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!