Blog

4/25/2017 3:41:00 PM | Gentle Family Dentistry

When it comes to dental floss, what’s the best kind? Well, if you ask a dentist, they’ll tell you the best dental floss is the floss you’ll actually use. That could be Teflon floss, dental tape, nylon floss, waxed floss, and flosses with or without flavors – there are a lot of choices! There are also a number of ways to get your flossing done that don’t have you wrapping a long string of floss across your fingers and deftly maneuvering your hands in such an enclosed space. Enter the oral irrigator, the vibrating flosser, and the dental pick! Which might be best for you?
  • Dental Pick: If you’re prone to ignore flossing, you may want to consider a good ol’ fashioned dental pick. You’ve no doubt seen these before (sometimes cast aside on the sidewalk!) … they look kinda’ like a plastic toothpick with a strand of dental floss strapped across a wide u-shaped tip. The simplicity and compact nature of these little portable floss “picks” seem to add to their convenience, and kids seem to love them when they’re first learning to floss. We’ll bet you can find at least one colleague in your office who has a few in their purse or desk for those moments when lunch lingers on the teeth a bit longer than appreciated! 
  •  Electric Flossers: Depending on the brand, electric flossers are known by a variety of names, and searching for these handy little devices can be somewhat maddening online (trust us!). You may be best just wandering into the drug store or supermarket to explore in person! There are vibrating flosserspower flossers, and air flossers. Picking the one that’s right for you depends on the task at hand. Power flossers and air flossers seem best if you’re dealing with space concerns near the gumline, and may be a good substitute for an interproximal toothbrush. A vibrating flosser, on the other hand, looks much like a dental pick and because of its design, can cover the entire length of the tooth. The next time you're here at Gentle Family Dentistry ask which is best for you. “Ode to the tiny wonder…the interproximal brush.
  • Oral Irrigator: An oral irrigator is a device that uses a pulsating stream of water to remove plaque and food debris from between your teeth. There are a variety of instruments on the market, and we can recommend one based on the health of your gum tissue and budget. Oral irrigators are remarkably effective at keeping gum tissue healthy, and have been shown to reduce pocket depth due to periodontitis. “Pocket depth,” refers to the depth of the gum tissue that immediately surrounds your teeth. You may not know it, but that’s what your dentist or hygienist is testing for when they’re poking that instrument in your mouth during an exam and calling out numbers! We sell Waterpik brand oral irrigators at GFD…our hygienists LOVE the way a Waterpik can change the health of your We have had patients take their gums from bleeding to pink and healthy, and change their breath from loaded with unhealthy bacteria and debris to fresh and healthy when a Waterpik is used in conjunction with daily brushing and flossing!

It’s worth noting that each of these devices, while recommended, should be considered as supplements to normal flossing, not a replacement – flossing is still your best choice. But, if you have dexterity concerns, are purchasing something for a youngster, or just want to ensure your teeth are the cleanest they can be, these tool are great options!



3/29/2017 7:58:00 AM | Gentle Family Dentistry


Energy Drinks and Your Child’s Teeth ...Should You Worry?

The hard clack of cleats echo about as your “little” sports hero rushes to get out of the house … soon to be late for practice. Armed with all they’ll need for a day in the sun, their equipment bag is packed and slung awkwardly over one shoulder, bursting at the seams with untold numbers of pads and dirty gear. And after making a final beeline through the kitchen to raid your refrigerator for a 64oz bottle or two of rainbow-colored sustenance, they’re off for what will no doubt be another grueling practice session. You’re proud of your kids – they’re growing up. And yet you wonder as you stare at the door that just shut behind them….are those technicolor drinks they’re drinking every day hurting them?

The truth, unfortunately, is yes. While they may keep your children energized and awake for the next few hours, they are bad news, and they’re quietly eating away at their teeth - and fast. 
Why Energy Drinks Are Such a Threat to Teeth

The crux of the problem is the double-whammy that comes from an exceedingly high sugar content and citric acid pH that can be as low as 2.9. We understand pH can be a tricky thing to understand, so to help put that number in perspective, consider this: battery acid has a pH of 0.0 (so, a lower number means a higher acid content). Stomach acid has a pH that fluctuates between 1.0 and 3.0.  A lemon comes in at around 2.0, a grapefruit at 3.0, and tomato juice at 4.0.

The most important thing to know is that with each increase in numerical value, the acid intensity increases 10-fold. So, in the example above, a lemon ends up being 10 times more acidic than a grapefruit, and 100 times more acidic than tomato juice - a sensation you can certainly taste if you bite into one!  In contrast, milk and water have a pH of 7.0, so, it's easy to see the difference in the numbers - they're huge.

The Science

You need to know what this means to your child’s teeth.
Southern Illinois set out to discover how the acid in sports and energy drinks effect tooth enamel in 2012, and the results, which surprised even the research team, showed considerable damage to tooth enamel after only five days of steady consumption. FIVE DAYS. 

To determine the effect of these drinks on our teeth, the research team looked at 22 popular sports and energy drinks, and exposed artificial tooth enamel to the beverages for 15 minutes at a time, four times daily. This schedule was chosen because it mirrors the consumption habits of many users who drink these beverages every few hours - a particularly common habit among those who consume sports drinks, particularly when your kids are involved in sports.  After each 15-minute exposure, the enamel was then placed into an artificial saliva solution for two hours to mimic what would happen once consumption stopped.  After only five days on this schedule, the enamel showed a 1.5% loss with sports drinks, and a shocking 3% loss with energy drinks. 

The Critics

While critics in the beverage industry suggest the time used to expose the enamel to the drinks may have been excessive, it's widely known that snacking, as well as regular sipping of any beverage other than water, creates acidic activity in the mouth that promotes tooth decay. Of course, adults also need to be careful, and if you’re the weekend warrior type, or are pulling shifts and consuming these beverages throughout the day, the time of exposure might actually not be long enough.

There is no doubt that these beverages are not good for our teeth. They're also not good for our stomach and esophagus, and can be more bothersome if one is prone to acid reflux. The consumption sweet spot is in the middle-ground, and that's basically the advice we're going to offer today. We tell patients all the time, don’t sip on these drinks throughout the day. It’s the persistent exposure of the enamel to these high acid drinks that concerns us, and sipping on sports drinks and sodas should be avoided. Instead, drink your drink, then rinse your mouth with water.


The Middle Ground -- It's about being informed

We're not asking you to force your kids to give up their sports beverages and energy drinks. However, it is wise to know the risks, and to understand how you can help your kids combat some of their side-effects. Here are two quick tips that will help if they can't shake the habit:
  • Have them keep water nearby so they sip on it to dilute the acid covering their teeth. This also increases saliva production to help protect tooth enamel. Once done with the drink, swish with water really well.
  • We suggest that they don't brush immediately after consuming such beverages.  Why? Because in the thirty minutes to an hour after consumption, tooth enamel will be slightly softer, and brushing in this window of time literally ends up spreading the acid around to other parts of the teeth. Not good.  If brushing is desired, save it for an hour or so after. (This applies to wine drinkers as well!)
Lastly, here is the breakdown of most caustic to least caustic drinks as found by the researchers.

Sports Drinks:
  • Filtered Ionized Alkaline H2O – pH: 10.0
  • Water – pH: 7.o
  • Odwalla Carrot juice – pH: 6.2
  • Odwalla Vanilla Monster – pH: 5.8
  • Unflavored Pedialyte – pH: 5.4
  • Vita coco – pH: 5.2
  • Aquafina,Dasani, Smart water – pH: 4.0
  • GU2O – pH: 4.29
  • Powerade – pH: 3.89
  • Accelerade – pH: 3.86
  • Gatorade Endurance – pH:  3.22
  • Monster – pH:  2.7
Energy Drinks:
  • Red Bull – pH: 3.3
  • AMP Energy – pH: 2.7
  • Monster Energy – pH: 2.7
  • Full Throttle  - pH: 1.45
  • Rock Star – pH: 1.5
P.S. Don’t forget the mouth guard!





3/8/2017 7:12:00 AM | Gentle Family Dentistry


The Why, When, How and Where of Tongue Scraping

Imagine it’s still winter … you’re standing at the door, ready to brave the cold. You’re layered-up with three shirts and a sweatshirt, your heavy winter coat, and two layers of socks underneath your waterproof winter boots. Then you’ve got those awesome jeans with the flannel on the inside, your comfy hat, scarf and gloves. You’re set! But wait. As you step toward the door, you suddenly realize you have an itch … and it’s deep down … buried beneath all those layers. And, try as you may, every attempt to reach that bugger-of-an-itch fails. Defeated, you realize the only relief you’re ever gonna’ get is to remove each one of those layers. Where are we going with this?!

The Tongue
We’re going inside your mouth, of course, to your tongue – this is a dental article, after all! Because whether you know it or not, like you in the wintertime, your tongue is also “all covered up” – buried beneath layers of bacteria, fungi, and food residue that can inhibit your ability to taste, let alone cause your tongue to appear various shades of yellow, white, or green! Remove the bacteria, though, and your food will once again directly interact with those taste buds, and return to its natural hue. So how does one do that? With a tongue scraper, of course!

WHAT is a tongue scraper?
A tongue scraper is a U-shaped device designed to “scrape” the top layer of scum from your tongue. They have been in use since ancient times, and have been made of everything from wood to whalebone. Nowadays, they are made of more hygienic material, and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, designs and colors.

WHY use a tongue scraper?
The residue on your tongue includes things like the cavity-inducing Streptococcus mutans bacterium, fungi, rotting food (that’s not good), and what’s referred to as “volatile sulfur compounds.” In other words, sulfur – that “rotting egg smell.” Talk about ew! So, as you can see, there are several reasons why you’d want to get rid of this gunk in your mouth. Let’s tackle them one by one:
  • ·    Reduce bad breath: ‘nuff said! Dr. Sclater said she has absolutely had patients transform their breath by tongue scraping every day.
  • ·    Reduce your risk of periodontal disease and cavities: Bad bacteria contribute to plaque and tartar on teeth, making them more susceptible to cavities. Bacteria build-up can also lead to inflammation of gum tissue (gingivitis). If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease, which means a more expensive dental visit (plus other unwanted consequences!). Speaking of avoiding an expensive dental visit, when was the last time you came in to see us? Come see us now if it’s been awhile, by calling in at (410) 257-2424.
  • ·    Make room for good bacteria: see our article here on probiotics for your mouth.
  • ·    Prevent heart disease? While the debate is still up in the air, some studies suggest there could be a correlation between gum disease and heart disease.

HOW does one use a tongue scraper?
In general, make sure to rinse your tongue scraper before and after use. Apply the tongue scraper to the back of your tongue and drag it forward. Then, rinse and repeat. Make sure to get the sides of your tongue as well, not just the center!

Make sure not to press too hard or you can cause yourself to bleed. And, if you’re wondering if you should scrape your tongue while recovering from a dental procedure, that’s a good question … ask your dentist for the best advice particular to your situation. Still not sure how this thing really works? The next time you’re in ask Barb, Jessica, Sandi or Emily for a quick tutorial!

WHERE do I buy one?
Your first choice is, believe it or not, us! We have sample tongue scrapers. And if you decide to purchase one, they are relatively inexpensive (usually the same cost as a toothbrush), and can also be found at any local drugstore. It doesn’t matter the material, color, or brand – just find the one you like and get scraping!

Need more convincing about just how great tongue scraping is? Just watch this video by The Singing Dentist:




3/2/2017 8:23:00 AM | Gentle Family Dentistry

Dr. Sclater just loves a list! This is such a wonderful and comprehensive list that we had to share. 



While cavities and plaque build-up may be what's on your mind before a teeth cleaning, your dentist is looking for a whole lot more. "The mouth is the window to the body," says David Silverstrom, DDS, of The Silverstrom Group in Livingston, NJ. "Often, diseases like cancer, anemia and diabetes will first be identified by the dentist in a regular examination, and this saves lives." And it's not just diseases—dentists can discover everything from your bad habits to your favorite beverages simply by asking you to say, "Ahh!"
1. You flossed right before your appointment—and that's the only time.
Sorry, but you can't fool your dentist into thinking you floss daily by doing so the night before or morning of your visit. "The gums of people who only floss right before a visit are bleeding or look damaged," says Timothy Stirneman, DDS, of All Smiles Dental in Algonquin, IL, "whereas, healthy gums are nice and tight and pink," he says. Kenneth Wong, DDS, of Santa Monica adds, "When patients floss right before coming for a cleaning, I can see the slices where the floss cut at the gum because they were overzealous."
2. You're pregnant.
"Nearly 40% of women will develop gingivitis during their pregnancy," says Glen Stephenson, DMD, of Prevention Dental in Boise, ID. "This is caused by increased progesterone, which facilitates the growth of bacteria, causing gingivitis. Some women will develop a deep red lump on their gums called a pregnancy tumor or pyogenic granuloma." (This type of tumor is completely benign and will go away after the pregnancy is over.) Stirneman adds that most women are typically pretty far along before their gums start bleeding, so it's not as though a dentist will magically "discover" that a patient is pregnant.
3. You bite your nails.
Without looking at your hands, a dentist may be able to detect this habit. "Signs include chips and cracking of the teeth, plus wear and tear on the teeth from the constant stress on them," says Keith Arbeitman, DDS, of Arbeitman & Shein in New York City. "This can cause your teeth to become uneven and lead to jaw pain and discomfort." Kyle Stanley, DDS, of Helm, Nejad, Stanley in Beverly Hills adds, "Patients that bite their nails using their front teeth usually have leveled off, flat front teeth. The nails themselves are not what cause the damage, but rather the contact that occurs between the top and bottom teeth," he says.

4. You used to suck your thumb.
"Most children that suck their thumbs or a finger have no long-term effects from the habit," says Stephenson. "However, those who did so past the age of seven or eight may show significant changes to their bite or the position of their teeth. Much of that can be corrected through orthodontic treatment, but some telltale signs can remain." Alice Lee, DDS, of Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY, adds, "We can sometimes see protruding front teeth, and this can impact how kids' jaws are coming together and growing and can also impact their speech."

5. Your bad breath may mean something.
"General bad breath can be categorized as halitosis," says Arbeitman. But dentists are also trained to identify "fruity" smells and "fishy" smells, which can mean numerous things. " 'Fruity' breath could indicate uncontrolled diabetes or a dietary fast that has gone too far, while 'fishy' breath could be a sign of kidney or liver failure," he explains. If the smell is "very foul," says Arbeitman, it could be anything from gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) to an underlying lung abscess and bronchitis to a tonsil stone. Timothy Chase, DMD, of SmilesNY in New York City, adds, "The first thing the dentist should do is rule out the odor coming from the teeth and gums. After that, he should recommend that the patient see an ENT to rule out sinus issues, and a GI doc to rule out reflux issues."
6. You may have an eating disorder.
"Many patients are surprised that their dentist is the first one to ask about eating disorders," says Chase, "but bulimia exhibits a very distinct pattern of tooth wear that your dentist can easily identify." Stephenson notes that, "This erosion happens almost exclusively on the tongue-side of the front teeth and can contribute to increased cavities." But Silverstrom is quick to point out that acid erosion on the back of a patient's teeth does not always indicate an eating disorder. He says other possibilities include acid reflux and the use of antidepressants or mood-elevating drugs, both of which reduce the amount of saliva in the mouth, thereby upping the odds of acid damage.
7. You have a sinus infection.
"Often patients will call saying that they need a root canal," explains Ira Handschuh, DDS, of The Dental Design Center in NY, "when in fact it's actually a sinus infection and not a tooth problem at all." The reason, he explains, is because the roots of the top teeth are positioned in the same area as the floor of the sinuses. And both sinus infections and toothaches can show symptoms of pressure. "A simple home test is to have a patient bend over to touch their toes. If the pressure or pain increases just by doing this, the pain is most likely not tooth-related and he should see his ENT or primary care physician before coming to the dentist," he advises.
8. You have a vitamin deficiency.
"A deficiency of vitamins and minerals can cause many oral conditions, like burning tongue syndrome, tissue sloughing off, increased infections, delayed healing, bone infections, and easy-to-bleed gums," explains John P. Dougherty, DDS, MAGD, of Artistic Dental at the Biltmore in Phoenix, AZ. Stephenson adds, "Surprisingly, iron deficiencies show up in many ways in your mouth. It can give some patients severe sores in the corners of their mouth while others have changes in their tongues. Some may experience a painful burning sensation, or all the small papillae fall off their tongue leaving it glossy and smooth. Getting more iron will solve these problems."

9. You have diabetes.
"Many times, imbalances in sugar will show a rapid change in the health of your gums, including increased swelling, bleeding, and sensitivity," says Handschuh. "In conjunction, the consistency of saliva may change, and there may be increased decay. These may all be signs of sugar levels that are out of control, so dentists can alert patients to see their doctor to check for diabetes."
10. You have a drinking problem.
"Alcoholic patients are cavity-prone because alcohol tends to dry the mouth out," says David Tarica, DMD, of 34th Street Dental in New York City. "A dry mouth will lead to cavities, because saliva neutralizes the damage-causing acid in our mouths. In addition, alcoholics have 'chipmunk red cheeks,' and the smell alone is usually a giveaway."

11. You have oral cancer.
"The first signs of oral cancer can be seen from the following: unexplained bleeding in the mouth, white, red, or speckled patches in the mouth, a change in the way your teeth fit together, swellings, thickenings, lumps or bumps or eroded areas on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth," explains Michael Apa, DDS, of Rosenthal Apa Group in New York City. "An oral surgeon should be consulted for a biopsy of any suspicious tissue."
12. You love Gatorade.


You may know why you chipped your tooth, but Hugh Flax, DDS, of Flax Dental in Atlanta says that even though the cause may be apparent, "there could be underlying factors that weakened the tooth and made it susceptible to being chipped in the first place." He explains that teeth can be softened by sodas and other sugary beverages over time, which may make a tooth more susceptible to chipping. Energy drinks, which tend to be even more acidic than soft drinks, may cause even more damage to tooth enamel, he says.





1/19/2017 9:01:00 AM | Gentle Family Dentistry



Five Must-Read Health Books
Stroll through the health section of any bookstore still standing and you’re likely to be overwhelmed by the number of books shouting back at you with messages for you and your body. But, where to start? Eating for your blood type? Sugar-busting? Mindfulness Meditation? We’ll help you sort through the muck. When it comes to getting good information about health and fitness, knowing where to start is the most important piece of the puzzle. Now on to the list!

Flexibility and Body Mechanics: “Foundation: Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move with Confidence “ by Eric Goodman

If you occupy a chair most of your working day, your body is likely way out of whack. Back problems, tight glutes, plantar fascia problems… it’s just all a mess. By getting out of your chair and working on a few simple exercises to re-stabilize your core, you’ll feel better, look better, and “work” better as a result. Chiropractic doctor, and elite athletic trainer, Dr. Eric Goodman has long been considered an expert in this area, and his book has been an easy-to-follow manual for people looking to add more fluidity and comfort to their stiff bodies for years.

Food, Part I: “What to Eat,” by Marion Nestle

Ever wish you could stroll the grocery store with a food expert – someone who could help make sense of food labels, and debunk claims made by big food companies? Then, this is the book for you. Nutritionist, Marion Nestle tackles each aisle one by one in her instant classic from 2015.

Food Part II: “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” by Michael Pollan

Understanding good food choices also means knowing where your food comes from – and where it’s come from historically. Journalism professor, and long-time writer for the New York Times, Pollan’s book has been so well regarded over the years, there is now also a young reader’s edition! A must read.

Muscles: “Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training,” by Mark Rippetoe

This is not a book for aspiring body builders. Well, it could be. But it’s also for you. Want to maintain a healthy weight? Protect your body from injury? Be the strong-man/strong-woman for whomever you’d like to impress? Rippetoe’s manual on muscle building will help you get there with less time in the gym, and most importantly – safely, because of his focus on showing how to lift with good form. You can’t have a lean body without lean muscle!


Sleep: "Eat Move Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Change" by Tom Rath


This book is a bestseller and focuses on well-being...it's simple and practical applications make this book a must-read. Eat Move Sleep has inspired more than 6 million people in the last decade. This book is all about the impact of eating, moving, and sleeping. Written in his classic conversational style, Eat Move Sleep features the most proven and practical ideas from the authors research. One thing the author stresses over and over is just to MOVE! The desk job is the death of our health. And lets not forget about our sleep-starved society. Get more sleep! 


Hopefully you are still going strong with your New Year's resolutions! If you are taking charge of your health, whether as a New Year's Resolution or a continuation of your health-focused lifestyle, we cannot recommend these books enough. Happy reading!






11/29/2016 5:49:00 PM | Gentle Family Dentistry

Still Fortunate Enough to Serve

I am not what most would consider a city girl so when my family received our orders to the "D.C. area" back in 2012, I can tell you that I was not exactly jumping for joy.  We always try to look at new assignments as new adventures, so we were definitely up for the challenge, but for some reason I had this idea in my head that D.C., Virginia and Maryland were just one giant city and we would spend 3-4 years stuck on the beltway. Funny enough, I was not that far off on my assessment of the traffic, but I was definitely far off in terms of my view of the area. We were still in Germany when a friend of mine told me to look for homes in Calvert County and I am thankful every single day for her advice. The minute I saw barns, rolling hills and horses, I knew we hit the jackpot.  We truly fell in love instantly and the 40-minute drive to Andrews Air Force Base became a breeze! Fast forward 4 years and we are living in a home we had built, my children are thriving in a great school system, awesome extracurricular activities, and my husband and I are both retired from the service.  

As I transitioned out of the military this past spring, I honestly felt like I was losing a piece of my soul.  I know that sounds a little dramatic, but when you devote 22 years to a certain way of life and a certain mindset, it can be a little unnerving when preparing to close that door. Fortunately for me, I found a new work family with Gentle Family Dentistry and quickly realized that a life of service doesn't end when you get out of the military.  I get to serve the awesome residents of Calvert County (and beyond) every day, just wearing a different outfit. As an added bonus, seeing the veterans and military families that walk through our doors gives me a sense of gratitude that I can still serve them and maintain that connection. Life is good!
Patty, Office Manager












11/17/2016 3:46:00 PM | Gentle Family Dentistry

Interview with President of End Hunger in Calvert County, Jacqueline Miller

In case you didn't know, there's an amazing non-profit in Calvert County called End Hunger in Calvert County. We recently had the privilege of being a collection site for End Hunger's October Food Drive. Along with being a collection site, we wanted to learn more about the organization that does so much for the community. End Hunger solely exists to serve the community and bring relief to those in need. Quite often, the people that receive help are your neighbors, friends or local business owners. Please take a moment to read our blog post. Chances are, you may discover how to help the community in a way you never imagined!


Jackie Miller, President of End Hunger in Calvert County


Jacqueline Miller                   Age: 30                    Job Title: President of End Hunger In Calvert County

Where did you grow up?
Huntingtown, Maryland

When did your family come to Calvert County?
My family moved to Calvert County in 1989 – I was 2 years old.
Was your father a Reverend before Chesapeake Church? How did Chesapeake Church begin?
• Before being a pastor at Chesapeake – my father worked for the EPA – Chesapeake Church is the only church he has pastored.
• Chesapeake began because a group of people believed that full devotion to Jesus Christ was normal and that we could learn to live and grow within a biblical community. The way the people in the bible lived – that was not lost but we could actually do life the way Jesus intended us to.

What year was End Hunger established?
End Hunger was established in 2008 when we realized that food pantry clients in Calvert County were not the stereotypical face of hunger. These folks held full-time jobs, sometimes two. But because of the high cost of living or other obstacles in their lives, they had a hard time keeping food on the table. We realized that this was a hunger problem we could actually tackle and end!

You have so many events that spread awareness and community involvement for End Hunger. Which event was first and how did you come up with the idea?
The first event we did was the annual County-wide Food Drive. We came up with the idea as a way to get the entire community rallied behind the problem of hungry and empower them to realize that together we are the solution.

Are these the events you still currently do? Any I missed?
Yes that is them!
·       Dragon Boat Races
·       Bike Ride
·       Obstacle Race
·       Food Drive in October

Which event is most near and dear to your heart and why?
I love them all for all different reasons. But to answer your question, the Obstacle Run is near and dear to me because this is the event that entire families can come out and participate in together. The event is also born out of tragedy. My friend and co-worker lost her son and this event not only raises awareness about the reality of hunger in the community, it is done in memory of Matt.

Which event raises the most funds for End Hunger?  Which event is a labor of love?
The Dragon Boat Festival technically raises the most money but it also costs the most to put on. All three events are designed to serve different purposes and each one of them accomplishes its goal.
The Annual Food Drive is not designed to make money – that is our labor of love event.
 
How are the cooking program and café doing?
Fantastic! We have graduated close to 100 students – 70% of them are now working. Many of them work at The Lobby Coffee Bar, which is a full service Coffee Bar that directly supports End Hunger In Calvert County. We are having the time of our lives growing The Lobby into a place for Calvert County to connect and foster relationships.

You have brought End Hunger awareness to Calvert County in waives – to what can you attribute your success?
I attribute it to two things …
1.     My team. I work alongside the most talented people I have ever met. They use their passion and gifts to change lives in Calvert County and we do it all because we desire to be obedient to Christ. We feed the hungry because that is what we have been called to do.
2.     We do hunger and only hunger. There are so many worthy non-profit organizations and causes but for us, our call is to feed the hungry. So that is what we do. We feed the hungry with excellence and we give it everything we’ve got. Not because we are great, but because our God is so great.
A great team, plus our focus is what I accredit End Hunger’s success to.

How has your role at End Hunger changed since becoming a mother?
Becoming a mom hasn’t necessarily changed my role in End Hunger but is has changed my perspective. Forty percent of food pantry clients in Calvert County are children. I’ve known that statistic for years, eight years to be exact. But that statistic didn’t truly grip my heart until becoming a mom – before becoming mom I didn’t understand the weightiness of what that 40% represents.

I now understand full well the fierceness with which moms love their babies – we would do absolutely anything to protect them, provide for them, and care for them.

Knowing that so many moms, right here in Calvert County, receive support to feed their families both breaks my heart and fills me with joy. It breaks my heart because as a mom, I could not imagine not being able to provide for my family. Making that choice must be the hardest choice they make – and they make it every week.

It fills me with joy because I am so proud of every mom who comes through the doors of our food pantries. I am so proud of our community that we have stepped in to fill the gap for these moms and families. I am most proud that we not only provide a meal for families, but we are restoring dignity back into families.

There are a lot of things that we moms can disagree on, but I think each and every one of us can agree that no child – our own or another's – should go to bed hungry. And the reality is one day it could be us walking through the doors of a food pantry for the first time.

What about End Hunger makes you most proud?

What makes me most proud about End Hunger In Calvert County is the way our community continually steps up to provide for the needy in our community. In the last eight years that End Hunger has been around, we have never once run out of food – not even close. I am continually amazed year after year they way our community meets the needs of community. Together, we are now distributing nearly 1 MILLION pounds of food back into Calvert County every year. Every year we do that, and we do it together.

What do you like to do in your spare time to recharge your batteries?
In my spare time to recharge, I love spending time with my husband. We love going into the city and finding new coffee shops and hole-in-the wall places to eat. There is so much richness in Washington DC that any chance that Chris and I get to be in the city we take advantage of it.

Now, more frequently, the way I recharge is a bubble bath and a good book! 




- Dana, Marketing Specialist at Gentle Family Dentistry, interviewing Jackie Miller, President of End Hunger in Calvert County 
Dana, Marketing Specialist



















11/10/2016 12:22:00 PM | Gentle Family Dentistry

Why I Love Cosmetic Dentistry

I love cosmetic dentistry! It is so fulfilling and rewarding. I never realized I could have such a passion...I am very lucky I get to do what I love every day. Before becoming a dentist I earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts...patient care was the exact opposite of what I was doing as a Graphic Artist. But I wasn't happy and I yearned for something more.

I had the opportunity to shadow my dentist many years ago, and I realized that cosmetic dentistry was my calling. Being a dentist would enable me to combine my love of the arts with the ability to help others. It was a big decision to go dental school after beginning a career in Graphic Design, but I have never looked back and love every minute of being a dentist.

Earning my DDS has opened my eyes to the power of a beautiful smile and the impact it can have on one's life. I love that I am able to apply my training and background as an artist to help people smile more often, feel more self-confident and increase their happiness. Not every patient’s smile is the same and I truly enjoy working with my patients to help them achieve the look they desire and create a unique smile that makes them happy. I like that every treatment is tailored to each patient....I'm a details girl!

When you see someone’s picture, the first thing you usually notice is the smile (or lack of smile). Usually your eye is drawn straight to their mouth. Whether it’s interviewing for a job, going on a first date, or having your picture taken, your smile is the first facial feature others notice. In addition, how often you smile also makes a lasting impression on others! Smiling more often is linked to higher self-confidence and higher levels of happiness. Researchers have discovered that people who smile regularly are more approachable, less stressed and more successful than those who simile less frequently.

I love giving patients options to help them look and feel better. Veneers, botox, dermal fillers, and laser technology can reshape teeth, smooth fine lines, add volume and recontour gums to create a more aesthetic smile. The advances in dental technology are incredible, and I feel very honored to be a part of the new generation of dentists that embraces technology. Plus, all this new technology is FUN! And that's why I love cosmetic dentistry.


This is me on my recent trip to the village of Talin in Estonia!


Rhiannon DeLeon, D.D.S.


















10/6/2016 4:19:00 PM | Gentle Family Dentistry

Why Do I Run?

I often get the "Why do you run?" question from people. And to be honest, sometimes I don't know! I know the logical reasons I run, but when you are running 13 miles in a row (as opposed to it being over 2 or 3 workouts), I really begin to doubt my sanity and endurance. 

I would call running a love/hate relationship. I truly feel better after I run, but sometimes during a race I question the "great adventure" I have undertaken. 

I recently entered the world of half marathons. Around mile seven, the endorphin high usually wears off, and the reality of six more miles begins to set in.... 6 more miles. Six miles is almost a 10k! I have now completed two half marathons, and my most recent one was the Mighty Niagara Half in Niagara Falls, NY in September. Not bad for a girl that could barely do a push-up in her 20's.

The benefits of running are well documented. The benefits range from improved body function to improved focus and sleep. I run first thing in the morning and have a much better day when I get my run done early in the morning...even though I get a little weepy when the alarm goes off at 5am. But it is totally worth the sacrifice. For me, morning runs lead to a better day because I get more accomplished, I eat healthier and I sleep better. Overall, the benefits outweigh the pain of waking up at 5am.


I wasn't an athlete in school. Actually, I hated exercise. I was naturally small and could eat whatever I wanted without gaining weight. Thus, exercise never really entered my mind.  Later, I went to undergrad college and perpetuated the lifestyle I adopted in high school. Sporadically, I would workout with my husband, but nothing ever stuck. After undergrad, I was commissioned into the Army while in dental school. I did not have to take a fitness test until basic training after graduation. Had I been smart, I would have trained for the fitness test. But the pressure of having a small child, husband and dental school took its toll, and exercise was pushed to the back burner again. Basic training was my first experience with running. It was miserable for me and it reinforced my hatred of running and working out. 


I hate to say it, but my vanity (like many men and women in their 30's and 40's) was finally my motivating factor to run. In my late 30's, my metabolism changed. All the yummy things I could eat in my teens and 20's was beginning to pack on the pounds in my 30's. I began a cross-training program, but I just wasn't seeing the results I had envisioned. I didn't know what to do. I was still gaining weight and my scrubs were getting tight!


My life-changing moment was when a patient of mine (who is in her 50's), came in for a visit. I was amazed at her transformation...she had lost so much weight! She said she lost the weight by running, and that was my "ah-ha" moment. My patient invited me to run with her, so I went. And I went again. And then I went again and again. And before long, I really began to enjoy running! I usually run on the North Beach Pier. I love the quiet, the fresh air, the view of the bay, the stunning sunrise, and all the locals I see fitting in their early workout. If you have never been, I really encourage you to visit the town of North Beach...it's one of my favorite parts of Calvert County. 


These days, I wholeheartedly recommend physical exercise as a part of your lifestyle for longevity and a better quality of life. It has improved my life in so many ways. My dental philosophy is about the mouth/whole body connection. Eliminate the processed foods and drinks, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, brush twice a day and floss once a day. With a little consistency (which is incredibly hard for most people until it becomes a habit), you will reap positive results that compound over time. Quality of life is the most important thing, and I want to encourage all my patients to live their best life!



This is me at the Mighty Niagara Half Marathon!

Cynthia Sclater, D.M.D.



















8/31/2016 9:44:00 AM | Gentle Family Dentistry

Supporting the Community - Calvert Hospice Luau

There's nothing better than being a part of a community. Whether it's school, kids sports, fitness, supporting other local businesses or giving to local non-profits, giving just feels good! 

Dr. Sclater and the GFD Team have a passion for giving, and we try very hard to help the community in a variety of ways. One of our favorite non-profit organizations in Calvert County, MD is Calvert Hospice. We were very honored to be a sponsor at the 4th Annual Calvert Hospice Luau on August 11, 2016 at Stoney's Broomes Island. Over 370 caring and generous people from our community attended the event to support Calvert Hospice. 


The setting was incredible, the people were fabulous and the food was scrumptious. Thank you Maryland Country Caterers for feeding the masses! The event raised over $82,000 which will directly benefit the Burnett Calvert Hospice House. Calvert Hospice is able to help many, many people. Including people and families that cannot afford to pay because of the generous donations from our community.


The Calvert Hospice is already planning their 5th Annual Luau on August 10, 2017. Mark your calendar now!


Want to get involved in our community but not sure where to start? Just send me an email and I am happy to connect you with many wonderful non-profits in Calvert County and Southern Anne Arundel County.



Some of the GFD gang hanging out with friends in the community at the Calvert Hospice Luau.








7/7/2016 11:58:00 AM | Gentle Family Dentistry

I Love My Job!

Hi, my name is Jessica and I have been a dental hygienist at GFD since 2009. As corny and cheesy as it may sound, I can honestly say I love my job and not too many people can say that. I am truly grateful for my job every day and consider myself a very lucky person to feel this way about my career and my workplace.


Dr. Sclater, the owner of the practice, has spent a lot of time and attention in making her practice clean, modern and comfortable. The office is bright and soothing with fresh paint and inspirational art. Each operatory has been modernized with computers for paperless charting, flat screen TV's for viewing radiographs and photos or even Netflix shows if the patient chooses to watch them while having treatment completed. Each room has its own personal touches that directly reflect the provider that works in that space. That makes our office much more personable and friendly, which keeps our patients comfortable and relaxed. And I enjoy seeing our patients comfortable and relaxed!


About a year ago, Dr. Sclater purchased her hygienists intra oral cameras so that we could begin taking pictures of patients teeth and show them exactly what is going on in their mouth. This piece of technology is my favorite part of the appointment with my patients. With the intra oral camera I get a close-up HD picture of teeth so that I can thorooughly explain and show patients what and why they need the treatment we recommend. I am so glad I work for a dentist that believes in keeping up with dental technology advances. Our patients love seeing their teeth up close and personal! It is so refreshing to see patients get a good look at their own teeth and mouths and have an "ah ha" moment about what is going on in their mouth and how we can fix it for them, if need be.


I have to say though, the absolute best part of my job is my patients. After working in the same office for 7+ years in a close-knit community, it is very rewarding to treat patients and their families. I have really established a close relationship with many of our patients and it is very special to me. 


So many people have a phobia of the dentist and it makes my job so much more rewarding when a phobic patient is no longer scared and they no longer fear coming to the dentist. To me, that's what it is all about...getting people happier and healthier in a trusting, caring and professional environment like the one I work in. 


So when I drive to work in the morning, I know that I am going to a place where there will be great patients to care for, modern technology for thorough patient education, and that it will all be in a refreshingly comfortable environment, and THAT makes me happy! GFD is not only a great place to work, it is a great place to receive your dental care. I am very proud of where I work and so grateful for the satisfaction that my job brings to me. I am very fortunate to work at GFD and give patients a superior dental experience due to Dr. Sclater's passion for dentistry. 


- Jessica, RDH



Jessica, Registered Dental Hygienist



















6/28/2016 6:03:00 PM | Gentle Family Dentistry

Laser Dentistry in Calvert County, MD

Let's face it, even the bravest patient can be nervous about a having a cavity filled. The noise, the heat, the Novocaine = sweaty palms. And if you are a patient that struggles with dental anxiety and phobia, the thought of having a cavity treated is enough to keep many people away from the dentist for years because of how overwhelming treatment can feel.

Dr. Sclater incorporated her love of lasers into Gentle Family Dentistry's daily practice in 2010. Both Dr. Sclater and Dr. DeLeon are Waterlase certified and LOVE using the latest technology in the dental care they provide. Why you may ask? Because using the laser makes us different! We are the only practice in Calvert County to use this technology, and in our experience it helps us exceed our patient's expectations. Lasers have been used for many years in the field of dermatology and ophthalmology. Bringing lasers to dentistry is safe, effective, and enhances the patient experience.


When you find out you need a cavity filled, you no longer have to be fearful. The Waterlase laser is "virtually pain-free" because the laser uses water molecules to treat the tooth and keep it cool, which means no pain due to the absence of heat. And that means - no Novocaine! (In most cases) And that means, no more droopy mouth and numb tongue! And that means, you can eat lunch after your procedure without biting your tongue! (Insert happy dance here). The other beautiful benefit of the Waterlase technology is no downtime and faster procedures. That means less time in the dental chair, and more time doing the things you love. However, we must mention that the teeth of some patients are a little more sensitive. So this is not a "virtually pain-free" therapy for everyone. But if you are more sensitive, we are happy to administer anesthetic for your procedure. Also, if your cavity is very large or very deep, this may not be the best treatment for you, but Dr. Sclater or Dr. DeLeon will be able to determine this with an exam.


The Waterlase is not perfect for every situation, but when we can, we will use the laser for your treatment. We are excited to use this technology in gingivectomies, endodontic treatments, periodontal treatments, Laser Bacterial Reduction and restorations. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about this treatment. Our staff is very passionate about our laser technology, and we hope you will give it a try!


Six Year Old Has Treatment with Waterlase









6/15/2016 6:03:00 PM | Gentle Family Dentistry

Warrior Dash Re-Cap


Can we just take a moment to say how blown away we are by the support of local businesses and our community? We love our Southern Anne Arundel and Calvert County friends! 


On May 14, 2016 we had the honor of running the Warrior Dash with 173 of our new best friends! The amazing team came together with one person in mind...5 year old little William "Bubba" Cramer. Bubba is a sweet, kind and strong little boy who loves his family, chocolate cake and tractor pulling. 


In his short five years, he has endured more medically than most of us will ever face. We take our health for granted, and all the while, Bubba's parents pray for nothing more than to see their son healthy and happy. Bubba was diagnosed with Acute Lyphoblastic Leukemia in the summer of 2015. Bubba is doing very well and will continue to receive chemotherapy treatments until 2018 because his type of cancer tends to hide in the testicles and the base of the spine.


Bubba's parents, Gina and Billy Cramer, grew up in Southern Anne Arundel County and reside in Dunkirk. They were such a supportive force behind the scenes to make our Warrior Dash team a success. We can't thank them enough for all their help. Their extended family gave us so much help with recruiting runners and sponsors. The Cramer and Anastasi families are lovely people and we were so grateful to be able to help them. For this event, we partnered with our buddies at Poston's Fitness for Life in Dunkirk, MD as event hosts and sponsors.  


In total, we had 23 t-shirt sponsors and 15 in-kind donors. We raised over $14,000 for the Cramer family, and are grateful to the local businesses that truly went above and beyond to help us give back to the community. Please visit our website at the link above to learn more about the businesses that gave money, time and resources to help our Warrior Dash team. Please consider shopping local and supporting these amazing businesses. 












Testimonials

View More