Water Flosser For Teeth – Water Flosser Review
Why Review A Water Flosser For Teeth?
For years I have had trouble with my teeth. Or specifically my gums. This device has fixed it. That’s why I’m writing about this because based on my experience with it, I wish I had bought one literally years ago.
Dentists and the UK National Health Service almost unanimously recommend people should floss their teeth as well as brushing them. They’re the experts and their advice is sound. But flossing with traditional dental floss is awkward, doesn’t always work well, and is just nasty. It’s supremely easy to make your gums bleed when flossing with dental floss. Disposal of the floss (and stuff) is grim. I hate using dental floss – my teeth are irregular and the floss usually ends up getting stuck.
But flossing reduces teeth decay, improves gum health and can make breath smell better. Is a water flosser the answer to the disadvantages of traditional flossing? In my experience, it is.
What Is A Water Flosser?
The water flosser I use is a USB cordless water flosser which flosses your teeth and gums by spraying a high pressure water jet into your mouth. When aimed correctly (a trick you’ll get used to with practice) the water jet pushes out food items and helps to remove plaque from around the gum line. It’s dental floss without the string. And significantly more effective.
This particular device that I’m using is made by ESSEASON – whoever they are. They’re likely to be a Chinese company who import into Amazon FBA and sell in various countries. Other, more recognisable companies, also sell such items – such as Braun and Oral-B – though their prices were considerably higher when I was looking for one. There are various other brands at similar price points to the one I use with identical looking hardware, attachments and bags.
In this case, the device has a water reservoir at the bottom which you fill from the tap/faucet. Then with 5 different pressure settings and various different nozzles, you use it after you’ve cleaned your teeth to help remove other debris and plaque.
I’ve only ever used mine up to setting number three. Four and five appear to be brutal – and people online have suggested that the higher settings will cause gum and even tongue bleeding. Generally, unless there’s something really stubborn stuck between your teeth I’ve found setting 2 is the best.
Advantages of this Water Flosser
Disadvantages of this Water Flosser
Let’s address some of these points in more depth shall we?
In Depth Advantages
Bear in mind I’m writing this review based purely on my own subjective experience with this device. Your mileage may vary. My partner, for example, found absolutely no benefit whatsoever from using it – mostly on account of her teeth and gums being far more healthy than mine it seems.
Works Extremely Well
So. My specific case is that I have a ceramic crown fitted at the back of my mouth. When I had it fitted the dentist noted that it came with a 5 year warranty – which for £300 when it was fitted privately around the year 2000, it should. Nevertheless, in 2021 the crown is still there, intact and performing as it should with one nagging irritation.
I, to some people’s disgust, am a meat eater. And if I eat a roast beef dinner, or anything containing pork, I end up with pieces stuck under the inside of the crown, between the crown and the gum. Often the toothbrush gets it out, but occasionally it doesn’t. And if it doesn’t, within a few hours the gum swells up and starts pushing the crowned tooth forward and onto the teeth in front of it.
This has gradually got worse over the years and occasionally results in painful flareups that – for the last 2 events – were painful enough that I considered calling the dentist for an extraction. I already had a manual water flosser, which worked normally but more recently hasn’t been strong enough. That may be partly due to the head on the manual water flosser becoming loose and flying off under pressure.
Nevertheless, before getting the tooth extracted I decided to give a powered water flosser a try. And to say the results shocked me is an understatement. Even the teeth I thought were clean had bits of food that came out. Lots, and lots of food. I had no idea. To the right, excuse the grimness, is an example from a normal operation of the water flosser.
As a result, over the past 4 weeks I have had no episodes of gum inflammation after eating. No episodes of food stuck under the crown. No painful swelling up. Honestly, for me this device has been a God-send. The dentist had recommended I got one for years, but they were always really quite expensive. The ESSEASON water flosser isn’t though.
It’s still early days so I can’t speak for how long the device will last compared to the more expensive brands, but at the moment it does exactly what I need it to do.
Comes With Convenient Wash Bag
I’ve called it a wash bag to give you an idea of the size, but it’s really just a carry bag for the water flosser and its accessories if you’re traveling. But it’s perfect for traveling and means the manufacturer has pretty much thought of everything. The bag has separate little sections on the wall of the bag to house different nozzles if you should decide to share the main device between yourself and your partner. Some people may find that a little bit grim – but bear in mind you’re not sharing nozzles, just the device.
At the price they are available at though, you can probably afford to have one each. Nevertheless, if you’re travelling you’ll still want this little bag to store the device, the nozzle(s) of your choice and the USB charging cable.
Speaking of USB charging, it’s worth noting that device does not come with a charger – only the cable. Many manufacturers are (rightly in my opinion) stopping supplying chargers with devices and only supplying cables. This reduces landfill because let’s face it, you already have 20 USB chargers in drawers at home don’t you? You use maybe 2 of them. And with USB charging points appearing at the top of mains electrical sockets, you don’t even need a charger any more a lot of the time. This is how I charge mine up in fact.
The cable is proprietary though. Initially I thought it would be nice if it were a USB-C type connector or even Mini-USB. However, after using it for a few days I see why it’s proprietary. The device comes with a little rubber stopper which is placed into the USB charge socket when it’s not being charged. This protects the charging socket from water ingress and would be a lot more difficult to achieve satisfactorily if a standard USB-C or mini-USB were used.
A spare rubber bung for the socket is also provided in case you lose the first one. But don’t lose it. Just stick it back in when you finish charging and you’ll be fine.
Large Water Container / Can Be Used At Any Angle
The water flosser comes with a large water container at the base, with a flexible weighted pickup hose with enough flexibility to sit at the bottom of the water reservoir whichever angle you’re holding the device at.
This large water container, although making the device bulky, is quite necessary as the amount of water that’s used is quite considerable. Depending on the debris in your teeth you may find you have to refill it in order to get a complete clean. But most of the time it’s quite adequate.
In Depth Disadvantages Of The Water Flosser
I’m sure you don’t need reminding that I love this device and the health of my gums has improved considerably since I started using it. But there are some things to be aware of with it. I’m not sure if other devices suffer the same issues as I’ve not used other devices (except the manual one). But anyway, here’s the things to watch out for;
Power Settings 4 and 5 are FAR Too Harsh
When you first use the device it’s quite likely your gums will bleed. Everyone else who reviewed the item on Amazon said the same thing. This passes after a couple of days usually – and indeed if you use normal floss it’s likely you’ll make your gums bleed too. I suspect, though I am no dentist, that this is because there’s likely to be a level of inflammation ever present in your gums if you’re not flossing regularly and this makes them sore and irritable – and more prone to bleeding.
For me, on settings 1 and 2 now my gums do not bleed any more when using the device. Setting 2 is my general go-to setting now as it works well. Setting 1, for my teeth, is too soft. But if there’s some stubborn foodstuff between my teeth (sweetcorn skin anyone?) then I do crank it up to power setting 3 now and then which does still make my gums bleed mildly.
I have not tried power setting 4 or 5 because reviews online have stated that people have had significant gum bleeding and even some tongue damage. I can imagine, having held the device over the bath on those settings, that they reviews are probably accurate. Having said that, most people did say their mouths became accustomed to those settings. Either way, I certainly would start on power setting 1 and work your way up over a few days at least.
Very Messy Until You Get Used To It
The first few times you use this device you’ll probably want to practice in, or at least over the bath. Water will spray everywhere. The window, the curtains, the wall. It’s a mess. Do it in the shower until you get used to it. You can hose the debris down using the shower as well.
Once you get used to using it you’ll find you can return to a more normal teeth brushing regime over the sink. But if you start off over the sink be prepared for other people sharing the bathroom to get cross with you. You will make a mess.
Power Adjustment Can Be Accidentally Pushed
The location of the power settings button (and the on/off button) are such that unless you place your fingers off to the side, you are likely to push either of them by accident. If you’re using the water flosser on power setting 3 and accidentally catch the power button it pushes the power setting up to 4 – which as we’ve seen can cause trauma.
A different type of switch might be a good idea if the manufacturer wants to make a ‘version 2’ of the device – one that is not easily pushed by accident. Alternatively they could change the button logic such that the power setting will not be affected if the button is pushed while the device is running. Or, perhaps they should make it such that the power setting goes down instead of up when the button is pushed and a double tap is required to go from setting 1 to setting 5.
Nevertheless, I am just musing here about how the manufacturer could have done better. The reality is, the device has this flaw and right now I need a way to make sure I don’t accidentally hit the button.
It turns out that the best way to avoid doing so is to hold the device such that the rear of the device – where you fill the water tank from, and where there are no buttons – is pressed against your palm. Then with your hand closed around the device, rotate the device in your hand until your fingers are just off to the side of the buttons. You should find then that you don’t accidentally press them.
You may find you’re tempted to move the device around in your hand, increasing the risk of pressing the buttons by accident. Interestingly though you don’t actually need to. Keep the device in the same position in your hand and if you need a different angle onto your teeth or gums, the head rotates using the little wheel at the top.
In this way the risk of hitting the buttons is mitigated.
Conclusion – Is A Water Flosser Worth It?
This post has been about my experience with a water flosser, specifically the ESSEASON water flosser from Amazon. Many others will be similar I suspect. My experience is that this device is an essential device for my oral health.
- The gums under my crown have had no flare ups since – whereas I was getting flare ups at least weekly prior.
- My teeth feel cleaner and smoother.
- It appears to be removing some of the tartar that has built up on my teeth, making them whiter again (though not fully, that’s likely to require a visit to the hygienist).
- My partner tells me my breath no longer smells at all. That’s a huge plus.
- My gums must be healthier since the bacteria level will be reduced due to no food source for them.
Since using the water flosser, I have reached the conclusion that it’s an essential piece of dental hygiene equipment for the home and has saved me, already, hours of discomfort and possibly even lengthened the time that I’ll still have this ceramic crown for, as I can now clean underneath it properly and no longer have infections regularly. The price point for the ESSEASON water flosser reviewed here is such that it’s just not worth not having it!
TL;DR – I highly recommend it if you have trouble with things getting stuck in your teeth, under crowns and potentially even bridges and things. But I am not a dentist and if you’re unsure you should always check with your dentist / healthcare professional first, particularly if you have prosthetics of any kind in your mouth.
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