FDA Warns Of Serious Injuries Caused By Spinbrush Toothbrush

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just issued a warning about serious injuries caused by the popular Spinbrush toothbrushes. The battery-powered device is constructed with a motorized handle that provides movement to a brush head for the removal of plaque and food debris.

The Spinbrush line of powered toothbrushes is sold as the Arm & Hammer Spinbrush; until 2009, the device was sold as the Crest Spinbrush. The Spinbrush line of toothbrushes is manufactured by Church & Dwight Co., Inc. Spinbrush refers to both the Arm & Hammer and Crest Spinbrush lines of powered toothbrushes for the purpose of the agency’s warning.

The FDA is aware of reports of serious injuries and potential hazards associated with the use of the Spinbrush, including that while turned on, the brush head has either “popped off” or broken off in the user’s mouth or near the face, causing cuts to the mouth and gums, chipped or broken teeth, swallowing and choking on the broken pieces, and injuries to the face and eyes. When the unexpected release of any part of the powered toothbrush occurs, a potential for serious injury exists and this risk is greater for unattended children or adults who may need assistance while using the Spinbrush device.

Church & Dwight Co., Inc said, in its safety notice to, “Please remember to replace your brush head after 3 months of use, or if the brush is damaged or if parts become loose. Extended usage, loose parts or excessive wear could lead to brush head breakage, generation of small parts, and possible choking hazard. Inspect the brush for loose parts before use.”

The FDA, which stated that it supports Church & Dwight Co., Inc.’s safety message, and also recommends that consumers:

• Inspect the Spinbrush for any damage or loose brush bristles before use and if damage or loose brush bristles are present, DO NOT USE.
• Ensure that the headpiece is connected properly to the brush handle and test the Spinbrush outside the mouth before using. If the connection feels loose or the headpiece easily detaches from the handle, DO NOT USE.
• Supervise children and adults who need assistance when using the Spinbrush.
• Never bite down on the brush head when brushing.
• Follow product instructions and recommended replacement guidelines included with the Spinbrush. The Kid’s Spinbrush head is not replaceable. If damaged or loose brush bristles are seen, DO NOT USE.

Meanwhile, the FDA indicated that it issued a warning letter to Church & Dwight Co., Inc on May 16, 2011 for violations, including its failure to file Medical Device Reports for serious injuries within a reasonable timeframe. On December 22, 2011, Church & Dwight Co., Inc. issued a safety notice on the potential brush head breakage hazard and added “color-wear” bristles to newly manufactured brushes to provide consumers with a visual reminder to change the brush head every three months.

On January 25, 2012, the FDA posted Church & Dwight Co., Inc.’s. Class II recall of various models of their Spinbrush line of powered toothbrushes to help communicate the potential choking hazard if the Spinbrush is used beyond the recommended 3-month brush head life.

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