FEBRUARY 25 2012 08:21h

FDA warns of potential toothbrush injuries


WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is alerting the public there is the potential for injury while using several models of Arm & Hammer's Spinbrush.

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

The FDA is alerting the public about the potential for injury while using the following models of Spinbrush:

Spinbrush ProClean, Spinbrush ProClean Recharge, Spinbrush Pro Whitening, Spinbrush SONIC, Spinbrush SONIC Recharge, Spinbrush Swirl, Spinbrush Classic Clean, Spinbrush For Kids and Spinbrush Replacement Heads.

The Spinbrush handle contains batteries and a motor that operates the brushes, which are attached to a brush head. In the models of Spinbrush made for adults, the brush head is removable and can be replaced, Ali said.

"But the brush head should not pop off during normal use," Ali said. "In some cases, the brush head popped off to expose metal pieces underneath that can -- and have -- poked individuals in the cheek and areas near the eyes, causing injuries. It is important to supervise children when they use these brushes, and to look out for any malfunctions of the toothbrush that might cause an injury."

Injuries reported from using the Spinbrush powered toothbrush included: chipped or broken teeth, cuts to the mouth and gums, swallowing and choking on broken pieces and injury to the face and eyes, Ali said.

The company adjusted the labeling to caution consumers to change the brush head every three months or sooner if the brush is worn or parts are loose. The product now features bristles that change color with wear to give consumers a visual reminder of when to replace the brush head, Ali said.