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Electric flossers aren't always a perfect alternative to flossing

Electric toothbrushes aren't the only popular electric-powered dental gear. Electric flossers or water flossers are a popular alternative to flossing. They allow the user to shoot a high-powered stream of water in between teeth (or around braces), removing loose stray particles. While some are as effective as flossing, others are better used in addition to flossing.

Waterpik is practically synonymous with water flossers, and the best-reviewed model is the Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser WP-100 (Est. $60). Owners say it's actually more effective than string floss -- an advantage it has over its competitor, the Philips Sonicare AirFloss (Est. $80), which users say is slightly lacking in comparison to traditional floss. Walmart.com reviewers say the Ultra Water Flosser lifts stains from teeth in addition to reducing plaque buildup.

However, the AirFloss does have the advantage when it comes to usability. In fact, Sonicare states in its own marketing materials that the AirFloss isn't really for people who already floss regularly -- it's meant to be an easier alternative for people who find flossing too difficult. To use the AirFloss, you simply turn it on, direct it toward the area you want to clean and press the button to spray air and water. Meanwhile, the Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser has 10 pressure settings and a variety of tips to use. For those looking for a simpler alternative to flossing, this can be overwhelming. If you want an in-depth cleaning with specialized tools, the Ultra Water Flosser is perfect.

Both devices allow users to fill the reservoir with water or mouthwash, which owners appreciate. There are few, if any, complaints of durability issues, too. Owners point out specific parts that they think feel flimsy or could break, but editors didn't find reports of this happening. The AirFloss comes with a two-year warranty, whereas the Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser comes with a three-year warranty.

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Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $59.99 $51.46   
Average Customer Review:  
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Philips Sonicare HX8211/02 Airfloss Rechargeable Electric Flosser
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $89.99 $64.91   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  

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