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128 Birch Street
Boston, MA, 02131
United States

(617) 390-4076

Invent Boston designs and develops original products to add science + whimsy to  every day tasks at home.   Our first product is a Two Minute timer, Two Minute Turtle, a visual timer. The Two Minute Turtle helps children and adults focus on two minute tasks such as brushing teeth, physical therapy, taking a shower and speaking (practicing a presentation or learning a language).

Lesson #4: The Truth Behind Kids' Oral Health

Invent Boston & Two Minute Turtle Timer blog

Invent Boston designs for parents to turn chores to cheer. The first product is the Two Minute Turtle Timer.  The Two Minute Turtle Timer, helps make toothbrushing more fun for kids. Keeping kids healthy takes a village. We share tips and struggles to make the every day parenting with young kids more fun.

Lesson #4: The Truth Behind Kids' Oral Health

Virginia Berman

Lesson #4:  Brush Twice a Day, for 2 Minutes 

Have you tried getting a preschooler to brush teeth for 2 whole minutes?  If your child attends day care, it’s possible the day care providers brush the child’s teeth once a day- and you are fortunate. We did not have that with our child’s day care.  It was hard at the end of the day-to get them to brush teeth or sit with us brushing because children are tired and I was too, but toothbrushing must still go on.  

I spoke with preschoolers and parents about brushing teeth for 2 minutes

I spoke with preschoolers and parents about brushing teeth for 2 minutes

There are options to help children (and adults) to brush long enough: 

--electric toothbrushes with audible timers

--old fashioned sand timers, egg timers

--2 minute toothbrushing video apps. If you don’t mind the privacy issues, or your child’s having  a screen in the bathroom at bedtime;or if you don’t mind downloading and monitoring the app to make sure it’s beneficial. 

Parents and kids love the Two Minute Turtle Timer

Parents and kids love the Two Minute Turtle Timer

Brush Teeth for Two Minutes

We tried all of these. None of them worked. We didn’t like the sound of the electric toothbrush plus our kids are visual and it wasn’t visual. Replacing electric toothbrush heads every 6 months was pricey.  What about toothbrush timer apps? We didn’t want to give our kids a computer in the bathroom. Nor did we want to use the screen as an aid to help our kids’ to focus since it’s often more of a distraction. The old fashioned sand timer was a little too slow to keep the kids focused plus it tipped off the sink. We wanted our kids to foster their independence, do their tasks, without relying on a screen.

Necessity is the mother of invention. So my husband and I went to make something, inthe basement, that worked. We designed the Two Minute Turtle Timer, a 2-minute timer that kids own, hold, press the button, get wet, follow, learn to pace themselves and ultimately, enjoy. Kids love to follow the light-up flippers, each flipper blinks for 30 seconds, faster than the one before it until the Victory Lap signalling that it’s time to brush the tongue.  And no kid wants to quit a race before a turtle...! They know the fable, the Tortoise and the Hare.

The turtle is so simple yet so effective. The kids loved it rigth away (8 year olds). Their teeth already got much better and everbody is happy.
— A Rau

As of this writing, our children are 14 and 17 years old and have not had a cavity since using the Two Minute Turtle Timer. They brush with it every morning and night and pack it on overnights. The Two Minute Turtle Timer is made in Boston and available on Etsy. I hope you can get more peace each day by ensuring your kids take initiative and brush the full 2 minutes without any more reminders!