We told you about the boy who nearly died from a length of broken toothbrush getting jammed down his throat.

Now we get to tell you about the girl who swallowed a toothbrush.

According to a case history recently published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, the 15 year old was

running up some steps with (the) toothbrush in her mouth when she suddenly tripped and fell, pushing most of the brush into her oesophagus….She immediately started choking and her younger brother came to help….Part of the toothbrush was still in the mouth, but with apparently a very strong gag reflex, she swallowed this down before it could be pulled out.

The toothbrush – 19 centimeters, or about 7 1/2 inches, long – was surgically removed with a tube-like device and medical snare that let the doctors pull it out through her mouth.

While accidents like these are indeed rare – one of the things that makes them noteworthy – they do pound home an important lesson: don’t screw around while you’re brushing your teeth. Stand at the sink and brush. Don’t walk, run, dance or otherwise move about. Just stand. And brush. And if you have young children you’re teaching how to brush, teach them this, as well.

Multitask all you want, but we recommend you leave dental hygiene out of it. For not only is there a risk – however slight – of injury, but you’re also not apt to do as good a job of cleaning as you could and should. The two minutes it takes to brush througly and effectively isn’t much. Two minutes is nothing…well, except in the 4th quarter of a basketball or football game, neither of which you should participate in while brushing either.

Just a tip there… 😉


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