mesa orthodontist

Smile Virtual Consult

October 31st, 2018

Smile Virtual Consult

  Orthodontic Consultations From Your Own Couch!

So you have finally decided you are going to do something about those crooked front teeth or debilitating overbite you or your child try to hide in every picture you take.  But the thought of calling the orthodontist and adding one more thing to your already overbooked schedule takes the wind right out from under your wings (no pun intended..well, kind of intended).  All you really want to know is what your options are to improve your smile, how long your treatment would take, and how much it would cost — if only there were a way to get these questions answered in the comfort of your own home, preferably while still wearing your favorite pajamas.

Well…consider us your personal genie, because your wish has been granted.  With Dr. Wing’s revolutionary new Smile Virtual Consult for Orthodontics, you can have all of these questions answered simply by sending Dr. Wing four easy pictures of your teeth.  He will take these pictures and prepare a short slide show that will explain how orthodontic treatment can improve your smile and bite, what treatment options are available to you, and of course…how much each option will cost.

This all sounds incredible, you say, but you’d still like to meet the orthodontist whom you will be entrusting your teeth or your children’s teeth to and seeing every 6-8 weeks in the office.  Well, Dr. Wing isn’t making house calls quite yet for these in-home consultations, but he has come up with something that’s a close second to actual in-person face time.  The email that he sends you will include a link to a video that he will have recorded earlier, and in this video he will be talking to you from a face bubble in the lower left corner of your screen and explaining every part of the slide show that is playing in front of you.  Other than sitting in our office movie theater and smelling the tantalizing scent of freshly baked cookies, you will have just completed the same orthodontic consultation as other patients who still choose the “old fashioned” way of coming to the office.


The best part of this in-home video consultation is that there is absolutely no fee or obligation.  After you view your video as many times as you wish, you either tell yourself “sounds amazing…but maybe later,” or “let’s do it!”  If you wish to get started, the next step is simply to call our office and schedule an appointment to get your braces on or get your teeth scanned to begin Invisalign treatment.

If you’d like to give the Smile Virtual Consult a test drive, just click on the link below and follow the simple instructions of how to upload the four pictures of your teeth and send them to Dr. Wing.  In this day and age of online shopping and doorstep delivery of any restaurant food you can imagine, doesn’t this just make sense?



January 23rd, 2018

Retainers in Orthodontics:

“How long do I have to wear these things?!”

by Jeff Wing DDS MS

Perhaps the question I get asked most often (other than “when do I get my braces off?” and “why do you ride a hoverboard around your office?”), is…”how long do I have to wear my retainers?”  There is nothing more frustrating than going through 18-24 months of braces, only to wake up one morning and see a lower incisor going rogue and breaking away from the nicely aligned team.  This phenomenon is called “orthodontic relapse,” and it is one of the most common reasons that adults and older teens come into our office seeking treatment.  Before I answer the question of how long retainers need to be worn, let’s first take a look at why teeth want to move after the braces come off in the first place.


Reasons for Orthodontic Relapse:

  • Contraction of Periodontal Ligament        As teeth are moved with braces, the fibers of the periodontal ligament are stretched (these ligaments attach the roots of the teeth to the bony tooth sockets…basically they’re what hold the teeth in the jaw).  When braces are removed, these fibers can act like little rubber bands, springing back to their original position and bringing the tooth with them.


  • Late Growth of Jaw - As with every other physical feature of the human body, some people are luckier than others when it comes to the genetics of their teeth and jaws.  The unlucky ones have genes that tell the lower jaw to continue to grow well past the normal age of growth completion.  This can gradually turn a perfect bite into…well, a less than perfect bite (such as an underbite).



  • Newly Remodeled Bone Not Fully Calcified - As the roots of the teeth are moving, the bone surrounding these roots remodels to accommodate for the new position of the root.  If this bone hasn’t had a chance to fully calcify, it can’t stabilize the root well enough to keep the tooth from moving.


  • Facial Muscles or Tongue - The forces from facial muscles and any habits with the cheeks or lips can put pressure on the teeth and cause them to move.  The habit I see cause the most unwanted movement of teeth is the dreaded tongue thrust.  Instead of swallowing with the tongue pressing against the roof of the mouth, it pushes forward against the back of the teeth.  This can lead to flared front teeth (“buck teeth”) and the vertical separation of the upper and lower teeth (“open bite”).


  • Wisdom teeth - These infamous teeth commonly grow in at a forward angle, which puts pressure on the teeth in front of them and causes the front teeth to shift out of alignment.  Normal 6-year and 12-year molars also have a tendency of drifting forward with time, but this is usually a slower and less drastic effect than wisdom teeth.


So…as you can see, retainers after braces are critical!  Now, back to the original question…”how long do I have to endure the shame and embarrassment of taking these things out in a restaurant with a string of saliva hanging from my mouth?” 

Full time wear (22 hours/day) is necessary for a certain amount of time after the braces are removed.  This recommended time varies among orthodontists from 6 weeks to 6 months.  After this initial period of full time wear, it is then recommended that the retainers are worn only while sleeping.  And if you happen to be a major party animal or Netflix binge watcher who only sleeps for 3-4 hours, this doesn’t cut it — we’re looking for more like 7-8 hours each night. 

After a year (give or take) of wearing the retainers each night, patients can then test the tooth stability waters by dropping down to wearing them every other night.  At this point, it is recommended that personal best judgment is used — if the retainers feel unusually tight after not wearing them for 48 hours, it would be wise to stick with the "every night” routine for a while longer.  If they slide right in with minimal pressure, you might be one of the lucky ones who only needs to wear them long term for 1-2 nights per week.

The moral of this slobbery retainer story is that the best answer to the question of “how long do I have to wear my retainers?” is…as long as you want your teeth to stay straight!

"We LOVE Wing Orthodontics! I have had 2 children as patients and a 3rd about ready to be a patient. The office is so friendly and organized. They are prompt and always help my children feel at ease."~ Laurie D
"Dr. Wing and his staff have been taking care of my teeth for the last 16 months. They always treat you like you are their only patient. Dr. Wing is great at spending the extra time with you to answer questions and make sure everything is good."~ Joseph L
"The staff at Wing is amazingly sweet and helpful, Dr. Wing is a caring and thorough orthodontist, and the way they treat their patients is phenomenal. The movie theater in the office and awesome client parties don't hurt either."~ Sarah G
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