Our mission is to provide a dental experience that makes kids say, “I can’t wait to come back!” Dr. Althauser, Dr. Olsen and Smile Missoula create beautiful smiles and healthy teeth and gums for children of all ages by providing a safe, relaxing and fun environment for children and parents!
We understand that some children have a fear of going to the dentist. While attending to the oral health of your child is our main focus, we combine that with our goal to make the experience a comfortable and positive one, to build trust with your child by treating your child as we would one of our own.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that tooth decay is the most chronic disease among children aged five to seventeen. Oral problems affecting infants are no less serious. The professionals at Smile Missoula believe that proper dental hygiene promotes the healthy growth and development of your children, and we are committed to providing the highest level of pediatric care for your child in the safest, fun, and gentle manner possible.
What your children eat affects their teeth. Sugars (found in cake, cookies, candy, milk sodas and juice) and starches (found in pretzels and potato chips) can cause tooth decay. Add to this the fact that it is more difficult to clean babies’ and children’s teeth and you can see why debris tends to remain in children’s teeth, resulting in bacteria growth and, ultimately, tooth decay. Although baby teeth (deciduous or primary teeth) are eventually replaced with permanent teeth, healthy baby teeth are fundamental to a child’s overall health and development.
Oral Health Care Necessities for Children & Infants
Baby Teeth Cleaning: Baby teeth should be cleaned as soon as they erupt. Clean your baby’s teeth with a soft washcloth or gauze after every bottle or meal. When more than one tooth erupts, you can soak a small-bristled child-sized (age-appropriate) toothbrush in warm water before using it on your baby’s teeth, as instructed by your dentist.
Baby teeth should be brushed using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Use water without fluoride until approximately six months of age.
Children’s teeth should be brushed after they are given medicine. Acids contained in medicines may eat away at tooth enamel, which serves as a natural protective coating for the teeth.
First Dental Visit: It is important that your child see a dentist by age three to establish a long-term dental hygiene and professional dental cleaning plan. We recommend a minimum of two visits per year.
Dental Sealants are used to protect teeth from decay and are appropriate as soon as a tooth erupts.
Fluoride Treatments are a major component in the prevention of childhood dental caries. This is because fluoride alters the molecular structure of the tooth, making it more resistant to acid attack and decay.
Tooth Brushing should commence as soon as your child has the coordination to do so. Replace toothbrushes every two to three months.
Dental Flossing: Parent-assisted dental flossing should commence when two teeth erupt next to each other. Independent flossing should occur when children have the ability to do it on their own (often by six years of age).
Orthodontics may be appropriate by seven years of age, but may be delayed until most of the permanent teeth have erupted around age 11-13.
Services offered for Children at Smile Missoula
We offer a wide variety of dental services for your children including:
Cleaning, x-rays, and examination
Removal of orthodontic brackets
For Your Child's Comfort
Having a pain-free and fun experience at the dental office is Smile Missoula’s top priority for your child. We offer:
Kids movies with overhead monitors
A loving and caring staff
We suggest each child see a dentist by age three. It is helpful to bring in your young child at your regular dental appointment so they can become familiar with the dental environment. They may even take a “ride” in the dental chair, sitting on your lap.
Our philosophy on treating children is to develop an environment for them that is fun and non-threatening. We move very slowly to gain their trust before any dental procedures are done.
If you have questions about your child’s teeth and children’s dentistry, please contact Smile Missoula for more information.