Everything that uses electricity is getting smart — or eventually will. We’ve had electric toothbrushes for some time now. But now, those toothbrushes are finally getting smart functionality. One of the most recent of those is the Colgate Hum, which is built to be lightweight and portable, yet still deliver smart functionality.
But do we really need a smart toothbrush? And does making a toothbrush smart actually help you better brush your teeth? I’ve been using the Colgate Hum for a while now to find out.
Colgate Hum design
One of the best things about the Colgate Hum is its design. It’s much thinner and lighter than the vast majority of electric toothbrushes out there — and as a long-time electric toothbrush user, that’s something I really appreciate. Sure, it doesn’t really matter in day-to-day use, but when you’re traveling, it can be a little annoying for your toothbrush to take up half the space in your toiletries bag. That’s something the Colgate Hum avoids.
There are some trade-offs though, and I don’t love some of them. The Colgate Hum model that I’m reviewing is powered by AAA batteries, instead of being rechargeable. There is a rechargeable model, but it costs $20 more than the battery-powered model.
The Colgate Hum is available in a few colors, including green, blue, purple, and black. At the time of this writing, you couldn’t buy a black battery-powered model. But, considering we’re reviewing a black battery-powered model, we know they exist. Website availability likely simply has to do with what Colgate has in stock.
Like many other electric toothbrushes, the Colgate Hum has replaceable heads — something that Colgate sees as a recurring revenue stream. That’s to say, you can actually subscribe to Colgate Hum to automatically get new heads every three months. It’s a handy way to ensure that you regularly replace your toothbrush heads, and costs $10 every three months.
Changing the batteries is very easy. Simply twist off the bottom part of the toothbrush, take out the old batteries, and put the new ones back in.
Colgate Hum app
The Colgate Hum app is a big part of using the toothbrush. After all, it’s a smart toothbrush. So being able to see data around how and when you brush makes it more than just an electric toothbrush.
Generally, the app is pretty easy to navigate. It’s split up into five tabs: Home, Journal, Shop, Activites, and [Your Name]. Home basically serves as a dashboard of your brushing activity and the number of so-called “Smile Points” you have, along with any challenges you can take part of. Journal shows you a deeper look at your brushing history, along with the ability to set reminders to floss and use mouthwash. Shop, as you would expect, lets you buy new heads and even a new toothbrush if you want. Activities is where you can sign up to play games while you brush, and use the app’s Guided Brushing. The last tab, which is your name, shows you information about your previous brushing sessions, a frequency chart, and a rundown of the Smile Points you’ve earned.
You might actually want to care about smile points. A smile point directly correlates to a cent that you can use in the Shop tab. So, you can get discounts on new toothbrush heads, or even get them for free. It’s a cool system, especially given the fact that you get points just for brushing your teeth.
The app can also integrate with Apple Health, which is nice. As someone who uses the Apple Health app to see all of my health data, it’s nice that I can see my toothbrushing data there too.
Colgate Hum in-use
Actually using the toothbrush is very easy — simply press the button, and the toothbrush turns on. To really get the most out of it, however, you’ll want to use the Guided Brushing offered by the app. This basically shows you where in your mouth to brush, and when — ensuring you get a full brush every time.
It can be a little cumbersome to use your phone while you’re brushing every time. If you prefer not to, the toothbrush will pulse when you’re supposed to switch to a different quadrant of your mouth, every 30 seconds. These brushing sessions will be logged in the app as “offline brushing.”
There is one problem that I had with logging my brushing in the app. I use a retainer at night when I sleep, and brush it every night. Unfortunately, that is logged in the app as brushing my teeth. Now, it’s hard to imagine a way around this, but Colgate could conceivably ask users if they brush a retainer, and then simply not log brushing sessions that happen right after another brushing session. Or, the app could allow users to manually delete sessions. Another way around this is to brush retainers without turning the toothbrush on.
The actual brush head feels relatively gentle while brushing, unlike many other electric toothbrush heads that can feel stiff and harsh. That makes brushing a little more comfortable.
The Colgate Hum is an excellent option for those that want a smart toothbrush that remains lightweight, and that doesn’t cost much money. The app makes it easy to purchase replacement heads, and it analyzes your brushing to help you learn how to better brush your teeth.
There are other options out there, even in this price range. Perhaps the most well-known of these is Quip, which comes at around the same price. But I prefer the overall look and feel of the Hum. And, I like the way the app is set up too.
Should I buy the Colgate Hum?
Yes. The Colgate Hum is an excellent option for those looking for a smart toothbrush.