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