Dr. Thomas Duffy DDS. Peninsula Family Dentistry. Dental Implants, Dental Emergencies, General, Cosmetic, Restorative, Preventative, Pediatric, Family Dentistry. Dentist in Gig Harbor WA 98335

Children’s Dentistry

Your Child’s Hygiene Exam

From their very first tooth, we welcome babies and children into their teen years and on to adulthood! Your Peninsula Family dental team will make sure we are proactively addressing your children’s dental and oral health needs—and we strive to make going to the dentist a fun, stress-free time. We specialize in a gentle touch and teach you and your child to build good habits from an early age.

At your child’s first appointment, you’ll see how we love kids! We know that frequent, early visits to the dentist help your child build trust and put him or her at ease, especially in the event they need treatment in the future.

Baby/toddler dental care

Did you know?
Baby teeth, also called primary teeth, begin forming at six weeks gestation! At birth, babies have 20 primary teeth that will begin erupting from the gums between six to twelve months of age. Baby teeth are important place holders for permanent teeth and of course support eating, speaking and smiling as baby grows and more teeth begin to erupt. Your child’s baby teeth should be completely in by approximately age three.

Baby’s first appointment

Dr. Duffy would like to meet your baby by his or her first birthday. Whether you want to bring her along to your appointment or schedule a separate time, it’s up to you. Usually, the first appointments are fairly quick and easy, with your little one sitting in your lap to help your child feel comfortable.

We’ll address any concerns you have and discuss:

  • Teething
  • Tooth and gum care—and the importance of a good oral hygiene routine for baby. As your child gets older, we will begin gently cleaning his or her teeth so they learn that it can be fun!
  • Healthy eating and how to reduce baby’s chances of developing early cavities
  • How to handle dental emergencies involving your baby or toddler

Learn more: Get tips about caring for your baby’s teeth

Your 3 to 12-year-old’s dental care

Did you know?
Like most kids, your child is busy—brushing his or her teeth is likely not a priority! By three, your child has her 20 babies’ (primary) teeth, including two sets of upper and lower molars. He or she will begin losing baby teeth beginning approximately age six, and the process of losing and replacing teeth will be completed by about age 12. By the time your child is a young adult (18-20), he should have his wisdom teeth.

Make appointments with your dentist a “routine thing” for your child

Going to the dentist should be a regular, normal occurrence in your child’s life. It’s our philosophy that your child feels safe, comfortable, and addressed in a way he or she understands. Not only will your youngster walk out the door with shiny clean teeth, but an understanding about why taking care of his or her teeth is good for oral health and a healthier body.


Our pediatric dental hygiene appointments will include:

  • An exam of your child’s mouth and neck to look for obvious cavities, injuries, or other problems
  • Digital X-rays to make sure teeth are cavity-free and that placement of baby and adult teeth are in their proper positions
  • Gentle teeth cleaning, floss, protective fluoride, and teeth sealants, as indicated, to provide additional protection for your child’s teeth
  • Age-appropriate conversations with child and parents about healthy eating at home, how cavities are caused, the importance of brushing and flossing, and other topics such as how to prevent and handle dental emergencies involving your child
  • Answering any questions about any upcoming dental work your child may need such as pulling a tooth or filling a cavity. Again, we make every effort to help your child feel safe and comfortable
  • Discussing the possibility of braces

Talk to us about mouth guards to protect your child’s mouth and teeth during sports! They’re available in his or her team colors! 

Are you 13 to 18 years old?

About your dental care
As a teen, you may be in braces, concerned about the whiteness of your teeth, and yet not take enough time to properly clean them. Teens aren’t quite kids and not quite adults, so we work with you to take interest in your oral hygiene, from cavity prevention to good breath!

Your hygiene appointment will be very similar to an adult hygiene exam with additional educational emphasis on topics impacting you personally such as:

  • How long to brush
  • How to care for your teeth with braces
  • Bad breath and what causes it
  • Sports and preventing mouth injuries
  • Wisdom teeth
  • How to eat healthfully and what it means for your teeth and health

Talk to us about mouthguards to protect your mouth and teeth during sports! They’re available in your school or team colors!

Learn more: Dental Sealants

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