Taking care of your teeth is essential, and spending a little now can save you a LOT in the long run. With that in mind, should you drop over $150 on the Philips Sonicare Airfloss Ultra to help keep your mouth healthy?
– Actually makes you floss
– Great design and battery
– Detachable heads mean it can be shared
– Can’t completely replace string floss
– Slow to recharge
What is it?
The Philips Sonicare Airfloss Ultra is a mouthful. Literally.
Standing at the same height as your electric toothbrush, the Airfloss Ultra is a small gadget that literally blasts water through your teeth and gums to clean them in lieu of a typical string floss product.
It’s not a new gadget by any means, but it’s still certainly an underrated one. The first Sonicare Airfloss came out around 2013, and the team at Philips has been incrementally improving it since then.
How does the Philips Airfloss?
Philips call the Airfloss Ultra an “interdental flosser”. That means it’s meant to shoot a mixture of air and liquid – be it water or mouthwash – in between your teeth and gums to dislodge plaque and other detritus.
Simply charge the unit on its proprietary wireless charging base, select the amount of liquid you want discharged from the Airfloss – be it one, two, or three blasts at a time – and press the fire button on the base of the nozzle to get going.
Depending on the burst setting you use, the Airfloss Ultra pledges to rid your mouth of 99.9 per cent plaque. A bold claim, indeed.
Does the Philips Airfloss work?
The Airfloss Ultra is a curious gadget, in that it’s not actually meant to replace traditional flossing at all. It’s a flossing alternative that’s designed for folks who don’t floss at all. That used to be me before the Airfloss.
Flossing is totally annoying, because quite often you can’t get into the hard to reach places, leading to a tale of two mouths: clean and flossed at the front and needing attention at the back. Often it leads to me not doing it at all, which is bad areas.
The Airfloss works your whole mouth real easy, and in one fill of the tank, you can blast your mouth clean of plaque to hit all the spots your toothbrush missed.
Personally I like to turn it up to three blasts and do both sides of my teeth: one with the nozzle facing inwards and one with it facing outwards.
Sometimes you come across a particularly stubborn bit of detritus in your teeth that the Airfloss can’t shift, however. It’s not exactly a needle-point blast and it is still a battery-powered pump, but for general flossing of an evening, it absolutely does the job.
The hexagonal head of the Airfloss Ultra is meant to be replaced every six months or so, and you can cop a two-pack online for around $20. You can even grab different colours and share the gadget around your home thanks to the replaceable heads.
Should you buy it?
As mentioned earlier, the Airfloss Ultra is meant for those folks who don’t floss at all. Nil. Nada. Goose egg. The big zero. If you’re someone who doesn’t floss, you need to start, and the Airfloss Ultra is your way in.
Flossing is totally a pain. I always used to avoid it, and then I’d sit through a lecture from my dentist about how essential it was. I’d go home, do it for a week and then forget again until my next checkup and the lectures started fresh. Rinse, repeat.
The Airfloss Ultra sitting in your cupboard looking at you is a great reminder to pick up your game when it comes to oral hygiene. I know it has helped me floss more regularly, that’s for sure.
Not flossing can lead to cavities and other dental problems, and while the Airfloss might not be able to compete with regular flossing, it’s still better than nothing, and might actually get you to do it.
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Luke Hopewell is the editor and co-founder of Redaktör. He's previously been the Editor of Gizmodo, Founding Editor of Business Insider Australia, Editorial Lead for Twitter Australia and more.