Last Christmas, I unwrapped the Bestope Water Flosser with eight tips to, frankly, some offence. My husband — the gifter — explained that I complained so often about staining between my front, lower teeth that I might like to try it. I hadn’t even heard of water flossers before, let alone used one. But, keen to not spoil the festivities before midday, I conceded. After all, he had a point. For the last couple of years, my four-brews-a-day habit had left brown stains behind, and no electric toothbrush or toothpaste had managed to remove them.
That evening, I unpacked it with some trepidation over the sink. I clicked the flossing attachment into place, filled the tank, settled on the middle speed, and promptly drenched the bathroom. More practise was needed.
First, I learned that turning it on before it’s in your mouth is a bad idea. Do that and you’re suddenly wielding a highly powered bathroom fountain. Using icy cold water can sting, so tepid water is preferable, especially for sensitive teeth. I wasn’t alarmed when I saw blood for the first time (the NHS says that when you first start flossing, some blood is normal) — and my gums soon adjusted. You can play around with the five speed settings to see what suits you best — after a few days on the third highest, I moved up to second highest and have stuck there since. It’s cordless and charges via USB — a charge lasts me about a month.
The Bestope uses a gravity ball, so you can floss upside down and at any angle you need. So, teething problems aside, the water flosser is practically idiotproof. The Bestope model itself is pretty bulky; about twice the width of an electric toothbrush. It’s even wider around the base, but has to be in order to hold sufficient water. Fill it up and it will last around 80 seconds. I am pretty thorough, so I mostly empty the tank every night. By the way, if you live in a hard water area, using tap water shouldn’t damage your teeth, but filtered water will reduce eventual buildup in the water tank.
It’s been five months since I started using the flosser. I can’t pretend the stains on my teeth have altogether vanished, but they’re now far more subtle. Annoyingly, I didn’t take month to month photos because I didn’t expect to see such a difference — but I’d estimate that the stains reduced by 50 percent in two months, and 75 percent after four months. It’s not a substitute for a regular visit to the hygienist by any means, but, it’s an effective way to get that squeaky-clean feeling (especially when a nonurgent appointment won’t happen for a while).
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