This affordable new smart toothbrush takes the mystery out of what I need to do to brush better.

By Rebecca Shinners
October 14, 2020
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For as long as I can remember, brushing my teeth has always felt like a chore. In fact, I've often dreaded having to get myself up off my cozy couch or bed where I was lounging to practice a nighttime routine. It's safe to say I never expected to get excited about a toothbrush—and yet, I've now found myself raving about the Colgate Hum Smart Electric Toothbrush ($85; amazon.com) to anyone who will listen.

You see, my oral health has always been something I've struggled with. Even back in elementary school, I was the first in my grade to get braces and the last to get them off six years later. These days, my biggest problem area is with gum inflammation and I'm also prone to cavities. I've tried changing my routine countless times, but no matter how confident I am heading to my dentist appointment, I'm pretty much always advised to brush better.

If you've heard something similar from your dentist, then you know just how frustrating it can be. While I feel like I'm reaching all of my teeth and tackling stubborn plaque, it's hard to really know if that's the case. So when Colgate reached out to me to see if I wanted to try the brands' new smart toothbrush, I jumped at the opportunity.

Colgate

I was previously using a manual toothbrush—even though most dentists recommend electric toothbrushes—so it's safe to say the Hum by Colgate was a major upgrade to my routine. It uses smart sensors to track your brushing and deliver feedback on what you could do better—meaning your brushing will never feel like a mystery again.

When I received my toothbrush in the mail, I followed the instructions to download the Hum by Colgate app to my phone and then synched it with my toothbrush using bluetooth. The entire process is super easy to do and only takes a few minutes. Once you have the app set up, the Colgate team recommends beginning with "guided brushing," a feature that tells you how to change up your brushing motions in real time. It's a great way to develop skills right away and will instruct you on factors like whether you need to speed up or slow down. While I later found this helpful, I decided to skip it at first because I was curious to see where I was at on my own.

That night I used "offline brushing," meaning I didn't need to have my phone with me to track my process. I simply brushed like I would have any other day—the only difference being a sleek new toothbrush. I immediately noticed the toothbrush has a timer that tells you when to move quadrants so that your brushing is divided into four different sections. This is meant to ensure you brush for a full two minutes, but it actually helped me realize I was moving a bit slowly from section to section. The brush also features three different modes of sonic vibrations: normal, sensitive, and deep clean.

After brushing, I pulled up the Hum by Colgate app on my phone to check out how I did. I was surprised to see that I had covered 95% of my mouth. (With my dental record, I really didn't think I was brushing as well as I apparently was!) And over the next week, I ranged from 94% to 97% coverage each time I broke out my toothbrush. The app also highlights the exact areas you missed while brushing, so the more I used it, the more aware I was of exactly what needed improvement. I realized I was missing the same one or two areas each time, so I'm now more careful in those spots of my mouth. In just one week, I started consistently hitting 100% coverage during my brushings—and honestly that makes me pretty proud.

Amazon reviewers even rave about the app because you can also use it to rack up points that can be used towards future brush head refills. "The included free app works on your phone and shows you where you should brush and monitors if you are holding it right and getting all of the areas," wrote one shopper. "At end end of each brushing, the app rewards you with points and you can spend the points to buy new brush heads or even another full toothbrush. I love it and it all works great, the brush, app and all."

One mom bought the toothbrush for her 8-year-old son, "who has, shall we say, less-than-awesome brushing habits." The brush allows the duo to work together on his habits, so that he's also less guarded and defensive about the process. "We look at how he did in the app on my phone together and talk about it. He’s starting to notice patterns and is actually interesting in doing a better job next time," she shared.

Another feature I love about the toothbrush is its compact design. It doesn't take up too much space on my counter, which is important since I recently moved to an apartment with a tiny bathroom. It also comes in a slew of bold colors that look great displayed in any space. The rechargeable battery holds a charge for up to 10 days, meaning it's not a big deal if you're unable to plug it in after each use. This function is also helpful for traveling, and the brush comes with a carrying case that makes it easy to take on the go.

What I've realized through this process is that this smart toothbrush isn't just informative, but it also makes me feel more empowered to take charge of my own oral health. "Brushing better" doesn't feel like a mystery anymore—I know exactly what I need to work on. And each time I use the Hum by Colgate, I feel like I'm competing with my own personal best to keep doing better and better.

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