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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).

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.

Which Toothbrush Timer is Best for a Manual Toothbrush?

Virginia Berman

Which timer is best with a manual toothbrush? Note: you may notice a bias but, we have tried and tested all of these options.

  1. Phone apps. The problem with a phone for toothbrushing is …the screen at bedtime. It can be more of a distraction than a help especially for kids. Data shows screens interfere with our natural circadian rhythms and use of screens close to bedtime make it harder to fall asleep. A challenge with a phone is it is not water-proof In addition, it means getting a parent involved to download an app, use their data, manage the privacy.

  2. The most common toothbrush timer is the sand timer, the one the dentist hands out. Have you ever used one? They are free but you get what you pay for. They are light and are easily knocked from the sink. Also, kids lose interest before the final grain of sand has fallen. And they don’t indicate where to brush. It’s all one big 2 minutes.

  3. Some toothbrush handles have lights that blink for 1 minute. The lights are fun. It needs to be replaced every 6 months so it doesn’t last long. The child focuses on the handle but the hand is holding the handle so it’s not a focused look. This timer does not provide a visual guide for where to brush, it’s just 1 minute also. Doctors recommend 2 minutes for brushing.

  4. The Two Minute Turtle Timer addresses all the problems. It’s 1) water-resistant, 2) it’s fun-fast blinking lights, 3) not needing any parent help, 3) holds kids’ attention so they stay til the 2 minutes is up, 4) gives a visual guide so whole mouth thoroughly and evenly.


We tested all of the manual toothbrush timers while our children struggled with the twice daily toothbrushing. Only after we made and started using the Two Minute Turtle Timer did our children stay focused and brush their whole mouth evenly for the full two minutes. We made the Two Minute Turtle Timer because we needed it. We keep making it because it works. If you or your child use a manual toothbrush, the Two Minute Turtle Timer get to the finish. Timing is everything.