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Frequently Asked Questions

New Patient Q & A

What should I expect during a virtual consultation?

Now you can have an orthodontic consult from the convenience of your home!  Dr. Katie and staff can discuss your concerns and goals regarding treatment and provide you with a preliminary treatment and financial plan.

Submit your pictures and necessary insurance information through our virtual consultation portal HERE. Dr. Katie will review your records and send you your individually tailored treatment plan so that you can be one step closer to your new smile!


What should I expect during a in-office consultation?

After a quick office tour, we will take detailed records of your mouth and face.  Dr. Katie will review these records and do a complete clinical exam.  She will go over an individually tailored treatment plan and answer any questions the patient and family may have.

Following the clinical assessment, our treatment coordinator will review a detailed financial plan. This plan will factor in any available insurance coverage and will break down payments for families through our 0% interest, in-house financing.

We encourage our patients and families to ask any and all questions during these consultations so that we can provide you with YOUR best orthodontic experience.

How long are the consultation appointments?

Virtual consultations typically take twenty- thirty minutes to complete. They are designed to easily fit in with your busy schedule so your family can get an idea of what orthodontic treatment would look like with Bullwinkel Orthodontics.

In-office consultations are sixty-minute appointments. These appointments cover everything from records to treatment plans and financial plans. We understand orthodontic treatment can be big decision and want to be there to assist your family however we can.

What is the next step after my consultation ?

Next steps will depend on Dr. Katie’s treatment recommendations. Some patients are ready for treatment right away while others we suggest waiting until dental work has been completed or until more permanent teeth have erupted. Regardless, our treatment coordinator will guide you and your family through the process at the end of your consultation appointment.

Can I start treatment the same day as my consultation?

Yes, we can most definitely start a patient’s treatment the same day as their consultation! We love being able to offer this opportunity for patients who are ready to start their orthodontic journey!


Does your office accept insurance?

Our office does accept all insurances! We would be happy to file these for you to determine your benefits. This preliminary estimate from your insurance company can be considered when drafting an orthodontic payment plan.

What are my payment options for treatment?

Our office offers interest-free, in-house financing. We allow families to spread our fee over time to reduce the monthly fee and give you flexibility to budget payments.  We do provide discounts to those who would like to pay in full and accept HSA/FSA debit cards.  Care Credit is our third party option for those who would like even more flexibility with monthly payments.  If your family has orthodontic insurance coverage, we can take insurance estimates into consideration to further reduce your take-home fee.

DAY 1:
The placement of your braces takes about 1-2 hours.  Your braces will feel a little sharp against your lips and gums.  It may take up to a week for your gums and tongue to get comfortable with your new braces.  It may also take about a week to learn to talk with them properly.  Singing in the car or the shower is a great way to practice!

The day after getting your braces is the WORST!!!  It only gets better from here I PROMISE!!! Your teeth will be sore as the braces slowly begin to move your teeth.  Tylenol or Advil is the best pain-relieving medicine for discomfort caused by the braces, although you may use any pain reliever to which you are accustomed.  Soft foods are recommended for the first couple of days after your braces are placed.  Remember to brush and floss as directed even though your teeth are sore!

Your teeth should not be as sore as they were initially, and they should start to feel a little loose.  This is an important time for you as a new orthodontic patient.  You must brush, and floss better than ever to keep your teeth and gums clean.  It is essential to establish good brushing habits early!  Remember, clean teeth look better and move faster than teeth with plaque and decay. 

You should notice minor movements and spaces beginning to appear between some of your teeth!  This is to be expected.  Your good brushing and flossing habits should be in full force and you should be getting ready for your first regular check-up.  Good luck and please do not hesitate to call with any questions or concerns!!

A careful orthodontic patient can eat almost any food without damaging his or her braces.  However, there are three types of food that typically cause problems for orthodontic patients and should be avoided. The general rule is to avoid foods that are:

  1. Sticky
  2. Hard
  3. High in Sugar

Sticky Foods:
Taffy, caramels, Jolly Ranchers, Starburst, gummy bears, gummy worms, (anything gummy!), bubblegum, and any additional foods that may be considered sticky or cause orthodontic breakage.

Hard Foods:
Popcorn, caramel, nuts, pretzels, peanut butter, ice, corn-on-the-cob, corn chips, Doritos, hard tacos, uncooked carrots, life-savers, hard candy, pizza crust, hard breads, and anything else that may be considered hard may break your braces.

     Remember: Chewing on pencils, pens, and fingernails can also damage your braces.

Hard Sugar Foods and Drinks:
High sugar foods and drinks like most desserts or soft drinks can cause decay and decalcification (white spots) around your braces.  Unless you can brush your teeth immediately after you have high sugar food and drink, avoid them.


**Remember you MUST continue to see your regular DENTIST for your check-ups and cleanings. We recommend that

you see your DENTIST every 4 months while in orthodontic treatment instead of the normal 6 month check-ups**

Full Service Orthodontic Practice

We are always available to talk with you and address your concerns. Please feel free to contact us during the following hours through our office
phone number or e-mail address. After hours, you may contact us through our answering service. Patient’s of record receive
Dr. Katie’s cell phone number and are WELCOME to call or text her with concerns as well!