Tools of the Trade

Learn how two two trusty tools help keep kids' teeth healthy.

It takes two tools to keep children’s smiles healthy for a lifetime: a toothbrush and toothpaste.


  • Look for children’s toothbrushes that have small heads and soft bristles. Get children involved by letting them choose the color or pattern.
  • Keep germs away by rinsing toothbrushes after brushing. Stand them up so they can air dry.
  • Change children’s toothbrushes about every three months. If the bristles are no longer straight and firm, or if children have been sick, change the toothbrush right away.


  • Help children learn to use the right amount of toothpaste by putting it on their toothbrushes. Children under age two need just a smear. Children ages two to five need a pea-size amount of toothpaste.