Sonicare Airfloss Review: Gum Power Washing | Gadget Review
Electric ToothBrushes

Sonicare Airfloss Review: Gum Power Washing

3.7
Expert Rating

Brushing your teeth is a key component of not only a healthy mouth, but is at the very root of good hygiene.  Much in the same way you might judge someone by their shoes or pants, teeth say a ton about someone.  I reviewed the Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean toothbrush and was impressed with its wide array of options, battery, and all together performance.  So with that review completed, Sonicare thought it fitting to send me their Airfloss, an electric toothbrush shaped like contraption that fires water and air in between your teeth.

The Airfloss is designed to replace manual flossing and promises to do so in about 60 seconds.  That may not sound like much time, but 60 seconds in teeth brushing, let alone 2-minutes, which is the prescribed time, is like 10 minutes on the treadmill.  Fortunately, the Airfloss can work in about 30-seconds with a steady and speedy hand.


AirFloss-2

But first things are first.  The Airfloss has a small water reservoir that can be easily filled up by flipping its lid and placing it under the tap.  On average I got about 2 uses before having to fill it up, though depending on your accuracy that might be less.  That said, with the Airfloss charged up (no, it doesn’t use the same inductive charging base as the Diamond Clean, but an older version), and powered on, you simply need to hit a trigger located just at the bottom of the stem (the piece that connects the body to the head) to emit a burst of air and water.  On occasion the system could misfire, which is to say no water will be delivered and you’ll need to go again.  Also, if you don’t have the nozzle, or head, positioned just between the teeth, at the base of the gum, you’ll also need to reapply the process.  Otherwise the Airfloss won’t be serving its intended purpose.

To test, I spent a few weeks rotating between regular floss and the Airfloss.  I found both processes about equally as painful, so to speak, and consuming about the same amount of time.  Overtime my efficiency grew with the Airfloss, and since I have a permanent retainer, which requires threading string floss, eventually the Airfloss was the faster option.  However, the Airfloss isn’t practical while laying in bed, or really beyond the confines of the bathroom since you’ll need to periodically spit out the water that is emitted from it.  Moreover, if the head of the Airfloss is blocked by say a tooth, the water will backfire and possibly escape your mouth.  Small caveats, but worth noting if you’ve got a tendency to floss in front of the TV like me – killing two birds with one stone.

AirFloss-1

Next, for my true test, I didn’t floss for 3-4 days.  I believe this is a true to life test, as I’m great about flossing during the week, but things go off the proverbial rails during the weekend.  So with that at hand, I flossed with the Airfloss and then immediately followed with the string floss.  What I found was unfortunate and surprising.  The Airfloss did little to remove the food build up that had collected between my teeth, as evidenced by the build up on the traditional floss, as well as bleeding gums.

So there you have it.  The Airfloss looks great on paper, appears to be faster than traditional floss, and while it might very well be more capable at removing “interproximal plaque biofilm” than string floss, it just can’t negate food build up that can otherwise cause gum inflammation    Now, that isn’t to say the Airfloss isn’t a worthy addition to your nightly routine.  You just can’t remove, or in this case replace traditional floss entirely.

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Reader Rating1 Vote4.45
3.7
Expert Rating
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16 Comments to Sonicare Airfloss Review: Gum Power Washing

  1. Sally Zampariolo
    0.7
    Sonic Air Flosser problems

    So happy to read these comments about the durability of the Sonic air flosser. I am on my fifth one and it, each of its predecessors, stopped working after several months. I thought it was something I had done.

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  2. Helen
    3.7
    Unreliable

    On my 5 th
    Find them excellent except it works out very expensive when your have to keep replacing them, the one I bought 2 days ago has a large nozzle which isn’t nearly as good, so maybe it’s time I looked at a different make.
    Who else makes similar

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  3. 1.7
    Disappointed

    This is my second purchase and i wont be buying another as after a year of intermittent use and a replacement purchase both have failed after around 12 months which is appalling for the expensiveness of these products which do a good job whilst they are working, im very disappointed a complete waste of good money

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  4. Debbie Westenbroek

    Has anyone else had problems with it spraying all over the place — mirror, walls, me! Need a bib to floss as it sprayed me all over.

  5. Ron
    2.5
    Durability

    I bought one of these in May 2018, 3 months later it stopped working. Took it back to Argos with packaging and receipt, it was replaced. 3 months later in November it stopped again. Took it back to Argos again but was told it had to be sent away for repair. After speaking to the manager and refusing a repair I was given another but told next time it must be repaired. After reading other reviews it is evident that an issue exists with this product. Philips please sort out the durability of this device. Otherwise this is a good item and has improved my dental health to an excellent standard as my dentist would confirm.

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  6. Rob
    2
    I would avoid due to build quality

    Bought one of these, quite happy with it’s effect but then after about 5 weeks it stopped working. Was told I couldn’t replace without a receipt and full packaging. Low and behold I still had it (surprised about the packaging). Received a replacement and another 5 weeks and exactly the same problem, will take it back again. My reason for stopping buying Phillips shavers are the poor batteries but haven’t even got that for yet..

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  7. Alllen

    I bought one of these a year ago. It stopped working after nine months. Phillps refused to repair it under warranty because I couldn’t find a receipt. I paid for a repair, was given a totally new unit which has failed after 2 months.

    Good idea but very poor product design

  8. Ian

    I bought this device and after 5 uses it stopped working.

    • Lorelei

      This happened to me too. Did you resolve it? Or replace? Or just return?

  9. Rav

    If you have a problem with food build up then I suggest you use an interdental pick as this is superior to flossing for budging large debris and to loosen any small debris for removal by floss/airfloss.

    Everything is good in combination and you should not just be lazy and rely on one device for everything.

    Interdental pick > flossing/airfloss > electric toothbrush > mouthwash is the best combination for me.

    If you think this is a chore then just think how long you spend with your ass in front of the TV achieving nothing!

    • Dawn

      Totally agree with this, I like to use interdental brush and airfloss with gargle instead of water. Totally fresh, won’t be getting a telling off from Dentist next time. (⊙_⊙)

  10. Benji Kauth

    I use this at home and it definitely cleans differently than string floss. Regular floss is effective but messy. Flossing picks are convenient to use but don’t work as well (if you are going for a thorough clean). I like that I can fill with oral rinse and get it below the gum line. I use all three types and would not recommend using the Air Floss as your only floss.

    • gadgetreview

      Benji,
      I’m surprised you don’t have a problem with food build up. Then again, my teeth are likely different than yours in terms of spacing.

      • Why has no one responded to these questions??? I just used my phlips sonicare air flosser ten days and it went out on me…..shoulld I replace it…………….. as it may have been defective or
        JUST FORGET ABOUT IT??? i USED IT DILIGENTLY EVERY DAY AS IT WAS EASY AND CONVENIENT!!!

        • Christen Costa

          Gina, I haven’t used mine in a while. Where did you buy it from?

        • Contact Philips Sonicare and tell them what happened. They replaced mine. Of course, that was a few years ago. Still worth a try.
          Good luck,
          J

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