challenge.

"Comfort" is key when preparing holiday goodies, special treats and everyday meals.

"Comfort food takes on a whole new meaning when cooking for children with braces," says Pamela Waterman, author of "The Braces Cookbook: Recipes You and Your Orthodontist Will Love." "Whether you have new brackets, elastics, headgear or more, there are great foods you can eat-it just takes some thought.".

To help parents and patients, Dr Durfee is providing braces-friendly recipes for holidays including:

Sore Teeth Baked Potato Soup

3 strips bacon
2 T. butter
3 T. flour
3 cups milk
grated cheese
1 ½ t. salt
¼ t. pepper
5 potatoes – boil, peel, diced
2 T. minced onion
Fry bacon with onions together – save grease. Place 1 T bacon grease in double boiler in which butter has been melted. Blend in flour and add milk, stirring constantly. Cook until smooth and thickened. Add salt and pepper, then cooked, diced potatoes, onion and crumbled bacon. Stir- garnish with grated cheese as served.

Overnight Salad
1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 red onion sliced and separated into rings
1 small head cauliflower broken into florets
1 bunch broccoli cut into florets
1/2 C. chopped celery
1 C. frozen peas
1 lb. bacon cut up and crisply fried
1 C. cheddar cheese
2 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. sugar

In a serving bowl add the lettuce. In layers add onions, cauliflower, broccoli, celery and peas. Spread the mayonnaise on top. Sprinkle with the sugar. Add the bacon and cheese. Cover and chill over night.

Green Bean Casserole
2 cans green beans
1 can cream of mushroom
½ cup chicken broth
½ teaspoon rosemary
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 package of French Onion Toppers

Mix first 6 ingredients and half of the French Onion Toppers.
Bake on 400 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly. Remove and add the rest of the French onion toppers.

Pumpkin Pie

(Serves 8)
1 9-inch pre-made graham cracker crust
1 15-ounce can of pumpkin filling
1 5-ounce package of instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 cups frozen non-dairy whipped topping

In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin filling, pudding mix, milk and pumpkin pie spice. Beat until blended (about 45-60 seconds). Fold in 1½ of the whipped topping. Spoon the pumpkin mixture into the graham cracker crust. Place the pie in the freezer for two hours or until firm. Move the pie from the freezer to the refrigerator; store there for another hour before serving. Top the pie with the remaining whipped topping. If you’d like, garnish with fresh fruit (such as raspberries) or shaved chocolate.

Cranberry and Cinnamon Tart


  • 1 1/2 cups (5 1/4 ounces) fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • Pate Sucree
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 8 ounces cranberry jam or preserves
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces (about 1 1/4 cups) whole almonds, finely ground in a food processor
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Put fresh cranberries, 1/3 cup sugar, and the water into a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring to dissolve sugar, until cranberries have just softened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool completely.
  2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to a 12-inch circle, 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Transfer to an 8-by-2-inch springform pan, pressing crust into bottom and up sides. Trim excess flush with rim. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prick tart crust all over with a fork. Cut a 12-inch round of parchment, and place on top of chilled crust. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove weights and parchment, and brush crust lightly with egg white. Return to oven, and bake until pale golden, about 25 minutes. Refrigerate remaining egg white. Let crust cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  4. Raise oven temperature to 375 degrees. Spread jam over bottom of tart crust.
  5. Beat butter and remaining 1/2 cup sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to medium. Slowly add ground almonds, cinnamon, and salt, and beat until just combined. Spread mixture over jam-covered crust.
  6. Bake tart until filling is set and has darkened slightly, 45 to 50 minutes. (If top darkens too quickly, cover loosely with foil.) Remove tart from oven, brush top with egg white, and sprinkle with sugar. Return to oven, and bake for 5 minutes more. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan, and top with candied cranberries. Serve warm.

Pumpkin Cream Pie


For the Gingersnap Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups ground gingersnaps (from about 25 cookies)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

For the Pumpkin Cream Filling

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups solid-pack pumpkin (from one 15-ounce can)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream, whisked to medium peaks
  • Garnish: freshly grated nutmeg


  1. Make the gingersnap crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine gingersnaps, sugar , and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Stir in melted butter. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch metal pie dish. Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes. Bake until crust is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Make the pumpkin cream filling: Bring milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, 1/4 cup sugar , and a pinch of salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks with cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl.
  3. Gradually whisk about 1/2 cup milk mixture into yolk mixture. Gradually whisk in remaining milk mixture. Return entire mixture to saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until bubbling in center, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Immediately whisk in pumpkin. Whisk in butter.
  4. Strain filling through a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Pour into gingersnap crust, smoothing the top with an offset spatula. Refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours. When ready to serve, top with whipped cream, and garnish with nutmeg.

Orthodontic patients may enjoy a variety of healthy food options, from main dishes to side dishes to snacks and desserts. A healthy diet provides essential nutrients and helps the patient achieve the best possible results from orthodontic treatment.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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