You want a beautiful smile, but you want it to be healthy, too. Great oral health has an impact on your health overall, and it often ensures better-smelling breath so that you can feel confident every time you talk, smile or laugh.
If you already do important things for your mouth’s health—such as frequent brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist regularly—your teeth and gums are probably already in good shape. What else can you do to promote a healthy mouth?
You might want to try adding an oral irrigator to your oral care routine, which many dentists recommend. Choosing the best oral irrigator can make your teeth and gums as healthy as they can possibly be.
Top 5 oral irrigator comparison chart
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Top 5 recommended oral irrigator reviews
In looking at some of the top oral irrigators, I considered factors like battery life, overall effectiveness and adjustable pressure. Products like this are designed to reach places that your toothbrush and floss can’t. I have reviewed some top picks and am presenting some of the best oral irrigators you’ll find.
This updated Poseidon irrigator gets a thumbs up for its long-lasting battery. Instead of using a Ni-MH battery, this product uses high-quality lithium-ion batteries, which have more life and power to them, giving you a longer lasting, stronger water stream.
The power is adjustable with three settings. Set it to normal for a deep clean or soft for sensitive teeth; it can also be set on pulse.
It’s easy to put water in the tank because the back of it simply pops open. There’s nothing to take apart and no extra pieces to fiddle around with.
One of my favorite things about the Poseidon is how easy it is now to get the tips off. Some products have tips in place that are hard to get off; you have to pull forcefully to remove them and you could damage them this way.
This one features an easy-release button; you simply press it and the tip comes off, ready for a replacement. Another feature that travelers will love is that the voltage is universal, so when you travel to other countries, you can still have your oral irrigator with you.
Final verdict: The pricing on this one falls into the average range, so I think it’s a good irrigator for just about anyone, especially people who travel internationally.
This SmarToiletries irrigator is powerful but quiet. It also comes with a very handy built-in timer, so after using it for two minutes, it automatically shuts off.
This is a convenient, dentist-recommended feature. Instead of wondering if you’ve cleaned your teeth and gums for the right amount of time, you automatically know.
The water pressure gives you 1400 pulses per minute, which is higher than the recommended 1200/minute, so it’s extremely effective at removing plaque and other harmful bacteria that can lead to cavities and decay.
It’s also suitable for braces and implants. It runs on a lithium battery, so it should last you for quite a while before you have to replace it.
You have your choice of colors if that’s important to you because you might want something different than the plain white model that so many irrigators come in.
This is one of the smaller irrigators, and its sleek design is perfect for small bathroom countertops since it won’t take up a lot of space. In addition, it sits on a charging base, so you won’t have cords taking up
In addition, it sits on a charging base, so you won’t have cords taking up room, either.
The downside to its size is that the water tank isn’t high-capacity, and you might have to stop cleaning and refill it.
The good part is that it’s easy to refill. It features a built-in timer with automatic shut-off after two minutes, and that’s a convenient feature I love.
The water stream is powerful enough to effectively and quickly clean your teeth and gums.
When you want to clean your teeth and gums quickly, this Gurin Flosser does the same job of flossing but in half the time. This one features a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that’s made to stand up to years of use.
You can charge it overnight, and on a full charge, you can use it for weeks before you have to charge it again. Dentists recommend it, and it’s FDA-approved. Plus, it’s been shown to be five times more effective than string floss in removing plaque.
Even though it’s highly effective, it’s still gentle on your teeth and gums. You choose how soft or hard you want your water to be directed—there are three settings to choose from.
You also get two tips, so you can share this irrigator by switching the tips out for each user; tips are color-coded so you won’t mix them up. The tips rotate 360 degrees, so this cleaner works extremely fast.
Final verdict: I think the high-capacity water tank is a great selling point for this one because you won't have to stop and refill in the middle of cleaning. Plus, it’s convenient and easy to use.
If you want an irrigator that requires no batteries that you’ll have to replace, this is the product for you. In addition, this fully portable oral irrigator doesn’t run on electricity, so it won’t be plugged in while you use it.
However, you will need electricity to charge it. It charges via a USB charging adapter, and a full charge should last up to two weeks.
It’s designed to nearly double the amount of plaque that a manual toothbrush removes, so it’s much more efficient than a regular toothbrush.
It features 360-degree rotating nozzles for full coverage. You also get interchangeable color-coded nozzles, so more than one person can use this one.
One feature I wasn’t crazy about on this model is that it’s not as easy to refill. You get a tiny funnel to do the job, but as you can imagine, it’s one extra piece you have to keep track of, and it’s not the simplest thing to do.
Final verdict: This is a great option for people who want a truly portable product. Plus, you never have to buy batteries for it, so you save money on that feature.
What Is an Oral Irrigator?
An oral irrigator is also known as a water flosser or dental water jet. It’s an appliance that gently directs a thin stream of water into your mouth, allowing you to focus it on and between teeth, along with your gumline and under your gums.
What to Consider When Buying an Oral Irrigator?
You want your oral irrigator to promote healthy teeth and gums, so what should you consider when making a purchasing decision?
- Choose the right type
Most oral irrigators are around the same price, and they have many of the same features. You can even use a cheap oral irrigator if you’re the only one using it and you’re not concerned with how lightweight it is or if it comes with a travel case. You should look for one that’s made for braces, implants and bridgework, however, if you have any of those.
Consider what’s most important to you and buy products that address those specific needs. For instance, if you want something that works quickly, buy one with a high-capacity water tank that won’t run out while you’re using it and that has fully rotating nozzles.
- Interchangeable tips
If you’re the only one who’ll use your oral irrigator, having multiple tips won’t be a concern. However, some people like being able to share it, but each person should use his or her own tip, for basic hygiene purposes. Having color-coded tips helps you keep track of which one is yours.
- Water tank capacity
This is an important consideration because if you run out of water mid-cleaning, you’ll have to stop and refill the tank before you can continue. In irrigators with small tanks, you might have to refill more than once.
This can be a time-consuming annoyance, especially if you use it on busy mornings before going to work or school. Look for irrigators with high-capacity water tanks that should last at least one full cleaning before you have to fill it again.
- Adjustable water pressure
Everyone’s tooth and gum sensitivity are different, so there’s no single pressure that works for everyone. Look for products that have adjustable pressure; they typically range from soft (for the gentlest touch) to normal and pulse.
If you already follow the recommended minimum two-minute brushing time that dentists recommend, you might also want to stick to that time when using your irrigator.
Dentists suggest using irrigators with this timer so that you know you’re cleaning between your teeth and gums a sufficient amount of time. Having a timer gives you one less thing to worry about.
- Redesigned motor for less noise
If you don’t want to hear a lot of noise when using an oral irrigator, look for models that have been designed to be quieter. This is helpful if you share a bathroom or are worried about waking someone up while you use it.
- Effective for braces
If you wear braces, an irrigator can do an excellent job of flushing out food and plaque, so you want a product designed to work on braces. Most of them do. You’ll probably want one with a more powerful motor so that it effectively reaches between your braces.
Irrigators are often preferred by braces wearers because trying to floss with string can be difficult, so this makes cleaning much easier for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can an oral irrigator take the place of dental floss?
Ans: Most of the time, no. Floss is considered more effective for cleaning between teeth, according to Mayo Clinic. An irrigator should be viewed as a good addition to your oral routine, not a replacement for flossing.
However, some people have especially sensitive gums that bleed easily when they floss; with your dentist’s recommendations, in this case, you can see if an irrigator can fully replace flossing. Otherwise, expect to use it to complement your regular brushing and flossing.
2. Can more than one person use the same irrigator?
Ans: When you choose a product with multiple tips, yes. You probably don’t want to use the same tip as someone else. It’s almost the same as sharing a toothbrush, and no one wants to do that! Instead, look for irrigators that come with color-coded tips so you always know which one is yours.
3. Are these good for using if I wear implants or have other bridgework?
Ans: Most of these products are ideal for people with non-removable crowns or implants, and even teeth that are tightly packed together.
4. Are these suitable for sensitive teeth and gums?
Ans: Because most irrigators have adjustable water pressure, you can select the lowest setting so that your gums don’t get irritated. You might also want to use lukewarm water instead of cold water if that’s more comfortable.
If you want the freshest breath and cleanest mouth you can possibly get, oral irrigators are great for at-home use. When you complement your regular dental visits with routine brushing, flossing and irrigating, you can have a great oral care routine in place.
Consider any of these recommended products depending on what’s most important to you, whether it’s portability, effectiveness, lightweight or quick action.
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