Friday, December 26, 2008

Help Us Welcome Our Newest Wu Orthodontics Team Member!

We’ve added a new member to our family here at Wu Orthodontics. We would like to extend the warmest of welcomes to Jenny Gudino, our new registered Dental Assistant (RDA).

Jenny comes to us with over 12 years of dental and orthodontic experience. She loves meeting new patients and watching their positive transformations thought their entire treatment. We are very excited to have Jenny join our team, and we look forward to all of the “Wunderful” contributions she will bring to our practice.

Please join us in welcoming Jenny to the team at Wu Orthodontics! Leave us a comment so we can share with Jenny how welcoming and friendly her new community is!! To find out more about Jenny, and the rest of our great team, visit our web site.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wu Orthodontics Holiday Hours - Palo Alto, CA

The holiday season is here, and that means cooler temperatures and extra time spent with loved ones. At Wu Orthodontics we will be closed for a few days during this time.

Our office will be “CLOSED” December 24th through December 26th, 2008; and, December 31st, 2008 through January 2nd, 2009.

We would like to wish all of our patients and their families a happy holiday and a WUnderful New Year!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Temporary Anchorage Devices

Dr. Wu believes in continuing education, particularly when it comes to learning the latest techniques and advancements in orthodontics. Recently, Dr. Wu attended a conference on Temporary Anchorage Devices, or TADs.

Temporary Anchorage Devices are micro implants. The devices are temporarily fixed to bone of the tooth in order to enhance the orthodontic anchorage. This can happen in one of two ways. First, it may support the teeth of the reactive unit or it may remove the need for the reactive unit altogether. In the latter case, the micro implant is subsequently removed after use.

These high tech appliances will eliminate the need for headgear, distalizers, and further reduce the need for extractions. Dr. Wu even had one placed on himself to see if it was painful and he didn't even feel a thing. This is a great advancement for patients who may need true molar intrusion; TADs reduce the need for prosthetic crown reduction, in some cases.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Pumpkin Painting

This past October, we decided to celebrate Halloween with all of our little “WUnderful” smiles! After all, Halloween is really a time for children, imagination, and celebration. So, Wu Orthodontics held a Pumpkin Painting contest! Oh, the children of Wu Orthodontics loved it.

We had some very creative and hard work put into this year's Wu Orthodontics Pumpkin Painting contest! We really have many creative and gifted children in Palo Alto. I was hard to narrow down who was the best painter! So, in the end, the staff of Wu Orthodontics decided to create a few different categories, such as happiest, spookiest, and most cuddly.

Winners received Damon Dollar tokens as well as gift certificates to Jamba Juice! Palo Alto mothers had to love that prize – a tasty Halloween treat for their young ones that wouldn’t rot their teeth!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Palo Alto's Most Talented

Dr. Wu has a tremendous amount of respect for Palo Alto families. Palo Alto, California moms and dads work in great fields, contribute a lot to our society and help to raise wonderful families.

These families serve as inspiration. One of Dr. Wu's inspirational families, the Huang's, was noticed in the news this month. Hilda Huang, an eleven-year-old at Jordan Middle School and a student of John McCarthy in the Preparatory Division at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music played the piano in front of a crowd of about 600 people at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Recently this patient of Dr. Wu's was noticed by the Public Broadcasting Station (PBS). PBS featured her talent online. See the video (below) for a closer look:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey Feathers

What are you and your family doing to celebrate Thanksgiving this year? Many families gather around a full table of stuffing, cranberry sauce, and a big fat turkey! Being together, celebrating a meal, and pausing for a moment to contemplate the many different things we all have to be grateful for is what makes this holiday so meaningful to many of us.

Even though many of our patients will be busy celebrating on November 27, we wanted to have a pre-thanksgiving celebration this year. So, we gave a feather to each of our orthodontic patients visiting the office this week for new Invisalign clear aligners or Damon system braces. We asked our orthodontic family to write one thing that they are grateful for on a feather, and then to place it on a big hand drawn turkey on the wall. We nicknamed him “Todd, the turkey.” He just looked like a Todd!

Some of the feathers were heartfelt and sentimental. Others, however, were just sweet! Look at our pictures (below) of Todd the turkey and the responses. I hope you had as much fun with this as I did! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! Don’t forget to brush and floss after dinner!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Don't Forget to See the Dentist!

Are you brushing your teeth twice a day? If yes, that’s great; but, don’t forget that it’s also important to visit the dentist every six months in addition to your regular orthodontic visits. Regular dental checkups are important for maintaining good oral health. Your dentist can:

• Check for problems that might not be seen or felt
• Detect cavities and early signs of decay
• Treat oral health problems early
• Show you how to properly brush and floss your teeth

During an oral exam the doctor will check the health of your mouth, teeth, gums, cheeks and tongue. Checkups will also include a thorough teeth cleaning and polishing. If you have not been to the dentist in the last six months, it’s time for you to schedule an appointment!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Are There Teeth Grinders in Your House?

Grind, grind, grind, grind. If you live with a teeth grinder, especially a night grinder, you may be familiar with this unpleasant sound. Other symptoms of teeth grinding (technically called “bruxism”) include:

• Sensitivity in the teeth
• Tightness or pain in the jaw
• Dull headaches, earaches, or facial pain
• Chipped, worn down, or loose teeth

People frequently grind their teeth in response to stress, so taking measures to reduce or eliminate stress can help solve the problem. Here are some things you can try to stop grinding:

• Cut back on caffeine and alcohol
• Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration
• Relax right before bedtime with a warm bath or shower
• Help your jaw learn to relax by quitting any chewing habits (pens, pencils, gum)
• When clenching or grinding happens during the day, place your tongue between your teeth to serve as a reminder to avoid the habit

If grinding goes untreated, it can lead to chipped teeth, worn enamel, chronic pain, or even TMJ, a painful jaw disorder. If the teeth-grinder in your house can’t stop, make an appointment to see us by calling 650-646-3999. Dr. Wu can help determine the cause of the problem and possibly even prescribe a custom mouthpiece to help break the habit.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Toothbrush Trivia

People have been brushing their teeth for thousands of years! In fact, the first “toothbrush” was created around 3000BC! Ancient civilizations used a thin twig with a frayed edge to rub against their teeth for cleaning.

The first toothbrush with bristles – similar to today’s toothbrushes – was invented in 1498 in China. Brushes were made out of bone or bamboo with bristles made from the hairs on the back of a hog’s neck.

It wasn’t until 1938 that the first nylon bristle toothbrush was introduced and people quickly became aware of practicing good oral hygiene.

Here are some other interesting facts about your toothbrush (and toothpaste):

• Most people are said to use blue toothbrushes over any other color
• The first toothpaste was used in 500 BC in China and India
• On average, children smile about 400 times per day
• Your toothbrush should be replaced every two months
• The first known toothpaste was used in 1780, Crest was introduced in the US in 1955 and Colgate in 1873

Friday, October 31, 2008

When Are Two Phases of Treatment Necessary?

Usually patients in orthodontic treatment already have their permanent teeth – but in some cases we have to start treatment earlier, even before the patient’s permanent teeth come in. We call this “two-phase treatment.”

When we have patients with clear developmental problems at an early age, it’s best to start work when they are young, before the problems get bigger and more difficult to treat. Examples include an upper or lower jaw that is not growing correctly, or a mouth growing in a way that doesn’t leave enough room for all the permanent teeth to come in.

In these cases we will start early and do one round of treatment – phase one – while the patient still has “baby teeth.” Phase one usually does not involve braces, but can include a different type of appliance that helps the jaw grow into place properly, such as a retainer. We’ll follow up with phase two usually a few years later, when permanent the patient’s permanent teeth have come in. Phase two often does involve braces and sometimes headgear.

In order to catch early problems, we recommend that children have an orthodontic check-up no later than age seven (and so does the American Association of Orthodontics). However, if your dentist or pediatrician sees any sign that early treatment might be necessary, he or she may recommend your child visit an orthodontist even sooner. For more information about two-phase orthodontics, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Wu please call 650-646-3999 and visit our web site.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ghosts, Goblins, and National Orthodontic Health Month!

Trick-Or-Treat! October is National Orthodontic Health Month! In honor of October’s sweet and spooky holiday, Halloween, the American Association of Orthodontists has provided trick-or-treaters with some tips and treats for a ghoulishly good time!

BOO! Spooky recipes for a “braces friendly” Halloween

Frightfully Fabulous Cupcake Sandwiches

1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup warm water
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup superfine sugar
2 cups cake flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 can of chocolate frosting or store-bought chocolate mousse
1 container of whipped topping

Assorted “braces-friendly” candy pieces such as chopped peanut butter cups, chocolate bars and melt-in-your-mouth candies.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Fill a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners and set aside.

Combine cocoa powder, water, and mix until smooth. Fold in mayonnaise. (Make sure cocoa mixture is not to hot to prevent breaking of mayonnaise). Add vanilla and whisk until smooth.

In mixer, combine sugar, cake flour, baking soda and salt and mix slowly until well incorporated. Add wet cocoa mixture, mix on medium-high until well blended. Scrape down the sides and blend for 30 seconds.

Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 way full of batter. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool on rack.

Slice each cupcake in half, horizontally, and serve the halves with chocolate mousse or frosting, whipped topping, and assorted candy pieces. Kids build the sandwiches by spreading one-half of a cupcake with mousse/frosting or whipped topping, sprinkling on candy pieces and placing the other half of cupcake on top.

Halloween Safety Tips

• Young children should always be accompanied by an adult
• Carry a flashlight
• Wear a light-colored or reflective costume
• Choose face paint over masks for young ghosts and goblins
• Have an adult inspect all treats before the children dig in

CLICK HERE to visit our web site; and have a Happy National Orthodontic Health Month!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Accessible Orthodontics for Every Patient

Accessibility is often something that is overlooked; however, accessibility can make a big difference for patients, especially those with disabilities. We want to make sure that all of our patients can easily access our office for appointments and consultations.

At Wu Orthodontics we have taken special measures to make sure our practice is completely up to code with the ADA’s accessibility requirements. To start, we have two ADA compliant restrooms, and one with a sanitary diaper changing station. All of our door handles and door locks have lever arms and are easy to open for all our patients. We have a full size elevator that provides accessible transportation between the first floor and second floor of our office.

Parking can be a challenge in our area so we provide eight dedicated parking spaces including one handicap space. Patients are able to easily enter our building without going up stairs. We also have a convenient bike rack where patients riding a bike to their appointment can lock their bikes while visiting our office.

In addition to our accessibility features, our office is set-up with a state-of-the-art security and fire alarm system. We welcome every patient to our safe, fully accessible office!

If you would like to find out more about patient accessibility at our practice, or have any questions, please contact us at 650-646-3999.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Getting Married? Smile Bright!

It’s Fall. Leaves are turning shades of orange and red, the wind is picking up and getting cooler, and pumpkin patches are full of bright orange pumpkins. Families gather together, kids head out trick-or-treating, and as always, wedding bells are ringing. That's right, Fall is one of the best times of year to tie the knot! If you are gearing up for a wedding this Fall, consider matching that perfect dress with a perfect smile!

At Wu Orthodontics we offer options ranging from Invisalign "invisible" braces to Damon System Braces, and much more for the bride, the groom, or the entire wedding party! You get the girls together to get their nails done, and now you can get them together to get their teeth done! Give us a call at 650-646-3999 to schedule your date!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Gum Disease can affect your Heart!

Recent research shows that there is a direct connection between gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) and heart disease. There are several theories that explain the connection between gum disease and heart disease; but the most common theory contests that gum disease is caused by teeth that are not aligned properly. Plaque causing bacteria will begin to form on and between the teeth. The bacteria can be carried into the body’s blood stream causing blood clots that restrict nutrients and oxygen from reaching the heart.

By brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing and undergoing orthodontic treatment if your teeth are not perfectly aligned, you can prevent plaque buildup that results in heart complications. Remember, your teeth are a part of your body; and just like any other part of your body, your mouth is just as susceptible to disease!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Why are Straight Teeth so Important?

Wu OrthodonticsSome people wonder why we work so hard to give our patients straight teeth. Of course it’s nice to have a smile full of evenly aligned teeth, but did you know that straightening your teeth can keep them healthier? Straight teeth lead to better oral hygiene, increasing your chances of keeping your own natural teeth for a lifetime.

Straight teeth are less prone to decay, because they collect less plaque – the sticky colorless substance that forms on our teeth and leads to decay – and because they are easier to keep clean. Plaque can lead to cavities and can increase the risk of gum disease.

If you’re wondering whether your teeth might cause problems because they are out of alignment, visit us online to set up a consultation. Dr. Wu can help you decide whether you could benefit from orthodontic treatment.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

All Ages Benefit from Braces

Everybody Benefits from Braces!

Braces aren’t just for pre-adolescents and teenagers anymore! Anyone, at any age, can benefit from orthodontic care; whether it is correcting a problem not treated in your younger years, or catching a problem early.

To ensure the best overall treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children receive an orthodontic consultation as early as age seven. If a problem is evident, taking action early can spare a lot of treatment and expense down the road.

If you never received orthodontic treatment when you were young, don’t worry! You’re never too old for a beautiful smile. Set up an appointment for a consultation and find out how adult orthodontics will transform your smile, and your life!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Nifty “Eggs”periment

Summer is drawing to a close. If the little ones aren’t at camp, you may be running out of ideas to keep them occupied. Why not use a fun and simple science experiment to focus their attention for a while? This one includes a lesson about why it’s important to brush teeth to make plaque go away.

Gather the items you will need for this experiment:

* 1 hard-boiled egg with the shell on

* 12 ounces of Coke, Pepsi or other dark-colored cola

* 1 container large enough to hold the cola and egg

* 1 plastic bowl

* 1 toothbrush

* 1 drop of fluoride toothpaste

* Clean-up supplies

Explain to your child that plaque is a sticky layer of germs that collects on her teeth. If she doesn’t brush, plaque can cause serious problems for her teeth, for example holes in the teeth (cavities) or swollen gums (gingivitis). Tell them that you are going to do an experiment to see how plaque coats her teeth, and why brushing twice a day is important for healthy teeth and gums.

Conduct the experiment:

Make the comparison between the white color of the egg and the while color of your child's teeth.

Place the egg into the container and pour the cola over it, so that it completely covers the egg.

Let the egg sit in the cola for 24 hours.

Remove the egg from the cola. The egg will be stained and yellowish.

Explain to your child that the colored layer that has appeared on top of the eggshell is just like the layer of plaque that occurs on her teeth.

Place the egg in the plastic bowl and give your child the toothbrush with the drop of toothpaste on it.

Let her brush the "plaque" off of the egg. The yellowish film will disappear, exposing the white eggshell. Explain that the same thing happens when she brushes her teeth.

Keep up the great work with keeping those smiles healthy!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Why I love my job!

I wake up every morning feeling like the luckiest person in the world.

Everyday I have the opportunity to influence people and their lives in a positive way. As an orthodontist, I straighten their teeth and give them beautiful smiles.

The most rewarding aspect of my job is watching a quiet patient with low self confidence gradually come out of their shell start smiling and increasing their own self confidence.

I love practicing in the community in which I myself grew up. Having attended the same schools, extracurricular activities and having braces myself in the past, I know exactly where my patients in the area are coming from.

I look forward to many years ahead of creating "Wu"nderful smiles!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Tooth Fairy - Family Fun!

The Tooth Fairy

Losing your first tooth, or any baby tooth for that matter, can be exciting! Your baby tooth may be gone, but in no time you will have a bigger, “grown-up” tooth in its place. So what do you do with the lost tooth? That’s simple…place it under your pillow at night and when you are fast asleep the tooth fairy will come and whisk your tooth away leaving behind a special gift just for you! Here’s a simple craft project I found a little while back that will help make the tooth fairy’s job a little easier and give your tooth a special place to stay until it is taken away. Please click on the link for instructions and pictures!

Tooth Fairy “Tooth” Box <- click here for instructions

(remember to ask your parents for help when using hot glue and scissors)

What you will need:
1 large empty match box
Enough felt to wrap the box and inside sliding tray
Glue (tacky glue or a hot glue gun)
White, pink and blue (or your favorite color) felt for decorating the matchbox

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Why the Damon System?

The Damon™ System

We are pleased to offer our patients The Damon™ System. Damon braces allow your teeth to move more comfortably and easily than traditional braces. Thanks to these innovative new braces, achieving your perfect smile will be faster and easier than you ever thought possible.

Better Results in Less Time

With the new Damon braces, we can achieve terrific results and finish your treatment faster. Depending on your case, this may mean saving many months. After analyzing your specific needs, we will be able to provide you with a treatment plan that will have you smiling soon!

Elastic ligatures create friction and require more force and more frequent adjustments.

Damon braces allow freedom of movement, resulting in faster results with gentler forces.

Simplified Procedures

Damon braces are very precise and effective. With this system, we can reduce the need for many of the time-consuming and complicated procedures that are used with traditional braces.

Fewer Visits to the Office

Because Damon braces work more efficiently, fewer adjustments are required. As a result, your appointments will be faster and fewer in number.

Greater Comfort

Due to the unique design of this new braces system, we can move your teeth into their correct positions with much less discomfort than traditional braces. Also, Damon braces are small, very comfortable, and easy to keep clean.