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Feds say some electric toothbrushes pose risks with spinning parts

Feb 21, 2012

Many Americans favor electric toothbrushes because they last longer and require less brushing force, but some electric toothbrushes have proven to be hazardous, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Some people using the battery-powered Arm & Hammer® Spinbrush® have suffered injuries ranging from chipped or broken teeth to a cut mouth, an eye injury and a choking hazard, according to a FDA article published February 16th.

The Spinbrush®, previously known as the Crest® Spinbrush in 2009, was cited in the FDA report for a removable brush head that has unexpectedly popped off during use. On those occasions where the brush head “ejected”, it has also exposed metal pieces.

“Spinbrush® for Kids,” the children’s model, has a different design with non-removable heads. Still, some problems have been reported, including users that have experienced cut lips, battery burns and bristles that fell off and lodged in a child’s tonsils.  The FDA reports that children using electric toothbrushes should always be supervised.

WebMD reports that 39 million of the toothbrushes have been sold under various brand names but all are called Spinsbrush®. The following Spinbrush® models have been reported by the FDA for their potential to injury:

• Spinbrush® ProClean
• Spinbrush® ProClean Recharge
• Spinbrush® Pro Whitening
• Spinbrush® SONIC
• Spinbrush® SONIC Recharge
• Spinbrush® Swirl
• Spinbrush® Classic Clean
• Spinbrush® For Kids
• Spinbrush® Replacement Heads

But Arm & Hammer® isn’t the only electric toothbrush manufacturer that has had problems. This past November, Colgate-Palmolive recalled a battery-operated toothbrush sold in Canada after receiving reports from some users that the devices exploded in their hands.

The brush head of the Motion Electric model contained both rotating and stationary brushes and the handle housed the motor and battery.  One Montreal man reported that while using his toothbrush, the handle exploded and blew the batteries across the room.

Health Canada says there were nine reports of explosions though none resulted in long-term injuries. Colgate-Palmolive is no longer making that model anymore, but Health Canada says consumers who may still have the toothbrushes should contact the company directly at 1-800-268-6757 or email for more information.

Sources: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Health Canada, Fox News, The Huffington Post Canada, WebMD

Copyright 2012, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC

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