Sabal Dental Harlingen March 2018

March 2018

321 S. 13th St. Ste. 101 Harlingen, TX 78550 |

(956) 428-5300


A Passion for Service Why I Chose Dentistry

Even as a young child, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the medical field. Before learning anything about dentistry, I planned to graduate from high school and enroll in a pre-medical program and eventually become a medical practitioner. I had always been passionate about helping others and, in my opinion, there was no better way for me to serve my community than through medicine. However, as I got older, I began to learn what the daily lives of doctors really entail. Sure, they help many people each and every day, but they

“Although I enjoy my career because I am able to maintain a work-life balance, my passion for dentistry comes from my ability to

make a positive difference in my patients’ lives.”

Although I enjoy my career because I am able to maintain a work-life balance, my passion for dentistry comes from my ability to make a positive difference in my patients’ lives. Over the course of my career,

also work sporadic schedules and they are always on call, even on their days off. After I truly understood the life of a medical doctor, two things happened. One, I gained more respect for all those working in the medical field, and two, I decided that work-life balance was extremely important to me. So, at 17, I decided to change my entire life plan. Though I considered a couple different paths, I ultimately found and chose dentistry. My cousin works as a dentist in California, where I was going to high school, and I asked him to give me more insight into his career. He invited me to shadow him at his office, and I gladly accepted. I spent the entirety of that job-shadow watching my cousin make a difference in the lives of his patients every day, and at the end of his shifts, he was able to leave all of his work at the office to focus solely on his family at home. My experience shadowing my cousin solidified dentistry as a career for me. After finishing high school, I attended the University of Texas at Austin and earned my bachelor’s degree in biology. Then, I was accepted into the University of Texas at Houston School of Dentistry, and the rest is history.

I have met patients whose teeth were so damaged that they couldn’t eat well, and as a result, they were malnourished and underweight. To combat their condition, I made special dentures that allowed these patients to eat again, and once their health improved, their whole outlook on life improved as well. Dentistry can be great for cosmetic reasons, but more importantly, dentistry allows me to positively affect someone’s quality of life. It doesn’t get any better than that. If there is anything I would want you, as my patient, to know, it’s that I understand that the dentist’s office can be intimidating, and the majority of people don’t like to get their teeth cleaned or fixed. However, I want to assure you that I will do everything in my power to make your visit easy, stress-free, and comfortable. If going to the dentist makes you anxious, don’t hesitate to tell us. We will accommodate your needs in any way we can.

See you soon,

– Dr. Gonzales

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Wait — Screen Time Is Good for Kids? How a Balanced Media Diet Bolsters Child Development

If you Google the effects of screen time on children, you’re sure to be bombarded with horror stories. Numerous articles claim that, beginning in infancy, the more time a child spends in front of a TV, phone, or computer, the worse their developmental outcomes will be. At first glance, the research is utterly conclusive. It seems we should throw out every TV in our house, smash our kids’ smartphones, and usher our children into the great outdoors as soon as possible. But what most of these studies fail to take into account is the content of the electronic media. If a child spends two hours a day bingeing episodes of “The Big Bang Theory” or

recommended strict limits on electronic engagement for kids, following the old line of thinking that any kind of screen time would be

better spent climbing a tree or running in the backyard. But in October of 2016, they offered new recommendations for parents. For infants and young toddlers, the research still sides pretty heavily against the use of iPads and television. Before 18 months of age, a child lacks the cognitive capabilities allowing them to apply the lessons of technology to real life, and even after that, the APP recommends that media consumption should be limited to “high-quality programming, such as the content offered by Sesame Workshop and PBS.” But for kids ages 5 and up, parents should avoid banning screen time outright, but function as their child’s media mentor. Instead of decrying time spent building complex structures in “Minecraft” as hours that could be spent on the soccer field, we should set expectations and boundaries to ensure that children can deepen their experience of the world through media, not hamper it. The problem starts not with the screen itself, but when the consumption of media becomes problematic, replacing regular face-to-face interactions and physical activity. But with a balanced media diet, kids can have the best of both worlds.

screaming obscenities into a headset while playing “Call of Duty,” it’s going to negatively impact their experience of the world along with their mental and physical health. But not all content is created equal.

In the past, the American

Academy of Pediatrics


“The staff are always courteous, patient, and helpful. I am visually impaired and hard of hearing, and the staff always make each visit easy for me. The dentist is professional and takes the time to truly listen to any concerns or issues I have.” –Joseph Muniz “The staff was extremely friendly and welcoming. The office is a nice, quiet, and relaxing environment. I have enjoyed every visit. I would definitely recommend this place.” –Victoria Garcia

“This place is pretty awesome. I never wait for more than 10 minutes. The dentist and staff are great and don’t give me any problems. I highly

recommend them.” –Jordan Diaz

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she reflected in 2012. “When you’re growing, your body is still figuring itself out.” It’s a valuable observation for any young person considering braces. Tom Cruise Cruise is proof that getting the perfect smile in your adult life is far from impossible. At age 40, the Hollywood star donned a pair of ceramic brackets. Not only were his braces subtle, but he only had to wear them a few months. That’s a small price to pay to ensure his trademark grin stays paparazzi-perfect for years to come. Ryan Lee He may not be the biggest star on this list, but Lee’s dedication to orthopedic authenticity

BOX OFFICE BRACES Orthodontics for the Stars

Movie stars are far from pictures of perfection. Acting skills and public relations can always be brushed up, but what happens when a celebrity’s smile isn’t IMAX-ready? More stars have needed orthopedic correction over the course of their careers than you might think. Here are our picks for the top celebrity ortho patients! Dakota Fanning

Actor and model Dakota Fanning has appeared in movies and television shows since she was a child. During her career, the “Twilight” antagonist went through extensive orthodontic repair, requiring multiple sets of braces. Even vampires care about their smiles! Emma Watson Starting your career as a child actor presents numerous challenges, especially because your body is changing. Watson has openly talked about her struggle to maintain her body image while going through adolescence. “I had terrible skin at one point and had to wear braces at another,”

deserves special mention. Lee is best known for his role as Cary in JJ Abram’s 2011 thriller “Super 8.” Both Lee and the character he played in “Super 8” wore braces. The only problem was that the movie was set in the late ’70s, requiring the young actor to ditch his modern bands for bulkier, period-accurate braces. Worse still, the braces were props, not actual dental supports, meaning Lee had to put his realignment on hold until after filming. Now that’s commitment!


Have a Laugh

Ingredients • 4 large zucchini • 1 tablespoon olive oil or ghee

• 2 teaspoons cumin • 2 teaspoons chili powder • 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken • 2 cups shredded cheese

• 1 large onion, chopped • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Directions 1. Heat oven to 350 F. In a large skillet, heat oil. Add onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and salt to taste. Stir to combine. Add chicken and 1 cup prepared enchilada sauce. 2. Use vegetable peeler to thinly slice zucchini. Lay out three slices, slightly overlapping, and spoon chicken mixture on top. Roll the zucchini “tortilla” and place on baking sheet. Repeat until all zucchini and chicken is used.

3. Cover the enchiladas with remaining sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 20 minutes, and enjoy!

Adapted from

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321 S. 13th St. Ste. 101 Harlingen, TX 78550 (956) 428-5300


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Inside This Issue

How Dentistry Allows Me to Serve My Community Page 1 When Screen Time Is Good for Kids Page 2 Our Clients Say It Best Page 2 4 Celebrities With Braces Page 3 Go Carb-Free for Dinner Page 3 How a Chance Conversation Turned Into Love Page 4

A MATCH MADE IN … SIDE How a Chance Conversation Turned Into Life and Love

Exactly two years ago, Christopher Dempsey of Frankfort, Illinois, overheard the most important conversation of his life. It also happened to be the most important conversation in another individual’s life — Heather Krueger. Christopher was relaxing in the break room at work when he caught part of the conversation. A co-worker mentioned a relative was in need of a

Shortly after the confirmation came in, Christopher called Heather to break the news. It wasn’t long until the two met, went out for lunch, and started to get to know one another. As the surgery drew near, they spent more and more time together. The pair even did some fundraising work together. “We were going out looking for donations for a benefit, and I just started thinking,”

liver transplant. The co-worker’s cousin, Heather, had stage 4 liver disease. Her doctors said she had a 50 percent chance of making it through the following two months. Time was of the essence. Wanting to make a difference, Christopher decided to get tested and find out if he was a match for Heather. “I just thought to myself,” Christopher said, “I would want someone to help me or my family in that situation.” The test came back. He was a match.

Christopher said, “She’s a really nice girl. She is somebody I would like to get to know.” Then, about a month after they had first met, they were in the operating room. The transplant was a success.

After the transplant, it turned out the spark was mutual. Christopher and Heather were in love — and it all began with a chance conversation, which turned out to be an incredible journey. In November 2015, Christopher proposed to Heather, and in October 2016, they were married.

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