What is the Best Electric Flosser?

Below we have written an article outlining what to look for in an electric flosser, including some tips and recommendations. However, if you’re just interested in the absolute best of the best, we’ve chosen a top water unit and a top air unit and linked to their Amazon pages, where you can find them for the absolute cheapest prices online.

The Best Electric Water Flosser

The Best Electric Air Flosser

Flossing is very important in maintaining good oral health and if it is not part of your daily routine you are at risk for a number of health conditions. However, string flossing can be difficult and time consuming. A great alternative to traditional flossing is an electric flosser. Electric water flossers use a jet of pressurized water to clean between teeth and under the gum line in as little as 60 seconds. Besides being a much easier cleaning method, these devices are also found to be very effective.

There are two types of electric oral irrigators:

  1. Countertop oral irrigators
  2. Cordless oral irrigators

Countertop flossers require a power outlet. They have large water reservoirs that fit enough water for multiple uses, although the tank should be emptied and cleaned thoroughly every day to avoid bacterial growth. The reservoir connects to the handle by a flexible tube and can be filled with mouthwash and/or medicinal solutions instead of water. The flow of the liquid can be adjusted by a setting located either on the unit of the handle. Waterpik offers a wide variety of such models.

Cordless irrigators are often powered by a rechargeable battery. Their reservoir is built in the handle, so as you understand, it is significantly smaller. However, they are much lighter and much more compact so they are very convenient for regular travel and they don’t take up much countertop space. They do lack in power when compared to their counter equivalent models and have less pressure variety, especially when their battery is dying. One of the most popular cordless models is the Philips Sonicare AirFloss.

There are several issues to consider when you are thinking of purchasing an electric flosser.

First of all, it is the price. One would think that cordless models are probably less expensive but this is not always the case. Several standard countertop Waterpik models are cheaper than the Sonicare AirFloss and other portable water jets. While price is important, don’t discount a model before you’ve looked at the other issues, such as…

Convenience. What sort of lifestyle you have dictates the kind of the electric flosser you need. If you travel a lot or you have a small bathroom with no counter space, you shouldn’t purchase a bulky flosser. Another important factor that will determine the product you’ll buy is your personal dental needs. If you have complex dental work done, such as bridges, crowns, or if are wearing braces, you should go for appliances that provide you with orthodontic tips that can thoroughly clean around your dental work.

So when wondering which is the best electric flosser, it comes down to one’s personal needs. However, statistics show that the most popular model is the Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser. It is a quite affordable countertop model that seems to cover most customers’ needs. It has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon, which is an amazing score if you consider the fact that it derives from an average of 5,400 reviews! About 5,000 customers are perfectly happy with their purchase, a fact suggesting that it is difficult to go wrong with this product.

Which is the Best Electric Flosser?

Below we have written an article outlining what to look for in an electric flosser, including some tips and recommendations. However, if you’re just interested in the absolute best of the best, we’ve chosen a top water unit and a top air unit and linked to their Amazon pages, where you can find them for the absolute cheapest prices online.

The Best Electric Water Flosser

The Best Electric Air Flosser

 

Flossing is very important in maintaining good oral health and if it is not part of your daily routine you are at risk for a number of health conditions. However, string flossing can be difficult and time consuming. A great alternative to traditional flossing is an electric flosser. Electric water flossers use a jet of pressurized water to clean between teeth and under the gum line in as little as 60 seconds. Besides being a much easier cleaning method, these devices are also found to be very effective.

There are two types of electric oral irrigators:

  1. Countertop oral irrigators
  2. Cordless oral irrigators

Countertop flossers require a power outlet. They have large water reservoirs that fit enough water for multiple uses, although the tank should be emptied and cleaned thoroughly every day to avoid bacterial growth. The reservoir connects to the handle by a flexible tube and can be filled with mouthwash and/or medicinal solutions instead of water. The flow of the liquid can be adjusted by a setting located either on the unit of the handle. Waterpik offers a wide variety of such models.

Cordless irrigators are often powered by a rechargeable battery. Their reservoir is built in the handle, so as you understand, it is significantly smaller. However, they are much lighter and much more compact so they are very convenient for regular travel and they don’t take up much countertop space. They do lack in power when compared to their counter equivalent models and have less pressure variety, especially when their battery is dying. One of the most popular cordless models is the Philips Sonicare AirFloss.

There are several issues to consider when you are thinking of purchasing an electric flosser.

First of all, it is the price. One would think that cordless models are probably less expensive but this is not always the case. Several standard countertop Waterpik models are cheaper than the Sonicare AirFloss and other portable water jets. While price is important, don’t discount a model before you’ve looked at the other issues, such as…

Convenience. What sort of lifestyle you have dictates the kind of the electric flosser you need. If you travel a lot or you have a small bathroom with no counter space, you shouldn’t purchase a bulky flosser. Another important factor that will determine the product you’ll buy is your personal dental needs. If you have complex dental work done, such as bridges, crowns, or if are wearing braces, you should go for appliances that provide you with orthodontic tips that can thoroughly clean around your dental work.

So when wondering which is the best electric flosser, it comes down to one’s personal needs. However, statistics show that the most popular model is the Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser. It is a quite affordable countertop model that seems to cover most customers’ needs. It has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon, which is an amazing score if you consider the fact that it derives from an average of 5,400 reviews! About 5,000 customers are perfectly happy with their purchase, a fact suggesting that it is difficult to go wrong with this product.

A Guide to Flossing With Braces

flossing with bracesIt is self evident that flossing is neither easy nor fun, so convincing a child to floss can be a challenge for most parents. This becomes even more difficult when a child wears braces.

The archwires come in the way of flossing the traditional way. Doing it on your own can be challenging for an adult, let alone a child.

However difficult it may be, proper orthodontic care is very important to maintaining a healthy mouth and smile. Since orthodontic appliances are difficult to clean, people wearing them are much more prone to plaque formation and gum disease. So, it takes commitment and 3 times more time and effort from parents to ensure a good oral hygiene for kids, while teeth are being realigned.

Nonetheless, there are tricks to make flossing a little easier for a child that wears braces.

Using a Water Flosser

While it’s best to do both dental flossing and water flossing, if you can at least get a good oral irrigator to help out with your flossing needs if you or your child has braces, it will help a lot on the way to a healthy mouth. Instead of dealing with the threading of the floss, you simply fill the reservoir with water and point the stream in between your teeth and braces.

For kids, we recommend looking at the Waterpik for Kids (click for our review) and for teenagers or adults, we recommend the full version of the Waterpik, the Ultra (click here for our review).

Using Dental Floss

Using dental floss on braces can be tricky, frustrating and time consuming. You need to pull the floss under the wire, much like threading a needle, and then slide the floss between adjacent teeth above the wire. This can be difficult, especially if one attempts to do it on their own while looking in a mirror.

However, there is a simple, cheap and disposable tool which you can use to make ‘threading’ a piece of cake. The orthodontic floss threader is a simple yet ingenious elastic loop, which is available in nearly any store selling oral care products (though you can get it for the best price on Amazon…click here to go to our recommended product).

You just take a long piece of dental floss, about 18 inches should suffice, and pull it through the loop of the threader. Then insert the pointy end of the threader under the wire and pull. The floss is now over the wire quickly and effortlessly, so it can be used to remove plaque under the gum line. When you are done, remove the floss carefully and repeat for each consecutive tooth. Another available product that is effective in pulling the string floss underneath the archwire easily is dental floss with a stiff end. This comes pre-cut and is as effective as the floss threader. Make sure to use waxed floss because non-waxed floss is more likely to be caught on the braces and leave shreds behind.

Young children that wear braces are not expected to floss on their own as they lack the dexterity required to do it properly. Parents need to do it for them in many cases. This can be quite difficult, especially if a child is unable to sit still. The parent must come up with a way to keep the child occupied, such as sitting where he/she can watch television.

This is very important since flossing with braces takes a considerable amount of time and needs to be done in a well-lit area. Besides ensuring a proper dental care, parents should continuously encourage their children to take good care of their teeth. Dental care is important for everyone and the sooner we learn this the better, but it is that much more important for individuals with braces. Flossing in this case might take much more time and effort but these people are more prone to plaque buildup and gingivitis.

Why Floss? The Importance of Flossing Your Teeth

Flossing, as we all should know, is the interdental cleaning process using dental floss – a synthetic or silk thread – or a water flosser. The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day and flossing at least once. Many of us though, seem to skip the latter, making up a great number of excuses.

However, brushing alone is not enough. Although it is very effective in cleaning the inner and outer teeth surfaces, there are places a toothbrush can’t reach. These are the very narrow gaps between teeth, as well as the areas where the base of each tooth comes into contact with the gum line.

Yes, it’s true that adding mouthwash to one’s daily routine will certainly reduce the amount of harmful bacteria responsible for the formation of plaque. Nonetheless, the disinfectant properties of mouthwash simply won’t suffice. Removal of food residue from the aforementioned hard to reach places is not an easy job. Plaque will eventually form and gradually harden causing bad breath referred to as halitosis. If it is not dealt with while it is still pliable, it will accumulate over time to develop into tartar.

Tartar is the number one culprit for most tooth and gum diseases. It can be removed only by dental care professionals. Such procedures, besides being very costly, wear tooth enamel off and can be very invasive. Tartar can lead to gum disease starting off by swollen, inflamed gums, a condition called gingivitis. In severe cases such as periodontitis, plaque and tartar extend below the gum line causing an infection. If left untreated, the infection spreads to the jaw and can eventuate in tooth and even bone loss. Added to this, research suggests that poor oral hygiene is associated with a number of conditions, some of them life-threatening, such as heart disease, diabetes and illnesses of the respiratory system. (This is serious stuff, folks!)

Flossing combined with tooth brushing can prevent gum disease and halitosis. Research has shown that flossing in addition to brushing decreases the symptoms of gingivitis when compared to brushing alone. The American Dental Association, besides advising to floss thoroughly once or more every day, specifically directs proper flossing. Careless, vigorous flossing may have adverse effects such as gum tissue damage. Their advice is to ‘hug’ each tooth in turn, by placing the floss in a ‘C’ shape around it and very gently wipe it two to three times under the gum line. Although the Association does not recommend a specific order of flossing and brushing, it is commonly presumed that flossing before brushing allows toothpaste to be easily inserted between the teeth. Here’s an instructional video showing exactly how to floss:

In summation, flossing plays a very important role in maintaining dental health. The importance of dental health goes well beyond having a bright, healthy, confident smile and fresh breath. It is about the protection of one’s overall health and the reduction of dental health expenses. Research suggests that individuals that floss may spend up to 40% less on dental care than those who don’t. So, flossing equals preventive dental care. And everyone should take that little time and effort required to tend to their teeth.

Where Do I Find The Right Floss?

We recommend you look into water flossers (otherwise known as oral irrigators) to get the very best clean between your teeth and below your gum line. You can see our top picks on our home page, or you can go right to what we think is the best unit out there: the Waterpik Ultra.

Best Dental Floss

Dental floss was first introduced in 1815 by Levi Spear Parmly, a dentist from New Orleans. He suggested that people should clean their teeth with a piece of silk floss, yet dental floss only became available to the public no sooner than 70 years later. Nowadays, the bunch of microscopic filaments used to remove plaque and food residue from between the teeth has gained popularity and it is recommended by most dentists and dental care professionals around the globe.

We’ll go into important aspects of dental floss below, but for our quick pick of the best dental floss, you’ll find that Reach has done a tremendous job putting together some great products that are very popular and are well-rated by actual users.

Our Pick For The Best Dental Floss

Reach Gentle Gum Care Woven Dental Floss (6-Pack of the Fluoride, 50 Yard Dispensers shown)

Flossing products currently available to consumers differ in a variety of aspects.

Material

The original dental floss was made of silk. After World War II, nylon floss was manufactured and was found to be more effective because of its greater elasticity and abrasion. Now synthetic materials such as nylon, PTFE and polyethylene are used and due to environmental concerns, dental floss which has been produced with biodegradable materials is also available.

Coating

Dental floss may be waxed or unwaxed and flavored or unflavored. A wax coating helps the dental floss glide more easily between the teeth. Many people who have little space between their teeth prefer waxed dental floss. Certain types of waxed dental floss add to their effectiveness, by containing antibacterial substances and sodium fluoride.

Thickness

As mentioned, there is great variability among dental floss products. The most important factor to consider though is thickness. Types of floss that differ in thickness are suitable for different mouths, or even for different areas of a single mouth as adjoining teeth are very likely to vary in proximity. A floss that is too thick for a space between a particular pair of teeth will not be able to slide down to the gum line, while on the other hand, if too thin it will not be as efficient as it should and it might even break. Thicker floss is considered to do a better job in scraping plaque away, but hard particles of food tightly stuck between teeth are more likely to be removed by thinner floss. There are some kinds of floss that can be split lengthwise to create the desired thickness for each specific need.

Flossing by hand is not always easy, especially for children. And reaching the rear teeth can be tricky for everyone. This is why specialized plastic wands been manufactured to hold the floss enabling a wider reach. Early flossers however, did not provide the required flossing control around angles and under the gums. Current ergonomic flossers come with swiveling heads allowing access to both anterior and posterior teeth, with improved handles for a better grip. Added to this, the heads’ flexibility allows the floss to wrap around a tooth and thoroughly clean under the gum line. In the same category, floss picks are disposable devices composed of two plastic prongs holding a piece of floss, extending from the body of the gadget, which on the other end tapers into a toothpick. Which works best is really a matter of personal preference.

If you have never had luck with dental floss, you might consider a water flosser like the Waterpik Ultra. Oral irrigators use pressurized water, rather than silk, nylon, or another type of string-type product to clean your teeth.

In conclusion, the best dental floss is the one that is appropriate for one’s needs. Depending on teeth alignment and spacing, one should choose the interdental cleaner that fits them best. The choice however, must be made amongst products that have been approved by the American Dental Association, which means that they have been tested for effectiveness and safety.

And once more, our pick for the best dental floss based on general use, popularity, and rating is from Reach:

How To Use A Water Flosser

Oral irrigators, sometimes called water flossers or water jets, are a substitute to dental flossing (though can be even more powerful if used in combination with dental floss). Oral irrigation is thought to be more effective than regular flossing for a number of reasons. The main reason is that research has shown it to be much more successful in preventing gum disease and maintaining gum health without hurting the gums and without being unpleasant.

The first step to properly water floss your teeth is to purchase an oral irrigation device and go through its manual. It is important to understand how your unit works, as each one is slightly different.

Typically a water jet consists of a water reservoir placed on top of an electrical pump. The pump flushes pulses of water through a hose linked to a handle and tip, onto your teeth. By targeting specific areas that your toothbrush is unable to reach, such as between adjacent teeth and at their base below the gum line, you can manage to remove bacteria, plaque and food residue throughout your mouth. Water flossers operate on an average of 1,600 pulses per minute.

You start by setting up the device.

Steps to Water Floss Successfully

1. Assuming it is a typical model, place it on a convenient spot on your countertop, so that the hose is long enough for you to irrigate over the sink. The process can be messy, especially in the beginning.

2. Fill the water reservoir. There are several antimicrobial agents and oral irrigation solutions on the market. If you would like to maximize the effects of your irrigator you might want to consider using them. Some may tamper with the device though, so you should check the manufacturer’s recommendations.

3. Then plug the power cord into the outlet.

4. Choose the appropriate tip and adjust it to the handle.

5. Find the water pressure lever. It is usually placed on the side of the device and it is numbered.

6. Bring the tip to your gums and adjust the intensity level to a comfortable setting. Pressure should be strong but not painful. Most people choose a middle setting but that depends on your pump’s power.

7. Hold the tip and handle at a 90-degree angle and start with your back teeth. Aim at the gum line and turn the water on.

8. Continue by moving the tip back and forth along the gum line, thoroughly cleaning each tooth. The most difficult areas are between the teeth. You should be persistent in your cleaning of these places, as they are most prone to plaque built up. Depending on the pressure setting, the reservoir might empty quickly and need refilling.

9. Start over and repeat the process, this time on the inside of the teeth.

At first the whole procedure will take a while and might be awkward. By doing it every day, you will get familiar with the device and become faster with it. It is preferable to do this with your nightly routine. Although there is no evidence to support it, it is better to do it before brushing to give way to the toothpaste to slide between the teeth.

Empty the remaining water from the reservoir after every use and dry thoroughly. There are two reasons to do that. First, if water is left in the reservoir for too long, salts may clog the device. It’s a good idea to use distilled water to prolong the unit’s life. Second, humidity facilitates bacterial growth. These may end up in your mouth during your following use.

Click here to check out the best deals on water flossers at Amazon!

Enjoy your healthy mouth and fresh breath!

What is a water flosser?

Alright, so we have given you a number of in depth reviews and our picks for the best water flossers out there, but if you’re just starting out and have never heard of water flossers or oral irrigators before, here’s where we get a bit historical and scholarly on you!

An oral irrigator, commonly referred to as a water flosser, dental water jet or water pick, is a device that removes bacteria causing plaque, plaque film and food residue from below the gum line and between the teeth, using a stream of water under pressure, usually pulsating. A typical water flosser consists of a handle with interchangeable tips from which the water comes out and it is attached to the main unit by a hose. The basic components of the main unit are the water reservoir and the motor pump that drives the water from the reservoir to the tip through the hose.

what is a water flosser

Water flossers are a great way to keep your mouth and teeth healthy, clean, and fresh!

The first oral irrigator devised as a home care water flossing product, was introduced in 1962, by two Fort Collins CO employees, an engineer and a dentist. The first Waterpik was then released in the market. Besides some adjustments made to reduce the noise of the motor pump, not many changes have been done to the original design. Early studies on the efficacy of oral irrigation at home yielded rather confusing results. Although gingivitis reduction by this new flossing method was indisputable, Waterpik showed little efficiency in removing plaque. As a consequence, the device did not gain the expected recognition and it was simply reserved for patients wearing braces or having other tooth positioning issues.

In the past few years however, there has been an increasing interest in daily oral irrigation at home. This led to the conduction of more than 50 scientific studies evaluating the effectiveness of current irrigation devices.

In accordance with original studies, evidence showed that daily use of water flossers is extremely helpful, much more than dental floss, in diminishing gingivitis and bleeding (particularly the top ranked model, the Waterpik Aquarius). At the same time, it was shown that irrigation is as effective in reducing plaque as dental floss after all. Test subjects included regular users, as well as orthodontic patients, patients with gingivitis, implants, crowns, etc.

A huge concern was the possibility of the pulsating water pushing the bacteria into the blood stream (bacteremia). This can be potentially dangerous, as it can cause an infection to major organs. Research showed no correlation between oral irrigation and bacteremia, at least no greater than flossing or toothbrushing. On the contrary, as home oral irrigation devices improve the health of the gums, the gums become tougher and are less prone to bleeding. As a result, it is more difficult for bacteria to be inserted into the blood stream. Furthermore, the use of antimicrobial agents diluted in the water of the reservoir has been found to enhance the outcome of the entire process.

In summation, a literature review on domestic oral irrigation products reveals a whole new way of flossing. Contemporary home units offer plaque and debris removal to the same degree, if not more, as traditional interdental cleaning practices like regular flossing, without the risk of damaging one’s gums. Quite the opposite, research suggests. A water flosser will gently clean under the gum line without scarring the tissue, without bleeding, while at the same time prevents gingivitis.

Get the best deals on water flossers by checking out the great value offered at Amazon.com!

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