I expected better from a market leading brand
The Oral-B Advanced ticks the basic boxes required for being a cordless water flosser.
Whilst it does the job, I don’t believe it represents what Oral-B is capable of producing. The overall design and quality aren’t perfect and it is expensive compared to the competition.
- Different water streams
- Build quality
- Nozzle design and rotation
- Modes/intensity settings
- Chunky charging stand
|Oral-B Water Flosser Advanced||1,551 Reviews||$89.99 $80.15||View on Amazon|
Consider these flossers instead
There are lots of very good water flossers on the market today, all at varying price points with different features.
In my opinion, the best is the one that tops our cordless water flossers list, the Waterpik WP-560. It is a strong all round performer and certainly doesn’t suffer from the same usability issues as this Oral-B model.
|Waterpik Cordless Advanced WP-560||49,556 Reviews||$99.99 $79.97||View on Amazon|
Design, usability, clean & general use
The packaging of the water flosser Advanced has a typical Oral-B look to it.
A clear image of the flosser itself along with the key features being called out on the box itself.
What is refreshing to see is that inside the box, the water flosser is within a cardboard lining. There are fewer plastics and no polystyrene.
The box contents (listed above) gives what you need.
2 nozzles is nice, better than the 1 you get with many. However, including a travel pouch would have been a nice touch. Particularly given the relatively low cost it is a real shame such hasn’t been included.
Your initial impression might be like mine, in that this cordless unit is quite large and chunky. Whilst I think there is scope for innovation to reduce the size, in part it has to be fairly large to hold the water tank and the pump to draw the water through.
The overall size and shape is fairly typical of this type of product.
It is primarily an all plastic construction. There is a soft touch rubber grip around the power/controls section of the unit. And also at the top where the OxyJet nozzle attaches. The nozzle is removable/replaceable. This nozzle is also known as the Aquafloss nozzle.
The front of the unit is finished in a matt white plastic, with a grey Oral-B & Braun logo in the lower third.
In the upper third are the main power and mode controls.
All of the buttons and controls sit within a soft touch pale grey rubber area.
Nicely recessed at the top is the power button. It has what looks like a grey power icon, but it is only grey when not powered on. When switched on it is backlit with a white light. There is too a small raised nodule here that confirms for the fingertip that is is the power button.
You press this power button to activate a continuous jet of water.
Below this sits a smaller ‘on-demand’ button. It has a dotted circle printed on it but is not backlit.
You use this on-demand button for bursts or shorter jets. Press and hold for as long as you want that burst to last. It offers more granular control than the default power on.
Below this button the different intensity levels, or modes are listed.
On this water flosser Advanced model, you have 3 different modes/intensities:
These selected mode name is backlit when the flosser is turned on.
Below this is another recessed button. This is the intensity/mode selection button. Although the dot in the middle, doesn’t necessarily make this obvious. Press this to cycle through the different modes.
The buttons all provide an ok level of feedback. They are a bit spongy and require a fairly accurate and firm push. They could be better. Accidental activation should not really be an issue here. That said there is no way to lock the buttons.
Spin the irrigator to the side and this is where you see the adjoining of the water tank/reservoir. Sitting mainly on the back side of the unit, the water tank is an opaque grey colour.
There are no controls on the right or left side. Aa few dimples in the upper half of the handle are present as they extend round from the back side of the unit.
Looking at the unit from the back, the shape it best explained via the hands on images included in this review.
Essentially, the top of the unit is a bit deeper. It thins marginally in the mid section of the unit before getting thicker at the base where the water is held.
The upper half of the rear has a number of dimples in the body to give a surface to grip onto a little better.
The reservoir door is in the top part of the removable tank and hinges at the bottom.
The base of the unit is essentially flat, so it can stand upright on a countertop.
There is a round recess into which the pin on the charging stand fits to recharge the built-in battery.
A couple of screws are present and the remainder is the bottom of the water tank.
At the top of the unit is the point at where the user replaceable Aquafloss nozzle attaches. The nozzle pushes in, clipping into place. It is released by pressing the eject button that is labeled on the top.
The button is made up of a soft touch rubber, like the power button. It feels more spongy and a bit awkward to press to release the nozzle.
Having talked through the overall design of the unit, let me explain in a bit more detail about the daily use.
Using a water flosser is quite different to string floss or interdental brushes.
This is not the place for saying what is good and bad about each. Although I will say that a water flosser is a good additional product. It is only an alternative if you really won’t or can’t get on with floss or brushes.
Many people find them a more convenient way of cleaning between the teeth.
The idea is that the water is shot at pressure between the teeth and along the gumline. This dislodges and washes away the plaque and debris that exists.
The process is different and requires some practice. The first few attempts can be messy. It will likely result in water ending up in more places than just the interdental spaces.
Being cordless, a key advantage is you are not tied to the power supply or restricted by the hose length. This is the case with countertop water flossers.
After a few seconds of use you normally need to release water from the mouth. You are essentially confined to being bent over the sink.
The cordless really comes into its own with travel and for those who don’t have power supplies in the bathroom.
Taking a very black and white view, you can’t argue with the fact that it does what it needs to do. My teeth/interdental spaces felt cleaner after use.
This will work for those who have braces, crowns, implants etc too, if you were wondering.
But, there is quite some scope for improvement.
Waterpik have become popular due to the level of control they offer. You can rotate the nozzle a full 360 degrees in most cases. The tips are also slim and are angled in such a way that they allow a fine level of control.
On the Advanced, the Oxyjet nozzle can be rotated a full 360 degrees with some effort. You can’t do this whilst in use though.
The top of the Oxyjet/Aquafloss nozzle is a bit larger than Waterpiks. The shape makes it a little harder to accurately position in the mouth.
This is 1 of 2 nozzle types available from Oral-B.
Also included is a Precision Jet nozzle. This is much closer to the typical jet tip you might expect. However, the Oxyjet is the more commonly marketed/promoted nozzle.
These are the only 2 options though. You do not have a wide array available like you from Waterpik. Waterpik offers up to 7 different tips.
Many cheaper brands/models offer such features too, it is not just a Waterpik thing.
The Aquafloss nozzle does have a little grey slider switch which can be moved to control the water flow.
Position it to the top position for a focused stream and move it down for a rotational stream.
The rotational stream has air injected into the water flow. It creates a spiralling motion in the water as it exists the nozzle to give a different cleaning effect.
It is hard to explain the difference. The focused jet feels best suited to getting in particular gaps.
The rotational stream, to me at least, feels like it gives a good all-over clean. The rotational stream feels more invigorating on the gums.
It is up to you to select which you feel is most appropriate. You can change it at any time you like.
Or you can pop on the Precision Jet for an even more targeted approach.
If you take a moment to consider that you have 3 flossing modes:
And you have 3 different flossing streams:
- Focused (Oxyjet/Aquafloss nozzle)
- Rotational (Oxyjet/Aquafloss nozzle)
- Jet (Precision Jet Nozzle)
You actually have 9 different flossing configurations. This is because each mode can be used with any flossing stream.
- Intense intensity + focused water stream
- Intense intensity + rotational water stream
- Intense intensity + jet water stream
- Medium intensity + focused water stream
- Medium intensity + rotational water stream
- Medium intensity + jet water stream
- Sensitive intensity + focused water stream
- Sensitive intensity + rotational water stream
- Sensitive intensity + jet water stream
Different people will have different opinions on this. But to me, the difference in the strength of the water streams and intensities offered is limited. Yes, there are subtle differences, but not as great as you might imagine.
You notice the difference between intense and sensitive more than you do medium and intense for example.
There is a strong argument that just 2 intensities would have been enough.
It is not a massive issue, but naming these intensities low, medium and high would have felt a bit more logical.
Oral-B have not stated the PSI or Bar for each mode like Waterpik does to make a comparison. To me, the Advanced did not feel as powerful or as gentle as Waterpik models.
I found it comfortable to use, but I have used many of these before. At least you have some choice with the 3 intensity settings.
Experienced water flosser users will notice the difference both in power and experience as I have.
All of the modes continue to run for as long as you choose. There are no timers or automatic cut-offs built in.
The water flosser will continue to pump out water for as long as you leave it switched on. Even if there is no water in the water tank.
It will stop when you turn it off, of the battery runs flat.
The tank has a capacity of 150ml. This equates to approximately 40-45 seconds of water flossing time.
This is just about enough time to clean, if you are used to it. New users may need to refill the tank.
Selecting the sensitive mode did not really appear to reduce the amount of water used, just the pressure at which it was delivered.
Using the on-demand button allows a bit more control. It feels like you can extend the cleaning time as less water is wasted compared to the continuous stream.
The position of the on-demand button in particular means it can be a bit awkward to use when the nozzle is in the mouth.
It takes a bit of practice. I found on occasions I was pressing the power button rather than on-demand and vice versa.
Practise and muscle memory certainly comes into play.
You can change the intensity/mode mid clean if you like. The selected intensity is backlit with a white light and can be changed prior to turning the unit on.
In use it is not all that quiet emitting up to 68 decibels. However this is similar to the competition.
You can fill the water tank with cold or warm water or mouthwash or a diluted mix, it is your choice.
Warm water can feel a little more pleasurable on the gums. A shot of mouthwash in the water can add a certain freshness.
I would suggest against a complete tank of mouthwash. This is excessive and an expensive approach.
To fill the reservoir you open the hinged door on it. You open it by pulling it away from the body. Your fingertip will grip onto it. The seal around the opening seems fairly solid and I noticed no leaking.
Unfortunately the build quality isn’t actually that great on this flosser.
The tank is actually removable for refilling or cleaning. To do so, you need to unclip a small plastic clip essentially on the base of the unit.
That clip is very fragile. I actually broke a clip on the UK equivalent of this. Although it hasn’t actually broken off yet, I worry it could.
I have not challenged Oral-B on this, but I suspect this would be classed as user damage. This is unless they are willing to accept that it is a design flaw/weakness.
So, to conclude this section….
The water flosser advanced does fire water at the teeth and gums, and does what it should.
But, it lacks the refinement that even cheaper models offer.
It is a bit clunky to use and ultimately could be better.
Summary of design, usability, clean & general use
- Chunky unit, but typical for this type of product
- All plastic construction with questionable durability in places
- Soft touch rubber buttons, but spongy
- Dimples on back help with grip
- Continuous stream and on-demand options
- 3 intensity settings, intense, medium and sensitive
- 3 water stream settings, focused, rotational and jet stream
- Difference in intensity settings not that noticeable
- 150ml tank should last about 40-45 seconds in use
- It does what it needs to do, teeth and interdental spaces felt clean
- Feels a bit clunky at times to use
- No built-in timer or automatic power off
- Nozzle can be rotated, but not with ease or during use
- Built-in rechargeable battery
- Better options exist
Built into the Advance water flosser is a rechargeable battery. It is not user removable.
This is a Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery.
I had expected a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery given that this was launched in 2020, but I am not going to worry too much.
Oral-B appear not to state it’s suggested running time on the box. Nor in the manual, on their website or any promotional materials I could find. I am therefore not sure what life they suggest you should get from it.
I put it to the test and the total usage time I managed from a fully charged battery was 32 minutes.
My test was based on using the intense mode, with the focused stream of water.
It takes approximately 45 seconds to empty the tank. If it is possible to get a complete clean in this time, you can get 42 sessions or 42 days of use on a single charge. This assumes 1 water flossing session per day.
The power icon/button will flash red when the battery is low and in need of a recharge.
When sat on the charging stand, the power icon will pulse with a white light to show it is charging. Once fully charged that light will stop pulsing.
A full charge can take up to 14 hours.
The stand provided in the box looks like a larger version of what you would get with an electric toothbrush. It works in exactly the same way.
There is only 1 way the irrigator will sit on the stand. The charging pin on the stand aligns with the recess in the bottom of the cordless water flosser itself.
Maybe I am being a bit picky, but the white colored stand feels a bit heavier and chunkier than it needs to be. I didn’t expect it to be quite so thick. That said, it keeps it securely in place on a countertop.
Hardwired into it is the 2 pin power cable designed to be connected to US power outlets. It does support 100-240v. If traveling internationally, you would require a plug adapter only.
Summary of battery life
- Built-in rechargeable battery
- Nickel Metal Hydride battery
- Charging stand included
- Stand supports 100-240v
- Stand has a 2 pin US power adapter
- Stand is larger than expected
- It will take up to 14 hours to charge fully
- Red flashing light on power button when a charge is required
- Power button pulses white when on charge
- Battery life of 32 minutes – 42 days of use
Price & where to buy
I have included links to buying options here at the start of the review.
In the section below, I discuss the price more generally and in relation to similar products.
The recommended retail price of Advanced oral irrigator handle is $99.99.
This falls in line with the WP-560 from Waterpik.
Arguably as a premium brand, the Oral-B could justify this price.
But, when you consider the features and performance I am not as convinced.
Whilst prices are always subject to change, the Waterpik retails on average for $80. But, it shouldn’t be too difficult to pick it up for $70. That is a saving of $30.
Admittedly, the water flosser advanced has not been out long. At the time of review, but the discount on the price is just $10, so $89.99.
That is $10-20 more than what I consider as the better performing WP-560.
And it is twice the price of the H2ofloss HF-6 Mini that made it into our list of best cordless water flossers.
It is not widely stocked, which also doesn’t help with getting the price down. At the time of review it is available direct from Oralb.com only.
What I am saying is that I struggle to justify the price asked for here.
$50-60 maybe, but not $90-100.
To give a benchmark of the cost of ownership, we like to price things here at Electric Teeth over a 3 year period.
Assuming a purchase cost of $90, you need to then factor in the cost of replacement Oxyjet nozzles every 3 months.
Priced at about $4 each, that is a further $40, as you get 2 in the box.
Over 3 years the Advanced will cost $130 or $0.12 per day.
I am not saying rule out the Oral-B oral irrigator entirely. But I do think better value products exist and we all want good value right?!
Please note that all prices quoted are approximates and will vary based on location, supplier and time of purchase. These figures were correct at the time of writing and should not be relied upon as hard fact, but used as a guide during your decision process.
Summary of price & where to buy
- List of buying options included here
- Recommended retail price of $99.99
- Selling on average for $89.99
- Replacement nozzles cost $4 each
- Cost of $0.12 per day over 3 years
- Not the cheapest or most expensive irrigator
- Better value options exist
Reliability & long term use
I have found the quality and reliability of Oral-B products on the whole to be fairly good.
I can’t say that they are perfect. No company is. But they are better than many of the cheaper and lesser known brands in my experience.
The provision of a 2 year warranty provides peace of mind. Being established as they are, they have the network in place to manage support issues.
I might be reviewing the Water Flosser Advanced. But it uses the same body and design of the Aquacare 4 available in the UK. When testing this I had the water tank retaining clip break off, with very little effort.
This has been the first product to really have me question my viewpoint.
The fact that the plastic clip t broke off on my unit, has me wondering if standards have slipped.
Maybe it is a one-off, I have just been unlucky, but I am not sure. Other reports suggest I may not be alone.
I have not challenged Oral-B over whether such a breakage would be covered, usually, it would not be. Perhaps they would be prepared to acknowledge this as a weakness and replace it, but I am not hopeful.
Despite this, I don’t think this is the best example of their work or what their product quality is really like. I don’t know what has changed or why it is like this, but their toothbrushes feel better.
There are certain subtleties like the soft touch buttons which are nice. Although the spongy feedback isn’t ideal. I, therefore, don’t have the utmost confidence in the reliability of this product.
The water flosser Advanced from Oral-B is a little bit disappointing.
It does just about do what it is essentially designed for, but the way in which it does it all feels clunky and awkward.
Perhaps I am being overly harsh. Oral-B had the opportunity here to rethink things and differentiate, but they haven’t
You are best off avoiding this and opt for one of those offered by Waterpik. The WP-560 is one example. Or choose lesser-known brands offering more cost effective options.
- Height (with nozzle) – 11.02 inches/28cm
- Height (without nozzle) – 8.27 inches/21cm
- Width – 2.36 inches/6cm
- Depth – 2.95 inches/7.5cm
- Weight (without water) – 10.58 Ounces/300g
All are approximates