Alyssa Powell/Business Insider
- Waterpik is best known for being the company behind Amazon’s best-selling water flosser.
- Recently, Waterpik combined its original water flosser with an electric toothbrush to make a single machine that can do both brushing and flossing at the push of a button, together or alone.
- I tried the new combination machine, and the bottom line is that it’s good for some people, but the original Waterpik Water Flosser ($69.99) paired with another electric toothbrush is going to be the best value for most people.
Based on how often dentists tentatively, accusingly, or wryly ask "have you been flossing?", it seems fewer of us are fully committing to oral hygiene than we’d care to admit. Working a tough string through every gap individually doesn’t have the mass appeal that brushing does.
That might help explain how the $70 electronic Waterpik water flosser was able to reach the kind of online fame typically reserved for $12 clay masks that outperform $80 luxury options. Beyond helping those with braces or bonds, it makes flossing easier to do and the habit thereby easier to pick up. The company also offers studies that show it to be 51% more effective than dental floss for reducing gingivitis, two times as effective as dental floss at reducing gingival bleeding, and 29% more effective as dental floss at removing plaque. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s ADA-accepted.
But the water flosser didn’t solve all the inconveniences of flossing. For one thing, it is still a separate step from brushing, and the model takes up a lot of countertop space. Plus, it’s expensive at $70 upfront — though there is the argument that you’re saving money on future dentist bills.
In order to streamline the process further, Waterpik released the Waterpik Electric Toothbrush & Water Flosser Combo. In one device, Waterpik combined an electric toothbrush and a water flosser. You can use the water stream to floss without brushing or brush without the water stream, or you can combine them for a fast, effective session.
I reviewed the Waterpik Water Flosser ($69.99) in the past, and the company sent me the new Waterpik Electric Toothbrush & Water Flosser Combo ($169.99) to test as well.
The package comes with two brush heads, the electronic toothbrush, and the main machine with the water tank. Altogether, it takes under a minute to set up. After filling the water tank and plugging it in, I’d recommend facing the brush into the sink, turning the water pressure dial on a low setting, and pressing the floss button so the first slightly wonky stream goes into your sink and not in your mouth. After the first stream, you’re good to go.
You can use the brush as just a toothbrush or as a combined toothbrush and water flosser seamlessly. All you have to do is press the floss button on the toothbrush. If you want different water pressure, you can turn the dial higher or lower.
Like the original Waterpik water flosser, this combo model definitely gave me a more effective clean than just brushing my teeth when I also used the flossing setting. My mouth felt noticeably clean — the sort of lick-your-teeth sensation associated with just having braces removed. And it did improve my own consistency; I flossed every night and morning because it didn’t require any more effort or time. But the toothbrush head was soft and would be underwhelming to someone looking for traditional bristles. It’s not really a direct replacement for an electric toothbrush. If you’re looking for more vigorous and traditional brushing, I’d recommend picking up the cheaper original Waterpik Water Flosser and getting the Quip toothbrush or another electric toothbrush to fill the void.
It’s also important to note that it sounds like a muffled drill while it works, so you’ll probably want to use it before your partner goes to sleep if the walls are thin. And as with the original Waterpik Flosser, this new combo machine will take up a decent amount of countertop space — though it’s less than what’s required by separate machines, and this matters more in a small New York apartment than it does in the suburbs. But that means you probably won’t use it while traveling.
If you like a vigorous tooth-brushing experience, have the space, and you can trust yourself to be consistent with flossing even if it’s another step, then you’re probably better off saving $100 and getting the original Waterpik Water Flosser and a Quip ($40) or Oral-B Pro 1000 ($40). The brush head is very soft, and there are plenty of great electronic toothbrushes out there for less than $100.
If you don’t have space, need a soft brush head, and want to make flossing as convenient as possible, then this may be ideal for you.
No matter which one you choose, Waterpik water flossers are, in my experience, a great way to pick up the flossing habit and get a more effective, easier clean. If the combo isn’t a good match for you, I still suggest checking out the original.
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