The Oral-B Hummingbird has won thousands of fans around the world, but it has been discontinued much to the disappointment of many,
In the USA, such is the disappointment that a petition has been created, asking Oral-B to bring it back.
Questions have naturally been raised around why as well as how and where to get spare parts or replacements.
We aim to answer these questions for you.
What is the Oral-B Hummingbird?
If you are not familiar with the Oral-B Hummingbird, it is a flosser that you use to clean the interdental spaces (the gaps in between your teeth) of your mouth.
It is a compact, battery powered flosser that comes with 2 interchangeable attachments to undertake the flossing.
The first is the pick. The dental pick is a soft attachment that fits to the unit and extends to a point, to create a tip/pick like finish that fits easily in between the teeth and can provide a deep clean.
The second attachment is a more traditional piece of floss mounted between two arms.
Both are designed for one time use.
When an attachment is fitted and the unit powered on via the single press of the power button, the massaging vibrations make for a comfortable, easy and effective flossing regime.
A non-slip ergonomic grip ensures it fits comfortably in the hand.
Ultimately it is an ingenious tool that aids with flossing a task that can normally be time consuming, messy and inconvenient for people to complete on a daily basis.
The reason it was called the Hummingbird is because of the design. The form of the flosser mimics to some degree the shape and size of the real life bird, the Hummingbird.
Key features and reasons it is desirable can be summarised as
- Reasonably priced
- User friendly
- Elegant design
- Feels good to use, encouraging regular flossing
- Portable, inconspicuous
- Works on AAA battery, no need for electrical outlet
- Perfect for travelling
Why has it been discontinued?
The Hummingbird is as far as most are aware, now discontinued and no longer manufactured or sold by Oral-B.
All products typically undergo regular review by internal product teams and decisions are made whether a product should be updated, replaced, removed from sale etc based on a number of commercial factors including demand, actual sales figures and the company focus.
Whilst Oral-B have not stopped operating within the oral healthcare space it is quite likely the demand was not high enough to warrant continued production and the company appear to have deviated from electronic flossing products like this to focus on the electric toothbrush, toothpastes and more traditional flossing products.
What about spares?
The Hummingbird required 3 key items to keep it functional, they are:
- AAA battery
- Dental Pick attachment
- Floss attachment
AAA batteries are readily available from any good hardware or grocery stores or many online retailers like Amazon.
It is the attachments for the unit that are harder to source, as with the ceasing of production has come the reduced availability of the required spare parts.
Seeing as each attachment is to be used once, it does not take long to go through any stock of dental picks or floss attachments you may have.
Where to buy replacement parts for Oral-B Hummingbird
Despite the dwindling availability there are 1 or 2 places from which you can buy replacement parts.
One of the most reliable routes is from Shavers online store that offer a 10 pack of the Oral-B Hummingbird Picks.
You can buy the flossers on Amazon, but they are very expensive.
In all honesty, your best place to look is eBay as there have been a number of stores and sellers offering these spares at relatively reasonable prices.
Where can I buy a brand new Oral-B Hummingbird?
Places like eBay are you best bet, to hunt down new and unused Oral-B Hummingbirds, but they are few and far between.
You may find a few used models for sale at a good price, but those who have new units are commanding a premium as they are now very difficult to get hold of.
Check out Oral-B Hummingbird’s for sale on eBay.
Are there any alternatives?
Despite the Oral-B Hummingbird no longer being made, there are some other similar, if not identical options available.
The closest possible option, that works in a similar way is the Waterpik Whitening Power Flosser FLW-220UK.
The WaterpikPower Whitening Flosser has mint-flavoured tips coated with a special whitening agent for brightening areas between the teeth so you can floss and brighten your teeth at the same time.
Waterpik Power Flossers are clinically proven as effective as dental floss plus they reduce bleeding gums, inflammation, and plaque.
The unit itself and the replacement picks are priced reasonably too.
You can buy the Waterpik Power Flosser on Amazon.
- Clinically proven--as effective as manual floss but easier to use
- Whitens between the teeth
- Flexible nylon tips slip easily between teeth and are gentle on gums
- Includes 15 easy-to-replace tips
- Battery powered (AA battery supplied)
You can also buy packs of replacement picks.
- Cleans your entire mouth in just 30 seconds
- NB**Product comes with 2 pin UK bathroom plug
- An easy way to improve cleaning between teeth
- Removes more plaque between teeth
- Helps improve gum health in just two weeks
A bit different, but a possible alternative is the Power Pickster, which is designed to bring sonic vibration cleaning to the Picksters interdental brush.
- Powerful cleaning without manual dexterity. Significantly easier insertion due to a "mechanical lubrication" effect.
- Sonic Vibrations help break up plaque and make insertion easier,less insertion force results in less bending of fine wires.
- Light weight and suitable for travel. Comes with a toothbrush head and travel cap.
- Rechargeable with USB (cable supplied). No batteries required.
- Includes 2 free packets of Piksters, 1 Piksters Kink and 1 variety pack.
Or you may wish to consider what has become a considerably more popular option, water flossers, particularly cordless. They achieve similar results, but use nothing other than water. They are a little bulkier and pricier, but you do not have the same ongoing costs with replacement parts. Our guide to the best cordless water flosser is a great place to get started.
The Hummingbird from Oral-B has over the years won many a fan, but sadly, despite our desires for products to remain available they do not.
We trust this article has given you a bit of an insight into why and how to obtain spares.
Your Thought & Opinions
Have you or do you still use the Oral-B Hummingbird? If you’ve had to switch, what’s the best alternative that you’ve found? We’d love to find out, so please let us know in the comments.