Image of Philips Sonicare Airfloss

Philips Sonicare Airfloss

Can Airfloss Remove The Annoying Pieces Of Food Stuck Between Your Teeth?

You know it always happens when you forget to brush, or floss your teeth after a meal you discover an annoying piece of food. And this is when you remember the prompting by your dentist or dental hygienist to floss after every meal. It’s annoying, both the stuck food, as well as the little reminder voice in your head.

The Voice In Your Head

I would do that floss-after-every-meal thing, but it’s such a pain in the neck. I barely have time to brush my teeth most days and I have to take five minutes to floss too? Not going to happen. The hygienist told me I can floss my teeth just once a day and do a really good job at night. But sometimes, I’m so tired I don’t even want to do that. I fall asleep watching television or reading and I’m not about to get up and go to bathroom and floss my teeth. I’ll get it done in the morning.

And the day starts again and you’re still short on time. Sound familiar?

I know these are the conversations that are going on my patient’s heads. We encourage them every time we see them to floss more, take a little more time brushing and see what else we can use get that plaque down to very low levels. It’s so the gums aren’t sore, they don’t bleed and your breath smells really fresh. We know that leftover plaque, is nothing more than food debris and bacteria building a thriving metropolis that causes all sorts of dental problems.

Time, Or Lack Of It, Is The Problem

With all the studies that have come out linking gum problems to heart disease, cancer, stroke, and heart attacks you’d think you’d take more time to take care of your teeth. But it’s hard, it does take time especially if you want to do a very good job. And a very good job is what’s required to minimize the inflammation attacking the rest of your body.

What else is out there that can save you time and do an excellent job of cleaning your teeth? We’ve got electric toothbrushes, and they’re pretty good. We’ve got power electric floss, air floss and water floss variants. Let’s take a look at Philips Sonicare Airfloss.

Get Your Electric, Air–Water Pulse Action Squirter

Image of Philips Sonicare Airfloss

Philips Sonicare Airfloss unit

What is the Philips Airfloss? It’s an electric air–water pulse action squirter. The handle contains a water reservoir, and a concealed spring activated air plunger. You position the nozzle right between your teeth and activate the thumb button. A small electric motor pulls back the plunger, compressing the spring, then releases it sharply to form a jet of compressed air. The compressed air picks up a little water from the reservoir and propels it through a nozzle at high velocity chasing away plaque. There’s a bit of a jarring sensation of the tip against your teeth as the spring-loaded plunger is released. You trace the gum line between your teeth with the nozzle tip and fire it when it settles between each pair of teeth. Repeat until done. I have to admit I’ve amused myself with my Airfloss, chasing the occasional fly in the bathroom, so it has multiple uses.

It’s rechargeable, so it has no cord to get twisted and kinked. With the charge lasting about 2 weeks,  it’s portable, and you can take it with you as you travel.

You Are Done Airflossing Your Teeth In 60 Seconds

The air-water spray easily blasts out food particles and loose dental plaque. The pressure is a little strong if your gums are a little out of shape, but starts to be more comfortable with just a few days of regular use. Philips claims that you can move the nozzle from tooth to tooth to easily clean your mouth in less than a minute. That’s pretty amazing.

When I tried it, being the overachiever that I am, I wasn’t satisfied with just aiming the nozzle from the lip or cheek side of the teeth towards the tongue or inside of the mouth. I wanted to squirt the air water spray from the tongue side of my teeth towards the cheek side as well. I found that I had to refill the reservoir with water and take an additional minute or so to finish the job.

You Can Use Mouthwash In Your Airflosser

Philips suggests that mouthwash could be placed into the reservoir and used instead of water. This seems like a reasonable idea and works rather effectively. If you do it the way I did, to be even more thorough, and squirt from the inside out towards the cheek you will have to add a little more mouthwash to the reservoir.

Philips recommends air floss be used from the outside of the teeth toward the inside, but I found it quite easy to use from the inside towards the outside if you tilt your head forward over your sink so that the handle remains very close to vertical. This is necessary because the liquid in the reservoir feeds into a chamber to be propelled by the air plunger. Short version—figure out how to keep the handle vertical so the reservoir can feed the air plunger spray. To avoid bathroom splatter keep your lips together around the tip as you use it.

Meet The New Improved Pro Model

There’s a new model out now call the Pro that has the ability to spray one, two or three spray bursts depending on the setting you choose, which can make for even more effective food particle and a plaque removal. Since you will be consuming water in the reservoir faster with multiple pulses, the reservoir in the new model is larger.

Testing shows that when compared with tooth brushing alone, the Sonicare Airfloss removes about 33% more plaque from between the teeth. That’s enough to make a real difference if you have bleeding gums, gingivitis and have what I referred to as a “dental floss allergy.” So for those of you who just hate to floss and you want to take a big step forward improving gum health, I suggest you try Philips Airfloss or Airfloss Pro.

The Cons Of Using The Sonicare Airfloss

One downside of the Airfloss is that it costs considerably more than 2 years worth of conventional dental floss. Philips estimates the Airfloss unit will last about 2 years. Another is that the Airfloss manual suggests you break the handle with a hammer, at the end of the unit’s useful life, to remove the enclosed battery and turn it in for recycling since it can’t be replaced.

In summary is Airfloss a good idea? Yes, for a non-flosser or someone who has difficulty with dental floss and the dexterity required. Would it be my first choice when used as directed? No. But it’s much better than not flossing at all. I’d add the second tour through your mouth squirting from the inside out. So if I can’t say “May the floss be with you,” perhaps I can say “May the Airfloss be with you.”

Contact your holistic or biological dentist to find out more about the devices available to assist you in maintaining your dental health.