Now here’s something to smile about.

A Destin orthodontist is introducing a new program to reward his patients with gift certificates for earning good grades, logging community service hours and more.

Dr. Scott Runnels Orthodontics introduced the Patient Rewards Hub program in early August. This program is a fun way to reward patients for doing a great job in and out of orthodontic treatment.

The hub is powered by PracticeGenius and is the industry’s first web-based marketing and communication application developed exclusively for orthodontists.

Runnels said that the main reason for introducing this program is to help with communication between patients, parents, dental partners and the dental community, and to reward patients for doing well in school and carrying out good deeds. Runnels’ goal for the program is “to strive for excellence.”

It allows patients with or without braces to earn points/rewards that can be redeemed online for great prizes.

Patients without braces can earn points in many different ways before they even start orthodontic treatment. A couple of these ways include graduating from their “Hang Ten Team” to active orthodontic treatment, or writing a story about how they lost their tooth.

“The ‘Hang Ten Team’ is where our kids that are not quite ready for braces become a part of a club that makes them feel a part of the office,” said Melissa Fuller, clinical coordinator at Dr. Scott Runnels Orthodontics. 

“We start screening children at age seven, not for braces, but just to see if we can help with the arch development,” Fuller added.

Patients in active treatment can earn points by maintaining excellent oral hygiene, no broken braces, wearing their appliances as instructed and more.

When exploring what do with the program, Runnels who’s had his practice in Destin for 14 years, got the idea to create a card system for the kids to accumulate points because “all adults love having a credit card.”

 “I couldn’t really come up with a great design,” Runnels said of the challenge to find the perfect background for the rewards card. “In that time period, I turned 40 and Houston (Thackeray) painted a picture for me and I had it in the office. And I walked by and said ‘you know, that would be a great design for the card.’ ”

Runnels’ birthday was in February. He has known his patient Houston Thackeray, 11, all his life.

The 11 year old’s painting of a surfer riding a rolling wave was an especially great design for the card since it incorporates Runnels’ passion for the sport.

On the card, Runnels had the picture muted into the background with his office logo over the top. Patients will receive their new Patient Rewards card at their next appointment.

Patients can even earn points for sharing their practice experience with their friends and family, and by participating in the many fun contests that Runnels offers. 

This point system allows patients to go online to the rewards website and redeem prizes like gift certificates to stores such as Bass Pro Shop, Target and Best Buy.

For more information, visit or call 850-269-0333. Runnels’ practice is located at 4399 Commons Dr. E, Ste. 100A in Destin.