(HealthDay News) -- Is your toothbrush more than four months old? And how about your contact lens case? These and other everyday essentials need regular replacing, no matter how comfortable you are with them.
At the top of the list is your toothbrush. To benefit oral health, your toothbrush needs to be in tiptop form. The American Dental Association suggests replacing it as soon as bristles start to fray, usually every three to four months.
If you wear contact lenses, you should replace your contact lens case every three months, sooner if you see any cracks, which can harbor bacteria. For proper care, after putting your lenses in your eyes, rinse the case with fresh lens solution, shake out excess liquid, and leave the empty case open to air dry.
P.S.: Don't keep contacts in your eyes for longer than they're designed to be worn, and always replace them according to the schedule prescribed by your eye care professional.
If you're like many Americans, you probably don't use as much sunscreen as you should. That could mean leftover product once summer ends, season after season. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires sunscreens, like other nonprescription drugs, to have an expiration date unless testing conducted by the manufacturer has shown that the product will remain stable for at least three years. So don't use sunscreens after their expiration date or, if there's no date, if purchased more than three years ago.
The hardest item to let go of could be in your bedroom -- your pillow. There are no hard and fast rules about when to toss an old pillow, but the National Sleep Foundation suggests every one to two years, especially if it hasn't been protected from dust mites with a zippered cover. (Consider getting one for your next pillow.) Washing helps, but check label instructions before tossing a pillow into the washing machine -- some won't survive the spin action.
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