Kenneth Woo DDS - March 2020

Growing Into Dentistry



MARCH 2020

When I first started working at Woo Wang Dental, it had a different name, and the young Dr. Edmond Woo was still in high school. I can remember him frequently coming by the office and saying hello to us. He was such a polite young man.

very busy passing instruments but hardly uttering a word. The doctor can just raise his eyesight or his finger, and the assistant will do the next step! Unlike some other offices where people communicate loudly or even yell down the hallway, you guys are like dancers doing the tango, and before we know it, the procedure is done!" Comments like this make the work I do every day worth it. I’ve been a witness to the way dentistry can change lives. I can still see the large tears rolling out of the eyes of a patient whose smile had been crooked and yellowed. When Dr. Woo handed her the mirror after a successful procedure to correct the function and look of her teeth, her reaction was instantaneous and beautiful. We all felt how much this new smile meant to her. Moreover, as I learned, I found dentistry to be very interesting and exciting. Of course, my team makes it easy, too! For some reason, Dr. Woo’s office attracts some really wonderful people to work with. We’re like one big family, and I enjoy working with them. They offer feedback and advice behind closed doors but openly praise and show their gratitude to us in a group setting. It’s this balance that is so encouraging for my team. I’ve noticed that one of the powerful parts of working here is our leadership. Dr. K. Woo worked hard to get the practice to where it is today, and Dr. E. Woo and Dr. Wang continue to help it improve. They are all leading us into this new world of technological advancements, including cone-beam imaging, digital X-rays, paperless charts, and improved restoration design and creation equipment. Our leaders are so invested in finding new technology that will help patients! After 16 years in this industry, I’m so excited to continue watching this practice grow and see it take on new opportunities for advancement. Every day I spend with my work family changing the lives of patients is another day well spent. Thank you, Dr. K. Woo, for this opportunity and a special thank- you to the patients who I’ve been able to help over the years. Serving you has been a pleasure.

17 Firstfield Rd. Gaithersburg, MD 20878 240.683.3833 3704 Perry Ave. Kensington, MD 20895 301.933.1833 2 Locations

And before we knew it, he became a dentist, too — just like his dad!

Today, Dr. E. Woo and his dad, Dr. Kenneth Woo, and Dr. Hokai Wang lead our teams at Woo Wang Dental. I am so happy that Dr. E. Woo and Dr. Wang joined the practice because they are so full of energy and excitement. But I have Dr. K. Woo to thank for the opportunity I have to see the practice grow.

When I was first recommended to interview with Dr. K. Woo’s team more than 16 years ago, I had no dental knowledge, but I knew this was a special place to work. I was told the employees seemed happy working here and the boss was very kind. When I went in for the interview, I promised to work hard and learn all I could about dentistry to fulfill the open dental assistant position.

Sixteen years later, I’m so grateful he agreed to take a chance on me. Dr. K. Woo actually taught me everything from scratch! He was so patient, and my coworkers were helpful, too. Today, I have a lot of training and experience under my belt, thanks in no small part

to Dr. K. Woo’s patience and guidance. I credit his work to a compliment the assistants and I all received once!


“You guys are incredible,” the

patient said. “It was enjoyable watching you work. You both were

–Tiffany Phung •

1 240.683.3833

Fact vs. Fiction: The Mediterranean Diet

An Easy Way to Eat Healthier for Your Heart

Myth No. 2: It’s expensive. False. You don’t have to eat only what’s native to the Mediterranean, so don’t swear off avocados just yet. Eat locally by choosing in-season fruits and vegetables that benefit your diet and your wallet. You’ll find that preparing meals centered on vegetables and whole grains is very affordable, especially when you get your grains from dry bulk bins. And while buying olives and cheese might be expensive, you can get away with buying small amounts. Try different brands of canned olives for affordable alternatives to bottled ones. Plus, some grocery stores place cheap cuts of their premium cheeses near the deli. Myth No. 3: Nutritionally, it’s 30%–40% fat. True. But be careful about which type of fat. The Mediterranean diet relies heavily on olive oil instead of butter or lard for cooking. Saturated fats, trans fats, or hydrogenated fats like palm oil don’t contribute positively to your heart health, but a diet based on natural fats can improve your overall cholesterol levels. Fatty fish are also crucial for the Mediterranean diet and include salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, albacore, and lake trout. Thanks to omega-3 fatty acids, consumption of these fish improves your blood circulation and reduces inflammation in the body. If you’re concerned about your heart health, try out this plant-based diet with a focus on foods local to you for long-term health and delicious meals. Your body will thank you!

While the basis of the Mediterranean

diet has been a staple in its titular region for centuries, it wasn’t until

the 1960s that nutritionists popularized the concept in

Western culture. Doctors noticed that Mediterranean countries like Greece and Italy have fewer heart disease-related deaths than the U.S. and northern Europe. When they looked

to regional eating habits for answers, they found a common plant-based diet rich in healthy fats, seafood, and bread. However, in modern years, misconceptions plague the popular diet, so let’s clear some up.

Brushing and flossing don’t require too much of your attention — similar to chewing or putting on socks. But if you’re seeing a swirl of red when you spit in the sink or if the floss you run between your teeth is coming out pink, your gums are sending you a signal that it’s time to pay attention. Gingivitis and periodontitis are two of the most common conditions that cause bleeding gums. When plaque builds up along the lining of your gums, it can harden, become more difficult to remove, and eat away at the health of your teeth and gums. This accumulation can cause sore, bleeding, and puffy-looking gums — all symptoms of gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis. The effects of periodontitis are beyond skin-deep and can affect the integrity and function of your jaw and the tissues that support the movement of your mouth. Beyond common dental conditions, seeing blood in the sink can be a sign of vitamin deficiencies, medication side effects, ill-fitting oral appliances or dentures, and in some rare cases, leukemia and hemophilia (a blood-clotting disorder). What Blood in the Sink After Brushing or Flossing Means (And How We Can Help!) SEEING RED? Myth No. 1: It’s rigid. False. There are no defined portion sizes for the Mediterranean diet. Instead, it comes with a loose guideline: Eat a plant-based diet of mostly fruits and vegetables with a weekly intake of fish, poultry, beans, and eggs. Dairy products are allowed in conservative amounts, but nutritionists discourage red meat intake whenever possible. To the delight of many Mediterranean dieters, a moderate amount of red wine is encouraged!

toothbrush and the proper flossing technique twice each day can be vital to gentle, thorough cleaning. Furthermore, regular dental appointments can be your best defense against bleeding gums. At Woo Wang Dental, we can monitor your gums for signs of pain and damage, and we won’t just leave you to your own devices at home! Our team can help you select the best toothbrush for optimal cleaning power and the light cleaning your gums need. In addition, we can teach you about proper flossing technique, walk you through the options, and help you choose the right method. You don’t have to fight a bloody sink on your own. Our team is here to offer your gums some relief and give you the tools you need to fight against it. Learn more about our treatment offerings and schedule your appointment at You can also call our teams at 301.933.1833 or 240.683.3833.

The good news for those seeing blood in the sink is that treatment and future prevention for bleeding gums is fairly easy. Using a soft-bristled


Sparkling Review!

Written in Maryland

When it comes to literacy, few states can claim as

much fame as Maryland. Between Edgar Allan Poe’s


"First-time visit for tooth extraction. Top-

poetic tales and Upton Sinclair’s pursuit of the truth, plenty of authors make our state proud. In

notch workmanship and professionalism. Thorough explanations of available services without pressuring future services onto the patient. Dr. Woo is now my go-to guy for future dental needs. Five stars." –Bill B.

honor of the many literacy days in March, our team chose three Maryland-based authors we think you’re going to love.

Alice McDermott

Recognized for her New York Times bestselling classics, Alice McDermott writes riveting tales of everyday families and the powerful stories found within the mundane. Born in Brooklyn, New York, McDermott uses the city as a backdrop in many of her stories, but readers are treated to midcentury and modern tales of love, loss, and lessons found in the

family tree. Each of her many books keeps readers riveted, and their varied premises include the transformation in growing up and the flaws found in even the most perfect lives. As for her Maryland connection, McDermott spins her tales from her Bethesda, Maryland, home!

New Patient Special!

Orly Konig

What could be better than a Gaithersburg-based author? How about one who has a story based in Maryland, for starters! Orly Konig’s debut book, “The Distance Home,” pulls readers into our gorgeous, rural Maryland landscape to tell the story of Emma Metz, who is returning home after fleeing from tragedy. Upon her father’s death, Emma is forced to confront her past and those she left back home in Maryland on a journey to learning more about herself and her family. In 2018, Konig released “Carousel Beach.” When Maya Brice enlists the help of 90-year- old Hank Hauser to restore a beloved carousel, she learns more about her grandmother’s secret love and the bonds that connect three strong women.


George Pelecanos

If gritty crime novels that perfectly toe the blurred line of morality are more your style, look no further than this Silver Spring-based author. George Pelecanos has written almost 20 novels based in Washington, D.C., many of which deal with crime, the dirty underworld, and solving twisted mysteries that lead readers down paths with heart-pounding intensity. Today, Pelecanos is most known for his work on HBO’s critically acclaimed show “The Wire.”

Look for these authors at your local library or check them out on or



17 Firstfield Rd. Gaithersburg, MD 20878 240.683.3833


Meet Dental Assistant Tiffany Phung! 1 Have You Heard These Myths About the Mediterranean Diet? Stop the Gum Bleeding With Woo Wang Dental! 2 Check Out These Maryland Authors Our Clients Say It Best 3

Bringing Love, Joy, and Life Back to Kishi Station 4

TAMA, THE CALICO During the mid-2000s, the Kishi Train Station in Japan began to deteriorate. By 2006, Kishi Station was left completely unstaffed because of low ridership and financial problems. However, one last resident still remained after everyone else was long gone: a black, white, and tan cat named Tama. Tama first appeared at the station as a young cat in the late 1990s. She lived near the train station and would visit commuters daily to receive affection and the


her before he moved away — he couldn’t bear to take her from the station she loved to visit so much.

So, Kojima decided to go meet Tama. He liked her immediately and adopted her. A year later, Tama was officially named the Stationmaster of Kishi Station, the first cat stationmaster in Japan. To complete her look, Kojima gave her a small conductor hat to wear as she greeted commuters from her window perch inside the ticket gates. As an official stationmaster, Tama became well known all across Japan and throughout the world. She appeared in the media and on promotional materials that soon brought much-needed foot traffic to Kishi Station. Thousands of tourists came rushing to Kishi to see Tama for themselves, ride the Tamaden carriage, and pick up Tama merchandise inside the station. Tama brought joy to all commuters for the next several years before passing away in 2015. Nearly 3,000 people attended her funeral, and her legacy lives on. Tama’s successors continue as stationmasters: Nitama, who serves as Kishi stationmaster, and assistant Yontama at Idakiso, five stations away. Tama’s friendly and loving nature impacted many people around her, and she will always be affectionately known as the cat who saved the Japanese train station.

occasional treat. But, as it turned out, her continued visits to Kishi Station would end up playing a much bigger role for the station.

The same year it became unstaffed, residents living near the station asked the president of the Wakayama Electric Railway, Mitsunobu Kojima, to revive the station because the cat’s survival depended on it. It turns out Tama’s original owner had asked the railway workers to care for

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