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 your 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.
|Waterpik Whitening Power Flosser (FLW-220UK)||201 Reviews||View on Amazon|
You can also buy packs of replacement picks from Amazon.
A bit different, but a possible alternative is the Power Pickster, which is designed to bring sonic vibration cleaning to the Picksters interdental brush.
|Power Pickster||138 Reviews||£34.85||View on Amazon|
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.
23 thoughts on “Oral-B Hummingbird – can you still get it anywhere?”
The Humming Bird was one of the most popular dental cleaning devices. Do not understand why it was discontinued. I have bought and tried other devices, but find them not as good as the original ‘Humming Bird’. I note some people are selling Humming Bird devices on eBay at extortionate prices!
I really really want to buy an oral B battery operated flosser !! Not a.water oil if any description
There is on ebay https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Oral-B-Hummindbird-Picks-Flosser-refill-10-pks-of-10-picks-Mint-Flavor/361213836272?hash=item541a05bbf0:g:xCwAAOSwCTpb-tWM&frcectupt=true
Is this this a con or can you now get new head tips for the Hummingbird. (I note the misspell in the ad of Hummindbird.
I can’t necessarily say it is a con. There is greater opportunity for this to happen with ebay. It looks ok, and the seller appears to have a good rating. I should imagine it is old stock sourced from somewhere. It probably is new, but just manufactured some time ago.
you can find the floss heads on ebay but they are pricey.
i hate that they discontinued this product, they should try it again.
people buy disposable floss picks like crazy.
i still have my little hummingbird
if you put a placker on it and twist it a bit you can make it work somewhat although you have to grip the flosser and the unit so it’s not enjoyable like letting the little hummer do its thing between your teeth.
try the plackers that bend…and let me know if you find anything else that you can improvise.
they’ll take my hummingbird out of my cold dead hands!
Might be a good idea to produce these if Oral B can give licence to produce and market this product. This has been the best Flossing product and its very disappointing to note that its been not available. I am still using mine and have now run out of refills. Tried to replace the batteries but it unit is not working.
been using this exclusively for 10+ years now. havent been to dentist in 5 and my latest visit the hygienist said my teeth were in better condition than someone that comes in every 3 months! I need refills, not paying $65 for 15 on eBay, sorry. Please bring this back. Name it something else if need be, but for god sake, bring it back!!
you can get replacement parts for the battery compartment at walmart.com
I still have my Hummingbird but sadly no refills. I should have kept some of the flosser frames and just replaced the floss…hindsight, sigh.
May try and make a frame from scratch.
A real shame the Hummingbird was discontinued though 😢.
On the plus side, I have just bought a Waterpik 660 Ultra Pro which is to be honest an absolutely brilliant piece of kit.
Most flossing kit is useless for me. I have fat fingers and a small mouth so the Hummingbird was a godsend.
When the hummingbird was discontinued I resorted to adapting my standard, philips electric toothbrush by cutting off the toothbrush head and sticking a Hummingbird flossing head onto it (any make of electric toothbrush will do).
This works even better than the original Hummingbird as it is more powerful and has a longer, broader handle.
Sadly, I am finding it harder and harder to get the refills, the price of which is skyrocketing.
Someone could make good money by copying the refills and selling adapters so they fit on any make of electric toothbrushes.
Where are you Mrs Hummingbird?
It amazes me with all the demand and petitions for the Hummingbird, that Oral-B hasn’t seen fit to re-release the product. I have 2. Both are functioning and I have a ton of floss replacements that’ll hopefully keep me going for quite some time. But what is the deal?? I’ve even spoken to Oral-B directly and they always say something like… “Thank you for your interesting in the product!”
probably cause they make a bigger profit off more expensive items but that’s just my cynical side. their toothbrushes are overpriced and garbage. i got 3 for a buck at dollar tree that work better. has anyone really improved on the basic toothbrush? i wonder.
but that hummingbird, that’s a little engineering marvel and actually fun to use. no wonder they pulled it!
The Humming Bird I am referring to cost £1.99 and I have been using it for years. In fact I bought at least twelve – one each for my family and grand children.
Good for you……I have an oral B humming bird flosser but it doesn’t work anymore for some strange reason. I put a new battery and still doesn’t work. I think it’s broken somehow?? I looked this on Amazon and eBay, both sites say this brand cost over $100 bucks. What a rip offf, I probably paid for mine around $10-$15 bucks in a store yrs ago. Anyway good luck with yours.
hello , there is nothing to touch a hummingbird. i buy then when i see one on ebay/ glad to hear that the motor is re[placable. i have several u/s ones
I bought an Oral B water/air flosser which cost £100 and am very disappointed. Getting spares for my Hummingbird has proved difficult and the air flosser is very easy to use but not very effective at cleaning. The Hummingbird is much, much better. I wish they would continue production.
one idea that works for humming bird is dental floss picks.by cutting the tips to the right thickness of the shaft they fit in place ….humming bird picks sorted.
I had one Hummingbird that served me for a few years until the motor went dead last year. Searched for a replacement motor and the best I could get was a 3V motor of similar dimensions that I have replaced last weekend. Happy with the result but the vibrations of the battery case is more than the tip itself. Will be trying to glue the cover more securely over the weekend. Now back to the search for replacement tips.
One thing I have come to learn painfully though is that no and I repeat NO manufacturer is interested in creating a product that you will purchase and walk away with only small returns to them through inexpensive replacement consumables. Much more so if the company in question is a multinational. They will sell you an expensive main product at a throw away price and bleed you through their replacement consumable for a very long time.
The examples of my views are:
1. The Humming bird flosser.
2. Home colour printer – printer throw away price and company gets money through cartridges.
3. Double edged blades: Remember that when the design got perfected with butterfly opening and adjustable angled cutting edges, the industry killed the product and replaced it with 2 edged, followed by 4 edged and now should have reached 100 edges? The new razors are thrown in for a song and charged for the replacement cartridges. The industry is not interested in giving a product with a thin metallic replaceable blade and all plastic as a part of a strong reliable razor that need not be disposed with every blade.
If a product reaches a mature state of design perfection, there is nothing that the company is able to do to increase its revenue. It might try to steer you to an alternate product and it will have no hesitation to kill the mature product.
Great to hear you got it working again. I tried mine following your instructions but no luck. I think the motor must be gone. It was such a great product. I am sad to have to give up on it
Further to this mornings email re Oral-B Hummingbird.
After removing the outercase:-
I removed the blue collar – two clips.
Then removed the white motor cover – pulls straight off.
– exposing a tiny electric motor driving an out-of-balance shaft/weight – this creats the vibration!
Gently rotating the shaft whilst pressing the switch got the whole thing working again – a tiny drop of oil was applied to the shaft where it comes out of the motor – applied using a toothpick – will (I hope) make sure that my Hummingbird will live a few more years…
Glad to read you have got it working again Martin. 5/5 for perseverance to get it to work.
Have had a Hummingbird for years with sufficient refill packs to last me several more years!
This morning it wasn’t working (I haven’t used it for a while) the battery was dead and leaking a little so I cleaned the contacts, removed the battery ‘gunge’ and put in a new battery – still not working…
Invistigated further to see if I could ‘fix’ anything but the wires from the switch lead into a sealed plasic cylinder – a piezo unit?
Have had a Philips Sonicare for a couple of years and recently bought a Pro version ‘body’ (uses the same induction charger) very cheaply on the internet. Very pleased with both of them – the Pro is a little larger with a larger water reservoir because it can ‘deliver’ 1, 2 or 3 ‘squirts’ per operation – but otherwise it’s the same machine – maybe with a larger battery as well…
Curious to know exactly how/what creates the vibration in the Oral-B Hummingbird…
Martin Bronsdon, Ex-pat, retired mechanical engineer, Gothenburg, Sweden
We have been using the Hummingbird for years and have a few. It’s the refills ( tips) that are so expensive now. Not sure how people have managed to stock pile so many, now that they are out of production since 2010! The motor is gone on my hummingbirds but I don’t mind as they are still as effective for flossing the hard to reach spots.