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

Dental Hygiene/Cleanings

Our skilled, yet calming team will put you at ease right from your first appointment

Dental hygiene appointments—also called teeth cleaning appointments—help you achieve your healthiest teeth, mouth, and gums! You’ll want to schedule these appointments at regular intervals, usually twice a year.

Learn more about Periodontal Disease and Your Health
Your Child’s Hygiene Exam

Adults – what to expect at your cleaning appointment

Once you’re settled, Dr. Duffy or a dental assistant will ask about your medical history, examine your mouth, and decide which digital X-rays you may need for an accurate, complete checkup.

Please let us know immediately if you:
  • Have pain in your mouth, jaw, temples, or elsewhere
  • Have bleeding gums
  • Have sensitivity in any or all your teeth
  • Snore or grind your teeth or have been told that you do
  • Are experiencing nervousness or anxiety? We have a variety of ways we can help you feel more comfortable including very gentle care and sedation dentistry
  • Have other concerns about your health, or simply if you have noticed or been informed of any changes to your overall health since your last visit

We will address these first. Then, we make sure you are comfortable with your ability to eat and are happy with your smile.

Cleaning your teeth

  • We thoroughly clean your teeth to remove plaque (which can inflame your gums), especially in hard-to-reach places, as well as any tartar that has hardened onto the teeth and under the gums. Floss, protective fluoride, and teeth sealants, as indicated, add the finishing touch
    Your hygienist will use specialized dental instruments when checking your gums for disease and any receding gum tissue
  • If you have gum disease and require deep and/or more frequent cleanings, we will work with you to develop a personalized plan
  • We will also perform an oral cancer screening by checking the sides and underside of your tongue, your entire mouth and back of the throat, as well as your jaw, jaw joint (TMJ), and neck for thyroid and lymph nodes

Once complete, Dr. Duffy will provide you with a summary of your oral health and discuss any next steps, answer your questions, schedule your next hygiene appointment, and have you on your way.

Caring for your teeth at home

For optimal dental health, we encourage you to brush twice a day and floss once, as well as strive to maintain a healthy diet and exercise habits. Our team is happy to work with you to identify other ways you can preserve your gums and smile, depending on your unique dental and health needs. 


If you are newly pregnant, you are learning that your pregnancy affects your entire body! Good oral hygiene and health habits are especially important to maintain during pregnancy. While it is normal to have your gums bleed a little more than usual while pregnant, you will want to continue flossing and brushing. If it does not clear up within two weeks, or the frequency or severity increases, talk to your pregnancy care provider and schedule an appointment with Dr. Duffy. In general, most dental care is safe during all stages of your baby’s development, and we have a variety of ways to modify care appropriately so that everyone is safe and comfortable.

I’ve been to 6-7 dentists over my lifetime. Dr Duffy is by far the most skilled and comfortable dentist I’ve ever visited. His staff is great. They really pay attention to your comfort/and remember your needs from visit to visit. He’s great. His staff is great.
Angela S.
a very satisfied patient