Spotlight Oral Care Water Flosser review
We enjoyed testing out the Spotlight Oral Care Water Flosser and put it through its paces in some difficult-to-reach areas of the mouth. Its sleek design and easy to change tips make it simple to use.
Cleans hard to reach areas
3 operating modes
4 specialized tips
360-degree rotating nozzle
80-160 PSI pressure
USB charging port and six-hour charging
Suitable for those with braces, implants, veneers, bridges and crowns
Compact and portable
Extendable to make reservoir larger
The flosser comes with a tongue scraper, a periodontal pocket sprinkler, classic jet tip and orthodontic spray tip, which each target different areas of your mouth. The classic jet tip is great for general cleaning, the orthodontic spray is helpful for those with braces and the periodontal pocket sprinkler is suitable for cleaning inflamed gums or impacted teeth. The tongue scraper attachment seemed superfluous.
If you’re not sure how to floss, we’ve put together a handy guide on how to floss your teeth, and another on how often should you floss, if you’re confused about frequency. Spotlight recommends you use this flosser once a day for effective cleaning.
Spotlight Water Flosser review: Design
The Spotlight Oral Care Water Flosser is a versatile product, but it seems that unless you have multiple dental problems, you wouldn’t get use out of every tip. The orthodontic tip is designed for those who have braces and the periodontal tip is for those with periodontal pockets. So if you have no issues, you may only end up using the tongue scraper and ‘normal’ precision tip. These tips need replacing every six months after daily use.
The cordless design makes it easy to pack up and take with you, and the small reservoir makes it compact and lightweight. However, the reservoir is inside the flosser, which seems a strange design choice as it makes it difficult to clean out or properly dry between uses. The little door that needs opening to fill the reservoir is also difficult to lift if you don’t have long nails or a thin tool to help you. If you have wet hands, you’ve got no chance, and seeing as the size of the flosser means it needs refilling during use, this feels like a design flaw.
Multiple buttons may have made this water flosser more user-friendly, as you have only one button to switch it on and switch between modes, which can make it confusing to use. You might think you’re changing modes but you end up turning it off. This flosser also doesn’t have any other color options, and only comes in white.
Spotlight Water Flosser review: Functionality
The Spotlight Oral Care Water Flosser has three pressure settings: normal, soft and pulse (or high, low and pulse considering ‘normal’ runs at 160 PSI) that are controlled by the single button on the body of the tank. You have to press the button multiple times to change the settings, which can take a few uses to figure out. On the pulse setting, the flosser functions at 1,500 pulses per minute (or three sprays a second); this setting can make it easier to move around the mouth and between teeth without spraying water around your bathroom when you open your mouth.
The flosser also comes with a USB charger and takes six hours to reach a full charge from empty, indicating that it is fully charged with a light on the power button. Spotlight says that the battery would last 30 minutes with continuous use and recommends recharging once a week.
Figuring out how to extend the reservoir took a while, and this compresses as you floss, which can be unnerving when you first try it. Additionally, you can’t see what you’re doing while you’re flossing; you must keep your head down over the sink and your mouth closed to avoid spraying, which means you’re flossing by feel only. If you want to look in the mirror while you floss, you’ll make a mess and possibly squirt yourself in the tonsils.
The tank has a 190ml capacity, which makes it suitable for travel but means you need to refill it multiple times over one use, as this gets used up quickly, especially when using the product on a high setting. Considering some water flossers have a 600ml+ tank capacity (although these are admittedly not very portable), it seems that this flosser would be good to take on a trip, but less useful to use at home as you have to keep refilling the tank while using it.
On the most powerful setting, your gums may bleed as they might with manual flossing, and you should experiment to find the right setting for your teeth. The soft, or lower setting may be better, as it is half as powerful (80 PSI) and gentler as a result. Flossing shouldn’t be a painful experience, so if you have sensitive teeth you should use lukewarm water.
Spotlight Water Flosser review: Performance
The Spotlight Oral Care Water Flosser hits the spot when it comes to interdental cleaning. With the powerful periodontal tip and pulse setting in particular you can easily flush plaque-causing bacteria out from below the gumline as you move the tip around your teeth. The normal/highest setting allows you to target pockets in your gums or gaps between your teeth with a concentrated jet that works so much better than floss or interdental brushes to clear debris and food.
Our tester didn’t have braces, so couldn’t effectively try out the orthodontic tip, but by looking at it, you can see how the little brush and a jet of water could help remove debris, plaque and bacteria from behind wires or around brackets. As braces make it harder to keep your teeth clean and limit your food options, the orthodontic tip may help you maintain good dental health while you have them on.
The tongue scraper confused us, as it seems that the plastic tip is doing the actual scraping and the water jet is just there to rinse. A basic tongue scraper followed by a rinse with a cup of water would achieve the same result without squirting water everywhere.
Spotlight Water Flosser review: What’s good about it?
The Spotlight Oral Care Water Flosser is a great product. It doesn’t have a strange taste, which some flossers we tested have, and the tips are easy to change. On the highest setting the jet is powerful enough to blast any debris from between teeth, and the lower setting is gentle enough to use on swollen gums that might be painful to clean. You can also swap out the ‘normal’ tip for the slightly narrower periodontal tip one for a more targeted clean.
Spotlight Water Flosser review: What’s not so good about it?
You only get a few seconds of use on a high setting before you need to refill the water reservoir on the Spotlight Water Flosser. This means you can’t clean your entire mouth in one go. You also can’t easily dry out the reservoir after use as it is inside the flosser itself, instead of a separate compartment. While this makes the device more compact, it seems like the damp environment would promote bacteria and mold growth. It is also annoying to refill with wet hands.
The product needs to be in your mouth when you switch it on otherwise you will spray water everywhere. In addition, it needs to be in your mouth while you select the correct setting, so it is generally messy and stressful to use until you have it on the setting you want. In the time it takes to get to the correct setting, you may also run out of water and need to refill it.
Spotlight Water Flosser review: User reviews
Reviews are fairly positive, with 3.4 stars out 5 being the average on Amazon. The Spotlight Water Flosser itself is good and users like it; most complaints in the reviews or bad reviews were due to the lack of functionality of water flossers in general, not just this one. It does seem to be a niche product that the average user may find too much hassle to use, but could be a godsend for those with existing dental conditions or gum problems.
Should you buy the Spotlight Oral Care Water Flosser?
If you have braces, implants, veneers, bridges, crowns, periodontal pockets or gaps the Spotlight Water Flosser can help elevate your oral care routine. While anyone can use it and see benefits compared with normal flossing due to the powerful jet, it is particularly useful for those who have pre-existing dental problems. Our tester has badly impacted wisdom teeth and periodontal pockets and found it useful for flushing food and debris out of these areas, which are prone to infection and hard to clean. Having used all sorts of interdental brushes, mouthwashes and flossing equipment to try and tackle these issues, the water flosser offers a simple and effective solution.
If this product isn’t for you
We recommend the Oclean Oral Irrigator, which is easier to keep clean and dry, as the tank just pops off the bottom. For a similar price, you could get the Waterpik cordless, although this comes with less tips.
Lou Mudge is a health writer based in Bath, United Kingdom for Future PLC. She holds an undergraduate degree in creative writing from Bath Spa University, and her work has appeared in Live Science, Tom’s Guide, Fit & Well, Coach, T3, and Tech Radar, among others. She regularly writes about health and fitness-related topics such as air quality, gut health, diet and nutrition and the impacts these things have on our lives.
She has worked for the University of Bath on a chemistry research project and produced a short book in collaboration with the department of education at Bath Spa University.
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