Kenneth Woo DDS - April 2020

Remembering Uncle Dennis DENTAL HYGIENIST EVELYN LAI SHARES HER FAMILY’S CANCER STORY

WOO’S NEWS APRIL 2020 mybestdentalcare.com

M y uncle, Dennis Chang, was the kind of uncle every kid wants. Since he was the youngest of all his siblings, he acted as the bridge between the next

next day. I spent a few hours by his side with my family before they convinced me that it was best that I go home that night. I relented, said goodbye, and went home.

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My uncle Dennis died that night.

generation — my cousins and me — and his: my mom and her siblings. He never failed to make us feel understood, and he supported each of us in everything we set our minds to. He was a role model for several people in my family, and to this day, whenever something reminds us of him, we can’t help but smile and share stories of Uncle Dennis.

It’s crazy to think it’s been 15 years since we lost Dennis, but today, as a dental hygienist, I have had a unique opportunity to assist in the prevention and early detection of cancer diagnoses. As dental professionals, we’re often searching for signs of oral cancer, and that’s not a duty I take lightly. We look at the tissues in the cheek and tongue, often using a VELscope light to highlight troublesome areas. Cancer is never easy. It sucks no matter what kind it is, and watching a family member go through the diagnosis and treatment is very difficult. But our loving team at Woo Wang Dental is here to support you and your family along your cancer journey. I’m proud to do it, especially when I can help families like mine find peace. Even today, there are certain things that remind me of my uncle. I’ve loved watching his kids grow up, and it’s been truly amazing to see their personalities take on some of their dad’s traits. I also cherished the guitar he once gave me. Uncle Dennis fixed it up for me and encouraged me to learn, but I never did pick up the skill. Still, I always treasured that keepsake, and it turns out his son does have some musical talent. So, I gave the guitar to my cousin. I was happy to have kept it all these years and thankful I could give my cousin a connection to his father.

Dennis passed away in 2005 at the age of 42 after a courageous battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Since April happens to be National Cancer Control Month, I can’t think of a more fitting topic to write about than my uncle’s selfless nature and the tough road he faced. When Dennis died, he was fighting cancer for the second time in his life. Dennis beat his cancer once, and to celebrate, the whole family went to Cancun! It was a special time for all of us. When he was diagnosed again, his prognosis was grim. I would often visit Uncle Dennis in the hospital when I was in college. Even if he was sedated, I’d sit with him, do my homework, and spend time with his family. At the time, his kids were still pretty young. There are a few key moments during my uncle’s second round of cancer that I can vividly recall. I remember being the only one in the room when

he woke up one day, and even though he never really lost that spark that made him everyone’s favorite uncle, I didn’t know what to say. I just remember telling him it was all going to be okay.

Ironically, our family has very few pictures of Dennis. He was always the man behind the camera, snapping photos and videotaping our adventures. In a way, it makes sense. He was the root of so much joy for our family for so long, and the photos and videos he took are proof of that.

Another time, something was telling me to go see my uncle, even though I had class the

–Evelyn Lai

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Pucker Up, Buttercup

3 Tips for Healthy Lips

when your lips taste like cherry, stay away from flavored balms. These can actually lead to chapped lips.

The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but your lips let people know how you really feel. A smile and a laugh invite warm

2. Make time to exfoliate.

conversation, whereas a sharp frown lets people know it’s not a good time to chat. Your lips do a lot of work, so make sure you’re taking care of them! Here are three rules to follow when it comes to maintaining good lip health.

You know how your shower loofah sloughs away dead skin cells, keeping your skin soft and healthy? Your lips are also covered in dead skin cells that need to be gently removed. Don’t worry, you don’t have to buy a tiny loofah. Instead, whip up a DIY scrub to exfoliate your lips. Just mix 1 part honey with 2 parts sugar. Once a week, massage the scrub gently into your lips, let sit for 10 minutes, then remove with a gentle face wash. Regular exfoliation keeps your lips soft and smooth.

1. Mind your own beeswax.

Lip balm is a must, and not just for soothing chapped lips. Ensuring your lips stay moisturized will keep them healthy and prevent chapped, split lips. But before you apply the lip balm that’s been collecting dust on your dresser, check the ingredients. A good balm will have a base of beeswax, paraffin, and/or petroleum jelly. These lock in moisture and don’t evaporate as quickly.

3. Don’t forget your sunscreen.

Research from George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C., found that the No. 1 area people forget to apply sunscreen is the lips. We tend to forget that our lips are part of our skin, which is troubling because skin cancer around the lips can be very dangerous. If you’re going outside, be sure to protect your lips with lip balm containing SPF protection of 30 or higher.

When shopping for lip balm, avoid harmful ingredients. Salicylic acid, menthol, camphor, and silicone can dry out your lips, and while it’s fun

Maryland’s Contributions to the American Revolution LOCAL PRIDE

The Battles of Lexington and Concord began more than 240 years ago this April in Massachusetts. They incited the American Revolutionary War, which was filled with tensions that had been boiling for years prior to the fight. While no major war battles were fought in Maryland, the state still played a critical role in this event. Celebrate those contributions during this historic month with these facts. A Revolutionary Nickname General George Washington considered the “Maryland Line” regiment to have some of the best soldiers on the front. Historians point to the organization and time the regiment spent training prior to combat as creating one of the most cohesive and powerful units in the war. In particular, the so-called Maryland 400 joined Delaware troops and took a stand against the British who were attacking American soldiers on multiple fronts in the Battle of Brooklyn in 1776. This limited the number of casualties and allowed American troops to flee south for better positioning. Because of their prowess and dedication, Maryland was nicknamed the Old Line State. Serving as Homebase Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was once considered the capital of our then- growing country, but “redcoat” insurgents made it nearly impossible for

leaders to meet out of earshot of the enemy. So, the country’s leaders and generals found a meeting place at the Maryland State House’s Old Senate Chamber in what was then Baltimore Town, Maryland. The city served as the capital from November 1783 to June 1784, and the Treaty of Paris, which formally ended the war, was signed in this great hall. The Battle for Independence Maryland joined the colonies in declaring independence from the British in 1776, but the path to freedom wasn’t that simple. Like many states, Maryland had its fair share of loyalists who refused to agree to independence from the British. Among these were some of Maryland’s founding families. ( Fun Fact: Maryland’s flag is one of the most unique flags in the Union, bearing the crest of two of its founding families, the Calvert and Crossland families.) Twelve years later, Maryland pledged its allegiance to the union by signing the Articles of Confederation — the original Constitution — in 1781.

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Sparkling Review! "Dr. Woo, Dr. Wang, and all of the staff at Kensington Dental Center are great. The practice is friendly, efficient, and up to date. We felt well-taken care of." –Beatrice G.

We Went Green!

On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans joined forces and crossed

political lines for the sake of our Earth. This was the beginning of Earth Day, and for the next 50 years, demonstrations and volunteers calling

JOIN US IN PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT

for better protection and care for the Earth spread into other regions of the world. This year is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and while there is still plenty for us to do, we’re proud to continue doing our part at Woo Wang Dental. Our contribution to helping the environment starts at the most basic level. We recycle all of the big five materials: aluminum, glass, plastic, paper, and steel. We have

contracted with a licensed recycling company and hazardous waste hauler to ensure our materials are disposed of properly.

Woo Wang Dental also recognizes that many of the materials that are not accepted in regular recycling and waste bins still need to be discarded appropriately. We recycle all our computer parts and

New Patient Special!

electronics to guarantee these items are taken to the proper waste facilities. These parts can be refurbished into new materials or destroyed safely to avoid contamination. We also refill or recycle our toner cartridges to avoid polluting with the chemicals found in these products. We do our part to avoid printing and using paper altogether, too! We’re proud to announce that our entire office has gone paperless when it comes to our banking and bills. We even send all our appointment reminders through email, text, or phone calls. Finally, we encourage many patients to do what they can with the dental products they use by stocking and supplying all-natural oral care products. From toothpaste to mouthwash, these products protect your mouth from harmful bacteria and decay while protecting the Earth from further pollutants and damage. It’s a win-win for both our patients and our globe.

REFER A FRIEND AND RECEIVE A FREE TEETH- WHITENING KIT!

This Earth Day, join the spirit of the holiday's originators and do your part to be a good steward of the Earth. Learn more about our green initiatives and inquire about our products by calling 301.933.1833 or 240.683.3833. Visit EarthDay.org to learn more about this important holiday.

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Honoring Cancer Control Month 1 WHAT'S INSIDE?

Show Your Lips Some Summer Love Celebrate Maryland’s Patriotic History 2 Protect the Environment With Your Oral Hygiene! Our Clients Say It Best 3

Eco-Friendly Diets 4

SAVE THE PLANET WITH YOUR PLATE

THE TOP 3 WAYS TO EAT ECO-FRIENDLY

Can your diet save the planet?

EAT PLANT-BASED DIETS The main goal of a plant-based diet is to replace animal products as the centerpiece of the meal. At least three-fourths of your meal should be vegetarian, but you don’t necessarily need to cut meat out altogether. For example, eating a Mediterranean diet can be very sustainable. Red meat is rare, and there’s a strong focus on legumes and vegetables. ADOPT MEATLESS MONDAYS OR MORNINGS If you’re not ready to commit to a plant-based diet, going vegetarian one day a week can be a great option. Adopting a plant-based diet one day a week or eliminating meat from one meal a day is a great way to reduce meat consumption. GO FLEXITARIAN If you want to eat more vegetarian meals but find animal products are too hard to give up, going flexitarian is a good compromise. A flexitarian eats mainly plant-based dishes but also includes a modest amount of poultry, fish, milk, and eggs with a limited amount of red meat. If you’re able to dedicate even just one week to trying a plant- based diet, it can help you get a feel for if you’re capable of making the switch. You may even realize that it’s not hard to change your diet, and you might find it fun to try a whole different range of flavors through vegetarian food as you “reinvent” your favorite meaty dishes.

It can be difficult to see the connection between your plate and the planet, but scientists say that eating less red meat and processed foods can greatly reduce your environmental impact. About 25% of climate change today is fueled by agriculture and factory farming, particularly the large quantities of the greenhouse gas methane that cows produce. This means that the fewer animal products you consume, the more sustainable your diet will be. Producing and packaging beef is 100 times more emissions-intensive than producing legumes. While a lack of protein is a common concern about plant-based diets, many dietary experts say that plant-based diets can meet nutritional needs. Also, proteins aren’t the only nutrient your body needs,

and dozens of vegetables and starches can offer a combination of proteins that are as complete and healthy as beef or chicken.

With April being Keep America

Beautiful Month, here are some eco-friendly diet adjustments anyone can make to help preserve the planet.

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