If you don’t travel often, or you’re willing to tolerate string floss when you do, you may be willing to sacrifice a little bit of counter space (about 4 by 5 inches, or 10 by 12 cm) for your oral irrigator. These have a number of advantages, starting with the fact that they allow you to use a much smaller, lighter, and more ergonomic handle.
They also offer a much wider range of pressure settings (ten, in this case) and have a larger reservoir for storing water, allowing you to finish your dental routine on one tank even if you’re not some kind of flossing ninja.
It also does away with the need to remember to charge your water flosser from time to time, which is probably the last thing on your mind when you’re getting ready for work in the morning.
A Whole New Level of Control
Another thing that distinguishes this countertop machine from handheld water flossers is that it has on/off buttons both on the machine itself and the handle. The slider on the handle, unfortunately, is very stiff and some people will find it easier just to use the power button on the main unit. The handle valve control is also uncomfortably close to the button that ejects the tip – interestingly, in contrast to almost every product ever made, this attribute makes it easier to operate with your left rather than your right hand.
This machine offers you a choice of 10 different pressure settings, ranging from 10 to 100 pounds per square inch. This array of options, which you can switch between by turning a dial, makes it easy to start off slowly and gradually increase the power to exactly the level at which you feel comfortable. The low minimum pressure also makes it safe for children to use – at least until they figure out that a water flosser is really just a Super Soaker in disguise and crank the thing up to 10.
You can also select a “Massage” function that’s equivalent to what’s called “Pulse” on many other water flossers. This is intended to revitalize your gums by opening up the small blood vessels, which among other things can help to reduce or eliminate periodontal pockets.
More Pros and Cons
Multiple tips make this Waterpik especially suitable for people with dental implants, braces, and serious periodontitis – even a toothbrush tip is included, though this is really just a wide-angle flosser tip with bristles and doesn’t incorporate sonic technology or even move the head by itself. If this functionality sounds like something that will interest you, we recommend that you check out the Atmoko instead.
Three color-coded tips meant for general use allow sharing the flosser with more than one person. These tips rotate freely within the handle and you can store two extra tips under the reservoir lid.
This oral irrigator is definitely on the loud side, but it should be noted that no water pick, including countertop models, can claim to emit no sound at all. If your bathroom connects directly to your bedroom and your counter is made of something like laminated particle board, this may be an issue for you, as much of the vibration is transmitted through the base. How loud it gets varies according to the pressure setting used – think of the noise of an electric shaver.
One interesting feature of this machine is that it pauses after every 30 seconds of flossing time, giving you an idea of how long you’re spending on the task. The recommended period is one minute, half of which will typically be spent on the front of your teeth and the remainder on the back.
The water reservoir can be removed and cleaned in the dishwasher – the water in there is going to be sprayed directly into your mouth, after all. You may also mix it with mouthwash or teeth whitening solution (as long as these contain no insoluble essential oils).
A Good-Quality Countertop Option
Like all the other Waterpik products we’ve chosen to include in our list of best water flossers, the Aquarius is ADA approved and actually comes with a 3-year warranty. This is a solid, well-built option that should keep you and your dentist happy for quite some time to come.
At the same time, though, any countertop model at all might not be an acceptable option for some people. Many people like to floss in the shower, which is not possible with these. Others prefer to use rechargeable or battery-operated electronics in the bathroom due to fear of electric shock if something should go wrong.
Water picks do, of course, have a tendency to spray water everywhere if you’re not careful, even with the extra flow control on the handle. This button helps to reduce mess by allowing you to switch it off every time you need to open your lips wider than a crack.
Additionally, the power cord is only a little over a yard long, so you’ll need an outlet near the sink. The hose to the actual pick is about the same length, though, giving you a bit of wiggle room.
- ADA approved
- 4 special tips
- 10 selectable pressure settings
- Handle not well designed
- Expensive compared to alternatives