Using electric toothbrushes can result in cleaner teeth and minimal plaque build-up, but are there also risks associated with using the dental cleaning device?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are warning the public of a potential injury that may occur when using certain models of the battery powered Arm & Hammer Spinbrush, formally the Crest Spinbrush before 2009. The Spinbrush ProClean, ProClean Recharge, Pro Whitening, SONIC, SONIC Recharge, Swirl, Classic Clean, For Kids, and replacement heads all have risk of injury to the user.
The Spinbrush models made for adults have a battery and motor in the handle, and a replaceable brush head. Individuals have reported that the brush head has popped off while in use, something that is not intended for the product. Underneath the brush head are metal pieces. The FDA reports that individuals have been poked in the cheek and areas near the eyes, causing injury.
Other reported injuries from the electric toothbrush include chipped or broken teeth, cuts to the mouth and gums, swallowing or choking on broken pieces, and injury to the face and eyes.
The FDA offers advice for customers of the product, suggesting that they take safety precautions when using the toothbrush. An inspection of the toothbrush should take place before use. Dangerous signs to look for are damaged or loose brush bristles. If the toothbrush is found to have damaged or loose brush bristles it should not be used, as well as reported to Church & Dwight, the toothbrush manufacturer, at their toll-free number, 1(800)561-0752.
Another potentially dangerous sign to look for on the electric toothbrush is if the brush head is loosely connected to the brush handle. The FDA suggests testing the brush outside of your mouth first, and if it's loose or detaches easily report it. Users should also avoid biting down on the brush head when brushing.
The best way to avoid injury is to replace the brush head after 3 months of use. A damaged or loose brush head should be replaced as well, or parts could become a choking hazard.
This isn't the first time that the FDA has inspected manufacturer's Church & Dwight over the Spinbrush. Last May the government organization discovered that Church & Dwight had numerous consumer complaints that had failed to be reported to the FDA. The FDA issued a warning to the manufacturer, and the company has since improved caution labels, added bristles that chance color when worn, and issued print and television safety notices about the Spinbrush.