While brushing your teeth, you most likely do not consider the possibility of a piece of your toothbrush breaking off and chipping your teeth. And why would you? Unfortunately, with a few electric toothbrushes, this has actually happened.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reported that this is a real concern with the battery-powered Arm & Hammer Spinbrush (formerly known as the Crest Spinbrush). “It’s important that consumers know how to avoid the risks associated with using the Spinbrush,” said Shumaya Ali, M.P.H., a consumer safety officer at the FDA. “We’ve had reports in which parts of the toothbrush broke off during use and were released into the mouth with great speed, causing broken teeth and presenting a choking hazard.”
Since the FDA regulates all toothbrushes as medical devices, they want to push for safety precautions for all electric toothbrushes. They have found that the Spinbrush has caused the following [reported] injuries:
- chipped or broken teeth;
- cuts to the mouth and gums;
- swallowing and choking on broken pieces; and
- injuries to the face and eyes.
The following Spinbrushes have been identified as culprits:
- Spinbrush ProClean
- Spinbrush ProClean Recharge
- Spinbrush Pro Whitening
- Spinbrush SONIC
- Spinbrush SONIC Recharge
- Spinbrush Swirl
- Spinbrush Classic Clean
- Spinbrush For Kids
- Spinbrush Replacement Heads
Toothbrush Parts Popping Off
With the Spinbrushes for adults, these toothbrushes have removable heads that owners can replace when the bristles get too worn down. In some cases, these heads have popped off while brushing. The loose head is of itself a chipping and choking hazard, but the exposed metal that normally secures the head is also a safety hazard. This metal can–and has–jabbed people in their cheeks and gums, and even near their eyes.
The children’s models do not have removable heads, but it has been reported that kids have suffered from cut lips, burns from the batteries, and bristles breaking off and lodging in tonsils.
Advice to Parents and Consumers Using the Spinbrush
Before using any Spinbrush, make sure to do the following:
- Inspect it for any damage or loose bristles. If you find any, do not use it.
- Ensure that the removable head is connected tightly to the handle, and then test it outside of your mouth. If the connection feels loose or the head easily separates from the handle, do not use the brush.
- Do not bite down on the brush while brushing.
- Always supervise children and adults who may need assistance when they use the Spinbrush.