Early this week, my dentist gave me a pat on the back during my bi-annual cleaning, telling me I got an "A+" on my dental health. I'm truly carrying this compliment around like a badge of honor because a) I love praise, and b) I wasn't always the kind of person who received accolades from the dentist. And that's all thanks to more diligent flossing and the electric toothbrush I started using this year: Hum by Colgate ($35), a cost-effective and dentist-approved way to level up your dental hygiene game.
In all my cleanings leading up to this one, my dentists have always told me (in so few words) that I could really work on my flossing game. They've also consistently pressured me to buy an electric toothbrush, which they said would clean my teeth more thoroughly. And I was like always, like, "Eh! Is that really so necessary? My regular brush seems just fine, thanks!" But actually, investing in an electric toothbrush is a dental health game-changer—and most dentists across the board vehemently agree.
"Research shows that even with the best manual toothbrushing habits, electric toothbrushes are more effective at removing plaque, whitening teeth, stimulating and improving gum health, and a person’s overall oral hygiene," Jonathan B. Levine, DMD, founder of JBL Dentistry in New York City, previously told us. Why exactly? "The little micro-movements of the toothbrush head allow for you to brush more with each pass," Levine explained. Basically, an electric toothbrush is just a lot more powerful than a standard brush. It's like sending your car through the "deluxe" setting of a car wash versus hosing it off yourself at home.
And most electric brushes, aside from brush power, have cool features like timers, various brush mechanism settings, and quick charge times. Hum has all of these features, including three sonic vibration modes—normal, sensitive, and deep clean. I use "normal" most often, but if my teeth are feeling extra grime-y, I'll switch to "deep clean" and it'll feel like I just got my teeth professionally polished. It also has the ability to connect via Bluetooth (you can use an app to make sure you're focusing on the parts of your mouth that need some extra TLC), and a timer, which will let you know once it's been two minutes—the recommended amount of time to scrub your chompers—to help you develop better brushing habits.
Aside from its functionality, which is probably comparable to most popular electric brushes (like the Oral-B iO Series 8 brush, or the trendy Quip brush that comes with a subscription), I love that it's so sleek and packable. Other electric brushes and their chargers can be a bit too bulky, taking up precious real estate in my carry-on and even on my sink (#LABathrooms), but the Hum and its charger are compact.
The initial set comes with one brush, charger, carrying case, and an extra refill brush head (a two-pack refill is $9, and will last you six months a piece, so it's a pretty good deal!). Plus, the toothbrush battery lasts ten days, so you don't have to wait around charging it every single morning or night.
I've grown really dependent on that ultra-satisfying, can't-feel-a-single-speck-of-gunk kind of clean, and it doesn't take any extra time out of my day to achieve that. Plus, gold stars from my dentist? Yes, please!
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