Trib Tested: Waterpik Aquarius Professional Water Flosser
The claim: Waterpik's Aquarius Professional Water Flosser provides 10 percent more water pressure for the ultimate cleaning experience. The Pulse Modulation system provides cleaning and gum-massage modes, 10 pressure settings and seven unique tips: three classic jet tips, a plaque seeker, an orthodontic, a pik pocket and a toothbrush tip. The base unit offers a high-volume reservoir, 1-minute timer and 30-second pacer for optimized cleaning of all areas. The LED information panel provides at-a-glance mode selection.
Cost: $79.99, $89.99 for designer colors
Where: waterpik-store.com or discount stores, such as Kohls, Target and Walmart
Despite a committed twice-daily program of brushing, flossing and mouthwash swishing, I'm still getting a C-minus in gum health from my dental hygienist.
So, a couple of months ago, I added a cordless water flosser to my routine. The chance to upgrade to the Waterpik Aquarius Professional Water Flosser for a test run was compelling.
It promised to up my game with 10 percent more water pressure and offered a pulse-modulation system that promised not only to remove bits of food lurking between my gums and teeth, but also threw in a setting that massaged my gums.
For those who need them, it comes with an array of special tips to dislodge food in periodontal pockets and behind braces, as well as a toothbrush tip.
With less freedom of movement than a cordless Waterpik offers, there's a bit of a learning curve on getting the water to drop into the sink without first running down your arm. It's also a bit more awkward for left-handed people, such as myself, especially when the nearest electrical outlet forces you to place the unit on the right side of the sink.
It's a bit too large for my stand-alone sink and just tall enough to require me to move it every time I open my medicine cabinet.
But when dental health is the priority, those minor inconveniences are outweighed by the fact that it appears to do a competent job of removing unsuspected bits that remain even after giving my gums a workout with dental floss.
After using the Waterpik Water Flosser, I am looking forward to seeing my hygienist later this week. I plan on leaving with a gold star.
It's amazing how, after what I believe to be a pretty thorough brushing — and I trained as a dental assistant in my earlier life — there are so many bits and pieces of dinner blasted out from between my teeth.
This hydraulic flossing is so much easier — and fun, I must admit — than wrapping standard floss around my fingers and sawing away. It's a whiz under bridgework. (Anything that can avoid threading superfloss is A-OK in my book.)
The compact unit fits nicely on the corner of my bathroom sink. Refilling the reservoir is simple. I like having all the extra tips so other family members can use the same unit, plus those more specific-task tips come in handy.
My one complaint is that the on-off switch on the handle is difficult to manage with one hand, but I can turn it off on the base with a simple push of a button, so it's not a big deal.