Keep Kids’ Mouths Healthy

Roll over or click the time line below for healthy mouth information.

Age 1 Age 2 Age 3 Age 4 Age 5 Age 6

Brush 2min2x

For kids under age 2, just use a soft toothbrush and a little water.

Help your kids brush their teeth for 2 minutes, 2 times a day – for healthier teeth, good breath, fewer cavities, and to avoid painful dental problems.

More about Brushing

Brush 2min2x

For kids ages 2-6, use a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste.

Help your kids brush their teeth for 2 minutes, 2 times a day – for healthier teeth, good breath, fewer cavities, and to avoid painful dental problems.

More about Brushing

Visit a Dentist

Take your kids to see a dentist no later than their first birthday.

Dentists can detect small problems before they become bigger, more painful problems. Your child could have oral health problems like cavities or gum disease.

More about Dental Visits

Floss Every Day

As soon as two teeth touch each other (start after 1 year old).

Clean between their teeth once a day, every day, with floss or flossers to remove plaque and food where a brush can’t reach.

More about flossing

Use Fluoride

At 2 years of age unless your dentist or other health professional says otherwise.

Use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to brush kids’ teeth. Teach them to spit out the toothpaste. They shouldn’t swallow it.

More about Fluoride

Brush 2min2x

Help your kids brush their teeth 2min2x – 2 minutes each time, 2 times a day – for healthier teeth, good breath, fewer cavities, and to avoid painful dental problems. The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives recommends that you help or watch over your kids’ brushing until they’re 8. Children 2 or older should always use a fluoride toothpaste.

Teach Kids How to Brush

The Right Toothbrush

Kids should use a soft toothbrush.  The size and shape of the brush should allow them to reach all areas of their mouth.

Replace toothbrushes every 3-4 months, sooner if the bristles are worn out or if your children have been sick.

Attack Plaque!

Plaque is a sticky film of germs that forms on teeth and gums after eating. Plaque that’s not removed by brushing twice a day and flossing once a day can lead to cavities.

Tooth To-Dos

  • Encourage your kids to brush with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Use a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste for kids ages 2-6, and use slightly more when they’re older.
  • Teach them to spit out the toothpaste when they’re done so they don’t swallow it.
  • For kids under age 2, just use a soft toothbrush and a little water; no toothpaste is necessary.
  • Help your kids place the toothbrush at an angle against their gums.
  • Make sure they move the brush back and forth, gently, in short strokes.
  • Help them brush the front, back, and top of teeth.
  • Teach them to brush their tongue to remove germs and freshen breath.