Make sure your kids brush for 2 minutes, twice a day.

Keep Kids’ Mouths Healthy

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

Kids' Care Timeline

    • Brush 2min2x - under age 3

      Brush 2min2x

      For kids under age 3, as soon as your child’s teeth start to come into the mouth, brush using a children’s toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than the size of a grain of rice.


      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 - age 3 - 6

      Brush 2min2x

      For kids ages 3-6, 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

    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

    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

    Use Fluoride

    As soon as your child's teeth start to come into the mouth, brush using fluoride in an amount no more than the size of a grain of rice.


    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, twice 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. Once your child’s teeth start to come into the mouth, brush using a children’s toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than the size of a grain of rice.

  • 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 three to four 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 a fluoride toothpaste.
    • Use a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste for kids ages 3-6, 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 3, as soon as your child’s teeth start to come into the mouth, brush using a children’s toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than the size of a grain of rice.
    • 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.

Visit a Dentist

Kids and parents – it’s important to visit your dentist regularly your whole life, starting no later than age 1. Seeing a dentist regularly is important for good oral health. Dentists can detect small problems before they become bigger, more painful problems. Your child could have oral health problems you don’t know about like cavities or gum disease.

  • Regular Teeth Cleaning by Dental Professionals

    • Getting your kids’ teeth cleaned regularly is a great opportunity for them to learn the best way to take care of their teeth.
    • Regular teeth cleanings can help prevent gum disease, which can cause the loss of kids’ permanent teeth.
    • Teeth cleanings remove tartar. Tartar makes it hard to clean teeth.
    • Cleanings get rid of stains that can’t be removed with brushing and flossing.
    • The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives recommends taking your kids to see a dentist no later than their first birthday. Learn more about your child’s first visit. WATCH VIDEO

    Learn more about BABY TEETH and KIDS’ TOOTH DECAY.

  • Why Visit a Dentist?

  • Back to School Checkups

Floss Every Day

Kids should clean between their teeth once a day, every day, with floss or flossers to remove plaque and food where a brush can’t reach. Kids’ teeth can be flossed as soon as two of their teeth touch each other.

  • Teach Your Kids How to Floss

    1. Break off about 18 inches of floss (the length from a fingertip to your elbow) and use it to floss younger kids’ teeth, or teach older kids how to do it themselves.
    2. Wind most of the floss around a middle finger. Wind the remaining floss around the same finger of the opposite hand. This finger will wrap up the used floss as it becomes dirty.
    3. Make sure your child holds the floss tightly between their thumbs and forefingers.
    4. They should guide the floss between their teeth using a gentle rubbing motion.
    5. Then they should curve the floss into a C shape as it gets closer to their gum and gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth.
  • Teach Your Kids How to Floss

    1. They should hold the floss tightly against the tooth, and gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss or flosser away from the gum with up and down motions.
    2. Repeat this process for each and every tooth.
  • Brushing and Flossing is Important

Use Fluoride

Fluoride is nature’s cavity fighter and occurs naturally in water and some foods. To help protect teeth from cavities, fluoride is added to dental products like toothpaste.

  • How does fluoride protect teeth?

    Fluoride helps make your kids’ teeth stronger, which helps prevent decay. It also stops early stage tooth decay. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste gets the fluoride right onto the surface of teeth. When fluoride is on teeth, it helps strengthen teeth enamel.

    Also, teeth get fluoride from water that’s been fluoridated, other beverages and some foods, which also helps make tooth enamel stronger.

  • Why use fluoride toothpaste?

    Tooth brushing helps remove plaque, but only fluoride toothpaste helps remove plaque and strengthen tooth enamel.

  • Should kids use fluoride toothpaste?

    Under 3 years old

    When your kid’s teeth start to appear, even if it’s just a few teeth, brush them using a children’s toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than the size of a grain of rice.

    Ages 3-6 years old

    Place a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste on a soft toothbrush and brush your kid’s teeth 2min2x (2 minutes, twice a day). Help young kids brush their teeth and teach them to spit out the toothpaste. They shouldn’t swallow it.

    Ages 6+

    Make sure your child is able to brush his teeth himself and knows not to swallow the toothpaste. Continue to be a good role model by supervising them when they brush 2min2x – 2 minutes, twice a day.

Campaign Materials

Keep track of your child’s brushing routine. Give rewards for jobs well done!