The US Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 2,953 Americans were treated in 2007 for toothbrush-related injuries. The odds a person will visit an emergency department due to an accident involving a toothbrush in a year are 1 in 99,340, making a toothbrush slightly more dangerous on average than a garage door.More details at the Book of Odds, via the New Shelton wet/dry.
So, what injuries might a toothbrush cause? It is an object designed for safety, after all. Today’s designs have reinforced handles to prevent snaps or breaks at stress points, and the long-traditional boar-hair bristles have largely been replaced by nylon filament, which breeds significantly less bacteria.Still, toothbrushes—typically by dint of slips and falls—can cut gums or cheeks (from pokes), puncture palates or pharynges (from falling or passing out with a toothbrush in one’s mouth), and break teeth.
Image credit Duncan Wright, via Wikimedia commons, with this notation: "Albatross bolus - undigested matter from the diet such as squid beaks and fish scales. This bolus from a Hawaiian albatross (either a Black-footed Albatross or a Laysan Albatross) has several injested flotsam items, including monofilament from fishing nets and a discarded toothbrush. Injestion of plastic flotsam is an increasing hazard for albatrosses."