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Vincent Iannelli, M.D.

FDA Toothbrush Warning

By February 16, 2012

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Spinbrush for Kids - Photo by the FDAThe FDA has issued an alert about certain electric toothbrushes because they can cause:

  • chipped or broken teeth
  • cuts to the mouth and gums
  • swallowing and choking on broken pieces
  • injury to the face and eyes

This follows reports of injuries from users of several Spinbrush brands of electric toothbrushes made by the Church & Dwight Co., Inc., including the Spinbrush for Kids model. Other injuries from the Spinbrush for Kids toothbrush include "cut lips, burns from the batteries, and bristles falling off and lodging in a child's tonsils."

"It's important that consumers know how to avoid the risks associated with using the Spinbrush," says Shumaya Ali, M.P.H., a consumer safety officer at the Food and Drug Administration. "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."

To help avoid injuries with these types of electric toothbrushes, the FDA advices that you:

  • inspect your Spinbrush toothbrush for any damage or loose brush bristles
  • make sure the brush head is connected tightly to the brush handle and don't use the brush if connection feels loose or the brush head easily detaches from the handle as you test it outside your mouth
  • don't bite down on the brush head while brushing
  • supervise your kids while they are using the Spinbrush for Kids toothbrush
  • follow all instructions, including that you remember to replace your brush head after 3 months of use, except for the Spinbrush for Kids, which doesn't have a removable brush head

"Electric toothbrushes can be very effective in removing dental plaque, and so they can help prevent dental decay and gum disease," says Susan Runner, D.D.S., chief of FDA's dental devices branch. "At the same time, it's important to supervise children when they use these brushes, and to look out for any malfunctions of the toothbrush that might cause an injury."

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FDA Alert Toothbrush Can Chip Teeth and Cause Choking
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