Good for Your Teeth, Bad for Your Eyes?

Warning Issued About Injury-Inflicting Toothbrush

Could your toothbrush actually cause you injury? As ridiculous as this may sound, if you are the owner of an Arm and Hammer Spinbrush electric toothbrush (formally called Crest Spinbrush), the answer might be yes.

A warning issued by the FDA late last week alerts consumers that this particular electric toothbrush contains parts that have been reported to pop off during use. Sometimes, these pieces fly off at considerable speed. Consumers have complained of renegade toothbrush pieces causing a range of injuries including chipped teeth, cuts to the inner mouth, injuries to the eyes and face, as well as posing a choking hazard.

According to the FDA warning, the Spinbrush adult toothbrushes have removable heads that are meant to stay attached during brushing. However, the FDA received numerous reports of the heads detaching during use, causing direct injury and simultaneously exposing metal parts of the brush that were also capable of inflicting wounds.

The Spinbrushes that fall under the FDA warning include:

  • Spinbrush ProClean
  • Spinbrush ProClean
  • Recharge
  • Spinbrush Pro Whitening
  • Spinbrush SONIC
  • Spinbrush SONIC Recharge
  • SpinBrush Swirl
  • Spinbrush Classic Clean
  • Spinbrush for Kids
  • Spinbrush Replacement Heads

Children’s Toothbrush Safety Issues

The children’s Spinbrush models do not have detachable heads, but the FDA has received complaints about these toothbrushes, as well. In the children’s models, batteries have caused burns, and bristles have fallen out of the brush, cutting mouths and getting lodged in children’s tonsils.

“We are particularly concerned about the problems with these toothbrushes as they appear to be geared towards children,” said Dr. Susan Runner, FDA’s branch chief for Dental Devices in an article for MSNBC. “The hazards that have been reported are potentially very serious, and parents should be aware of helping young children with tooth brushing both for safety reasons and for assuring adequacy of brushing.”

Toothbrush Manufacturer Does Not Boast a Sparkly History

FDA inspections of Church & Dwight Co, Inc.—which manufactures the SpinBrush series—last year revealed that there had been a number of consumer complaints about the toothbrushes that had never been reported to the FDA. A warning was issued to the company, and in response, Church & Dwight stepped up their efforts in improving consumer safety. In the past nine months, the company has improved product packaging to emphasize the need to change replacement heads with frequency, added color-changing bristles to their toothbrushes to help consumers understand when to replace brush heads, and released a safety notice in television and print ads.

Play It Safe With Your Brushing

Despite the warning issued by the FDA, Spinbrush makers maintain that their product is safe when used as intended. It may be safest to simply replace your brush with a less dangerous model if you own a Spinbrush. However, if you wish to continue using it, follow the proceeding guidelines issued by the FDA to ensure safe usage:

  • Inspect the Spinbrush for damage or loose bristles BEFORE use. If you find any, do not use the brush, and report the problem to Church & Dwight, which can be reached toll-free at 1-800-352-3384
  • Ensure that there is a tight connection between the brush base and brush head
  • Test the brush out by turning it on before inserting it in your mouth
  • Be careful not to bite down on the device while brushing
  • Follow safety guidelines printed on the package, and be sure to replace toothbrush heads at the regular, recommended timing
  • Always supervise children and adults who require assistance while brushing
  • Report injuries to MedWatch—FDA’s Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program at 1-800-332-1088

Injured by a Defective or Dangerously Designed Product?

Have you sustained an injury from a defective or dangerously designed product? If you or a loved one has been hurt by a defective or dangerous product, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact our experienced attorneys today for a free consultation to determine if legal action is right for you. Product recalls and warnings are issued all the time. It’s frightening to think of how many flawed and inadequately tested products are on the market.

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