Today we are going to talk about oral irrigators, the ally of dental hygiene that combines technology, practicality, and efficiency.
Whether eating soup or seeing a good popcorn, any food leaves residues in our mouth, stuck between our teeth, or pressed between the protrusions of our gums. With a directed water jet, the oral irrigators promise to make the removal of these remains a faster and easier process.
In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about the product so that you can choose the model at the time of purchase: the best units, the criteria for differentiating them, in addition to objective information on how it works, and its main benefits.
Oral irrigators: How to find the best model in 2022?
First, the most important
- The oral irrigators do not replace dental floss or brushing. Their best performance is as a complement to these activities. In addition, consultation with a dentist is recommended before starting to use the product.
- There are fixed or table models, with a larger volume reservoir, and portable models, with their own mini-reservoirs, without the need for a hose and with an internal battery.
- Its price ranges from R $ 25 to R $ 850, depending on the capacity of its reservoir, materials, and technology used.
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Ranking: The 3 best models of the oral irrigators
This is a not so popular product, so it is really difficult to find the best model. To facilitate your search, we now list the best models of oral irrigators, based on their cost-benefit, material, and technology.
Although many people do not know the importance of oral irrigators and use it only in the dentist’s office, this equipment is a great ally in oral health and better brushing.
As the health of our mouth is a serious matter, we brought in this Buying Guide all the information you need to know about the product, to clarify which is the best type and the best model for you and your care.
What are the oral irrigators?
The oral irrigators are a device created to assist the daily hygiene of the mouth, that is, the entire process of brushing and rinsing the teeth, gums, and tongue that we must do every day.
It operates by firing a jet of pulsating water, directed by a nozzle. Through this jet, the device emits ultrasonic pulses, commonly at a frequency of 1,200 to 1,600 per minute.
These pulses vibrate plaques, germs, and food scraps – the three main targets of oral hygiene – and thus attack the adherence of these bodies to teeth and gums. The pressure of the jet and the water itself does the rest of the work, carrying the leftovers until they are expelled from the mouth.
The following video, in English with subtitles in, Portuguese, shows a little more about the functioning of an oral irrigator model:
The sprinkler was invented in the USA in 1962 by the company today known as Waterpik. In the fever of technological innovations of the 50s and 60s, the product was conceived as an electronic substitute for toothpicks and dental floss.
It acts in the region between the teeth and below the gum line, the same as its two “competitors”. Today, however, it is understood as a complement to dental floss and brushing.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of oral irrigators?
The fact that the product is understood as a complement says a lot about the nature of its advantages and disadvantages. This is because it offers comfort and efficiency in cleaning plaques, germs, and residues and, to a certain extent, practicality. However, it does not deliver a complete cleaning, even without its area of expertise.
Within the scope of the advantages, let us start with comfort. With the right pressure, the irrigators are so friendly to the gums with a mouthwash, only a little bit stronger. Thus, it is very difficult to make small wounds, which can occur in the incorrect use of dental floss, for example.
This comfort leads us to another advantage, which is the “cover” that gives people with delicate and sensitive teeth and/or gums, resulting from gingivitis, implants, crowns, or even diabetes, to get a sense. A study published in the prestigious American Journal of Orthodontics and another in the Journal of Dental Hygiene attest to the product’s effectiveness in these cases, as well as for users of orthodontic appliances.
If we think about the dental floss procedure – tooth by tooth, crack by crack – the irrigators have a much more practical use. Just point, press, and clean. This issue, however, can also be a disadvantage. Inside the mouth, the operation is quite easy, but until you get there, not so much. For the jet, the product obviously needs a source of water – and that’s where the problem lies.
Whether in models with their own tank or those using tap water, the process to make its use feasible is not as practical as the use itself. Then, the device is not 100% efficient in cleaning residues, especially the smallest between the teeth, on the gum line, in addition to the apparent plaques. That is why its use does not exclude brushing and flossing.
- Comfortable and friendly to the mouth
- Efficient for delicate and sensitive mouths
- Quick cleaning
- “Just” a complement to hygiene
- Inefficient against exposed boards and minor waste
- Process for impractical use
Oral irrigators with their own or external reservoir?
The irrigator’s reservoir is a crucial point of its functionality. So it is an aspect that generates variations in the product.
There are those with their own reservoir, with tanks similar to those with filters, to serve drinking water. The ones used for irrigators, however, are much smaller. Most have a volume of 600 or 650 ml.
This type, the most common, has the advantage of being “independent” and can be used wherever its owner wants, in addition to guaranteeing a good number of uses without the need to refuel.
On the other hand, there is no escape from this refueling, in addition to being somewhat spacious – at least compared to those without a reservoir, which is connected to the taps.
These do not require refueling and can offer jets as long as your home’s water supply. In contrast, its use is less practical, as it needs to be coupled and uncoupled from a tap with each use.
Oral irrigators with or without a hose?
Another aspect of the oral irrigators is the hose. Indispensable in most models is also the one that limits its practicality.
The models that rely on it are more efficient and durable, at least the quality ones. The hose, however, can be an inconvenience, either because of its size or its maintenance, that is, its correct use so that it extends its useful life, which is not usually the greatest.
Units without a hose do not have these problems. With their own mini-tank, the models are also portable.
Its downside is the very limited use of filling the tank, given the small capacity of its small size. There is also the burden of the battery, which needs to be changed or recharged periodically, like any product with a portable source.
Although prices below one hundred reais are an exception, it is possible to find oral irrigators from R $ 25 and up to R $ 850, a very large variation.
The biggest reasons are the size of the reservoir, the proportional value being the technology used, such as the customizable pressure, proportional to its refinement, and the variety of nozzles.
Where to buy it?
In most large pharmacy chains, you can find quality oral irrigators.
If, however, you are also looking for a greater variety of prices and models, in addition to enjoying shopping in the comfort of your home, online stores such as Amazon. addition to the web versions of pharmacies can serve perfectly your demand.
Purchasing criteria: Factors to compare the different models of the oral irrigators
We will now bring some selection criteria, which are aspects of the product to pay attention to both when choosing the model and when completing the purchase.
- Water pressure
- Reservoir size
- Compatibility: hose and battery
Now, we will detail each one of these aspects, so that you arrive prepared to choose the ideal model for you.
For the sprinkler to function as a comfortable and efficient jet and, especially, suited to your taste and need, you need to be aware of the water pressure.
The most suitable is to have a model with adjustable pressure or at least one that has different levels of intensity available for choice.
If neither is the case, avoid models with more than 50 PSI, and always, remember, to talk to a dentist, orthodontist, or another specialist before starting to use the product.
Another very important aspect of the irrigators is their spout. First of all, look for models whose beak has the best possible range, with the possibility of turning and wider angles, as well as a comfortable material for your mouth.
Then, the greater the number of nozzles, the better. Thus, your model is more hygienic, as you can change the nozzle as soon as necessary; more durable, by always having its components as efficient as possible; or even capable of sharing, for a family, to top it off.
In the latter case, it is better than the nozzles are colored so that no one gets confused.
It is necessary to pay attention to the water reservoir if any. Its capacity can vary from 200 ml to 1 liter, in most models.
This aspect is who will dictate its use, between an individual or shared; the place where it will be positioned, due to its size; its efficiency, for the duration of the jet; and its practicality, due to the intervals between refueling, proportional to the volume of the reservoir.
Compatibility: hose and battery
Finally, it is recommended to pay attention to the compatibility of your chosen models with their use or the place where they will be used.
In the case of the “fixed” ones, this attention falls mainly on the size of the hose and the outlet cord, and they realize the distance between the place where they will be and the sink where they will be used.
For notebooks, what should be noted is the power of the battery, that is, if your charge can handle enough for its intended use and fits the time you have available to charge it or even to change it.