Philips Airfloss Review #1

by Sonja on 05.12.2016
“There’s a difference between being a replacement for dental floss and just being a good addition, so the Airfloss is simply the latter for me.”

I have to admit I really like trying new dental hygiene products and honestly there is sooo much I already tested – from oral irrigators to different kinds of dental floss. Well, now I am reviewing the Philips Airfloss Ultra.

The Philips Airfloss has been specifically made to clean the interdental space with a water jet. Now you wonder why it’s like that because this idea isn’t really new, since oral irrigators have been on the market for quite some time now.

But the short jets of water which are quite different from the continuous water jet that we know from typical oral irrigators are a novelty in this product range. And that’s about it when it comes to having a new feature for this kind of product.

As I’ve said before the short water jets are meant to clean the interdental spaces and that’s also why they have slightly more pressure behind them without being unpleasant or even painful.

If you do have problems with your gums – meaning they are oversensitive – you should talk to your dentist before you start using the Philips Airfloss.

Current Best Sellers in Water Flossers:

Handling/Operation of the device

It is quite easy to use the Philips oral irrigator, simply follow these steps:

  • Charge the battery for 24 hours before you use it
  • Open the flap at the handle and fill either water or a soft mouthwash into the opening
  • Adjust the amount of jets (1-3)
  • Or simply turn on the automatic jet mode by pressing the jet button and holding it down
  • Hold the Philips Airfloss to your interdental spaces and close your mouth while you let the jets stream between your teeth
  • This dental cleaning process will go on for about 2 minutes which is the same amount of time an electric toothbrush needs.
  • After you are done using the Airfloss, clean out the nozzle and the water container with fresh water to keep the device neat and tidy.

As for me, I usually use the automatic jet mode and I fill the container with normal tap water. In my opinion using a mouthwash product instead of water isn’t something that will make much of a difference. You’ll simply have a fresher taste in your mouth after you’ve used it.


Something that caught my attention is the manufacturer’s requirement to only fill and use the Philips Airfloss in combination with water or Listerine mouthwash. It seems like other mouthwashes or similar products could damage the device.

My adventurous side told me to deliberately ignore this warning though to see what would happen if I used any other mouthwash product – lo and behold, the Airfloss does work with different products. πŸ™‚

But obviously you shouldn’t use aggressive substances with the Philips Airfloss since they could affect the material in the water tank badly.

The battery lasts you about 2-3 weeks, depending how long you use it and is similar to an electric toothbrush battery. You can see how much it is charged looking at the LED indicator.

As additional expenses you have to calculate that the nozzle has to be replaced about every 6 months and the purchase for a pack of two costs you about $8.

I find that this is an acceptable price to pay.


Comparison to the previous Airfloss model

What I consider quite interesting is the intensity of the jets being a bit lower in this Philips Airfloss model in comparison to its previous model. When it comes to looks both are nearly the same. Even the active principle stayed the same. The only difference is that unlike the previous model, this one has β€œUltra” in its name.

One can only wonder why the Philips Airfloss Ultra doesn’t have these powerful short jets anymore. It might have to do with the tolerance for your gums, since I can clearly say that this model agrees quite well with me and there is no irritation for my gums.

The effect of the Philips Airfloss Ultra

As I said previously, the cleaning effect of the Philips Airfloss Ultra is a bit difficult to measure: Just having a fresh feeling in your mouth doesn’t naturally mean that the interdental spaces are being decently cleaned out.

In my opinion the easiest way is to compare the Airfloss with other alternatives of interdental hygiene. And that’s actually what I will do now. πŸ™‚


Right now there are three alternatives in comparison to the Airfloss:

  1. A simple oral irrigation system

    Having a continuous jet of water and also a bigger tank for it, an oral irrigation system uses way too much water and you are slouched over your sink with a mouth which is wide open.

    I did own this model by Panasonic and when it comes to using it, I can tell you that its effect is nearly as good as the one produced by the Philips Airfloss. Sadly when it comes to actual application in your mouth, it’s neither comfortable nor does it come in handy.

  2. Dental floss

    Clearly dental floss is way more efficient than all of these oral irrigation systems that I tried. You just manually clean out the interdental spaces and get rid of food residues and appositions.

    You just need to learn how to use dental floss first. I speak from experience when I tell you that if you use it incorrectly, your gums will immediately start to bleed. Using an oral irrigator here seems more convenient but it’s not as effective as dental floss.

    That’s why you can use the Philips Airfloss in addition or take turns using also dental floss because going without dental floss is just not advisable.

  3. Interdental brushes (“sticks”)

    With these sticks you can typically reach interdental spaces fairly well, which is the case for a lot of people. Sadly not for me, since my interdental spaces are quite narrow and cannot be reached that well. This is why I don’t consider these as a real alternative.

As you can see there are little alternatives to water flossers and on the other side there are many oral irrigation systems on the market. One of the biggest competitors is Waterpik Water Flosser system since it is of similar quality and price (*CLICK*).

I cannot really tell you more information about it though, as I haven’t tried it (yet). From acquaintances I know that the WaterJet’s tube is bound to be a weak spot, since they gave me feedback about the usage. Maybe this info can help you.


Just a few important details

Well, back to the Philips Airfloss Ultra. I just wanted to add these few things:

  • If you want to aim at the back of your mouth to get in between the interdental spaces there, it is a bit difficult to reach them holding the handle right, so I would recommend you practice a bit.
  • Purchasing the Philips Airfloss is quite expensive with about $60 which you would pay for it. The previous model Philips Sonicare HX8211/02 Airfloss (*CLICK*) is quite cheaper by now and also a great alternative to start your journey with oral irrigation systems.

My Conclusion of the Philips Airfloss Review

  • From my point of view, thorough cleaning isn’t possible with the oral irrigation system/Airfloss and also doesn’t compare to dental floss. Like that I can say that both systems are no substitutes for any dental floss use.
  • As the operation principle and the handling of the Philips Airfloss are both quite uncomplicated and very convenient, it is great to use and even the feeling after you have used it is pleasant and very fresh.
  • You do have to remember the additional cost of purchasing new nozzles. That will be somewhat below $10 for 2 of them (changing every 6 months).
  • I can recommend to you to think thoroughly whether you want to invest into the Philips Airfloss because you have to decide if it’s actually worth the buy for you.
  • For me, the Philips Airfloss is a nice addon for the oral hygiene. It is a great alternative to a simple mouthwash and a useful addition to dental floss.


Current Best Sellers in Water Flossers:

1 Comment on Philips Airfloss Oral Irrigator Review

    May 9, 2017 at 2:29 am (2 years ago)

    It s fairly easy to find an affordable, high-quality oral irrigator these days. Since price is not a major factor, this review focuses on oral irrigators that efficiently cover a broad spectrum of consumer requirements.


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