Do Electric or Manual Toothbrushes Last Longer?

Colorful toothbrushes sit in a clear glass.

Whether you’re committed to manual toothbrushes or won’t brush with anything other than electric, neither of them last forever. But which lasts longer?

Your manual toothbrush should be replaced every three to four months, and your electric toothbrush needs a new head every month or two. Yes, manual toothbrushes actually last longer than electric ones.

Now, there is a bit of wiggle room. For manual toothbrushes, you could extend the life out to six months, but the American Dental Association recommends not going beyond that point. You can’t, however, do the same with electric brushes. Because they vibrate at a high frequency, even if you’re not meant to apply harsh pressure to your teeth with them, they still wear out faster over time due to the movement.

So when it comes time to replace your toothbrush, do you toss it at the two, three, or four-month mark? Well, there are signs to look for in your brush. Curved and bent bristles are sign number one as they can actually make your brush less effective. Bristle discoloration and stiffness can also be clues to replace sooner rather than later.

Whether you use an electric toothbrush or a manual, remember to mark your calendar to place them, and in between replacements, you might want to consider if you want to disinfect your toothbrush as well.

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