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Oral-B Hummingbird

I hate flossing. As it is, I hate brushing my teeth. It's always that one step between me and bed. Yet, I suffer through it. I like clean teeth. I like having a spotless dental record. Still, one step is all you get. As a result the bi-annual visit to the dentist is a bloody affair, my sensitive gums squealing in agony and the end result is always the same: "You need to floss more". Repeat for a solid 15 years or so and the message hits home. Along comes the Oral-B Hummingbird. While it doesn't do the flossing for me, it sure makes it a whole lot easier. MSRPing at about 8 dollars (Some grocery stores are offering them at 5 if you hurry.), it'd make a pretty good addition to the pre-bed routine.

The what

The Oral-B Hummingbird is, for all intents and purposes, a vibrator with a neck on top. It includes two types of heads to be attached to said neck: A small length of floss strung between two plastic prongs and a mint-coated, plastic pick. A small button in the middle of the device vibrates it for purposes unknown.

Design

The Hummingbird is small, maybe half an inch taller than the AAA battery that powers it. The device itself fits well in the hand, allowing the user to maintain a firm grip (A blue or green non-slip rubber covers the pertinent parts) while leaving the thumb in position to click the vibrator on and off. The flossing heads fit on snugly (In some cases, too snugly. I had trouble removing one this afternoon) and the picks snap into a groove in the neck. The Hummingbird includes three of the flossing heads and four of the picks, packaged in a small green travel case. However, it appears to be impossible to put your own floss into the head. While I presume the availability of replacement heads, I was unable to find them and can't help but feel a little exploited.

Usability

Like I said, I hate flossing but since the purchase of the Hummingbird, I've made it a daily activity. Since you're not yanking the floss into the crevices between teeth, there is a severe reduction in the amount of blunt trauma flossing tends to incur. In addition, the flossing head is angled, allowing for some force to be applied by the jaw and not the hand. Less muscle, less speed, less blood. Thank god.

The pick is, well, a pick. It appears to be made of the same flimsy plastic as action figure accessories. All the same, it does the job. The minty coating is nice, though most of it ends up on the lips and corners of the mouth (Leaving my roommate to state, "I think my mouth is on vacation. Sweet.").

The vibration that is the devices namesake seems like an afterthought or an attempt to capitalize of the electric toothbrush fad (Guilty as charged). It doesn't really do anything other than sort of buzz and drain the battery. Still, I can't help but feel impelled to press it every time I floss.

Conclusions

Ah, the Mach 3 of the dental set. Having already indentured myself to expensive shaving "cartridges", I suppose I may as well give in to the good folks at Oral-B. If you're floss-phobic or just looking for a way to make flossing a little easier, you can't really go wrong with the Hummingbird. Just don't expect a revolution; it isn't half the product the commercial supposes it is.

A few people have inquired into the sexual applications of the device. While I have yet to test them, all things seem to indicate that it would make an excellent vibrator.

3 month update: I since lost my Hummingbird and switched to a much less expensive plastic handle with a floss head on it. At 2 dollars a pop, I can offord to lose it much more often.