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Buying an irrigator – what should we pay attention to?

irygatorCleaning our teeth is one of the most important parts of our daily timetable, we care about having a fresh breath, no cavities or discolorations. The modern technology is capable of helping us with that. Brushing (regardless of what kind of toothbrush we use) doesn’t guarantee a full satsifaction and protection from various ailments, but irrigator does. Originally created with people suffering from periodontitis and wearing braces, implants, bridges or dentures in mind, the modern irrigators are a perfect supplement of the daily oral hygiene for everyone.

How does the irrigator work? It’s simple – a small container filled with water (usually, it is possible to fill it with any other liquid though) shoots out streams of water combined with air which then pass through the specialized and, turned towards the specific part of our mouth, start the cleaning process. The air pressure can be adjusted according to the individual needs. Such compressed liquid removes the food remains and residue from the hard to reach places within our oral cavity. Additionally, the special bubbles give our gums a massage, which improves and stimulates their blood circulation and enhances them from within.

Aside of the pressure, we can set the stream type. We distinguish two basic ones:

STRAIGHT STREAM – its function is cleaning certain parts of our teeth and removing food remains (even the ones which got stuck deep between our teeth).

SPIRAL STREAM – perfect for cleaning the entire mouth with the added massage function.

What’s the difference between certain irrigator types? Mostly their size and function. We distinguish the big, stationary irrigators and the smaller, wireless ones. The first model – stationary has bigger pressure and the container which can carry up to 1000 ml of liquids, allowing it to act as a device for a whole family. The Wireless irrigator is recommended for the people who travel a lot, have small bathrooms or being the only users of the device. It’s got a smaller container, but works regardless of electricity (it’s powered by either a built-in battery or replaceable AA batteries). Recently, the models bundled with an electric toothbrush have appeared on the market.

Irrigator’s function

irygatorUsing the device can be temporary or fixed. In case of the former, a smaller, wireless model is recommended. It takes much less space in the bathroom, can be used at home and outside, plus it’s much cheaper. When it comes to the latter, the device is going to be more expensive, but it’s also going to have many additional functions and will also be much sturdier. Keep in mind though, that it takes up more space and should be placed, preferrably, next to the sink and electrical socket. This type of irrigator can be used by the entire family (of course, only when each fmaily member has their own nozzle).

In cases when irrigation was recommended to us because of our health problems, we should choose a product bundled with additional, specialzied nozzles (such as the tips used for cleaning dental braces, bridges, implants or the tongue).

Functions, Br strength and water container

The irrigator works mostly by shooting out a stream of pressurized water from its nozzle, cleaning our oral cavity. The operating force is dependant on the pressure strength. The lowest one, 2-3 Br, causes a gentler stream of water to clean even the biggest stains from the interdental surfaces. An even lower pressure is mostly recommended to people with sensitive teeth and the children.

The irrigators which utilize the biggest pressure are the starionary ones. They are adjustable, which makes them perfect for the whole family (children, adults and elderly can all use it). Usually we can stumble upon the models which offer between 10 to 20 pressure levels to choose from, with the bigges tpressure level avaible being 7 Br.

We can also find the irrigators which, instead of having an adjustable water pressure, utilize the highest pressure possible depending on the waterworks they have been connected to.

While choosing the perfect device, we should also pay attention to the capacity of its water container. The wireless products are characterized by the smallest containers of them all, being able to hold up to 100 – 165 ml of liquids. This is usually enough for 30 – 45 seconds of irrigation. Stationary irrigators are outfitted with relatively big containers the capacity of which can reach even 1 litre, making them perfect for the entire family.

Which accessories are worth checking out?

irygatorThe tips are the most important parts of the irrigation kit. It’s always worth checking if the irrigator we want comes with any extra ones and choose the product which has the biggest variety of nozzles we might find useful. For the general irrigation the tips made for cleaning the interdental surfaces and the tongue are recommended. The people with sensitive teeth or periodontal diseases should definitely find the tips for subgingival cleaning useful. We can often find spearate nozzles made for cleaning the dental braces, bridges, implants and dentures.

Aside of the nozzles, the set might also contain cases to store the tips in, additional overlays for various replace components and the hooks made for hanging the device on our wall (perfect for small spaces). The wireless irrigators (generally touristic) are often collapsible.

A hi-tech set for everyone

And how about an irrigation set bundled with electric or manual toothbrush? The manufacturers offer the full set: an irrigator with many specialized functions and a toothbrush, which is also compatible with the same base and charging station. It’s the most efficient option, complete with a very competitive price. Unfortunately, we should only look for such sets amongst the products offered by the most renowned manufacturers, as the cheaper ones might turn out to be much weaker and less effective.


The conclusions regarding choosing the best device are quite clear. The person who wants to buy a kit for the whole family, has enough space in the bathroom and wants to use the device daily, should purchase a stationary irrigator with multiple clenaing modes and additional nozzles and tips.

A wireless irrigator is a perfect solution for the people who like to travel, those who want to use the device all by themselves and the ones who aren’t interested in using the device too often.

Before buying the chosen product, we should analyze our needs and, following these advices, choose the one which fits us perfectly.