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Panasonic EW1270AC Portable Oral Irrigator Review

Updated on January 10, 2011

IMPORTANT UPDATE

Since I originally wrote this review, Panasonic have replaced the EW-1270AC portable irrigator with the new EW-DJ10A. This new model works in the same way as the previous one, but is even better, since it has a choice of two speeds, whereas the EW-1270AC only had one.

Click here to read more about the new EW-DJ10A

The original review

The Panasonic EW1270AC portable oral irrigator is a very handy device that will benefit just about anyone who wants to keep their teeth and gums in great health. This article provides more information about oral irrigators, and a review of the Panasonic EW1270AC, which I use regularly.

What Is An Oral Irrigator?

An oral irrigator works by shooting out a fine jet of water, which is directed between the teeth and along the gum line. This dislodges food particles and massages the gums, helping to clean in hard to reach areas, and minimising the bacteria that contribute to decay and gingivitis. Although irrigators have traditionally been most commonly used by people with braces (who can't floss easily) and periodontal problems, they're now becoming increasingly popular among the general population, and with good reason too – studies have indicated that using an irrigator is even more effective than flossing when in comes to oral health and hygiene (great news for those who, like me, hate flossing with a passion!).

Types of Oral Irrigator

There are different types of oral irrigator on the market. There are large units with a tank that are operated by mains power (generally they plug into the shaver socket in your bathroom). These are especially popular among families. There are also irrigators that attach to your taps or shower, and don't need any additional power source. And finally, there are portable battery-operated oral irrigators, such as the Panasonic EW1270AC.

Features of the Panasonic EW1270AC Cordless Oral Irrigator

The Panasonic EW1270AC is an effective oral irrigator that offers the following features:

  • Powerful jet – 1600 pulses a minute (which is more than that offered by many mains-powered units), so your teeth and gums are cleaned effectively and efficiently.
  • 165ml water tank – a relatively large tank for a portable irrigator, so you won't need to stop and refill too often.
  • Compact size and light weight – the Panasonic EW1270AC weighs just 7.4oz (excluding batteries) and can be folded up to reduce its size – great for travelling.
  • Cordless & operates with two normal batteries – no annoying cord, and you can power it with normal or rechargeable batteries (this is a HUGE advantage when compared to other irrigators like the Waterpik that have built in batteries that need to be recharged – because once the battery goes, you have to replace the whole unit!)
  • Easy to clean – the tank is very easy to remove for cleaning.

My Experience With The Panasonic EW1270AC Irrigator vs the Waterpik WP-360W

My experience with the Panasonic is a very good one. A bit of background – although I eat a lower sugar diet, and clean my teeth religiously, I've been prone to bleeding gums on and off for years. About a couple of years ago I became aware of the benefits of using an oral irrigator, and bought a Waterpik WP-360W (I chose a portable model because our bathroom doesn't have a power outlet). Unlike the Panasonic, the Waterpik doesn't take normal batteries, but instead has its own battery built-in, which is recharged directly from the mains. My experience with the Waterpik was a mixed one – on the one hand it was very effective and helped my gums a lot – the bleeding stopped after a few weeks of use. But on the other hand, it was awkward to clean, and after while the battery stopped holding a charge effectively, and the unit gradually became unusable – it simply wouldn't work when unplugged from its charging cable, and unfortunately there was no way to replace the battery with a new one. I assumed that maybe I'd just got a dodgy unit, and was going to buy another Waterpik, but after reading around a bit online, I came across many reviews from other people who had also had similar battery problems with their portable Waterpiks. So I decided that it would be a bit daft to buy another one and possibly experience the same issue again, so I looked around for an alternative, and, to cut a long story short, although the Panasonic EW1270AC is more expensive than the Waterpik, it had almost uniformly glowing reviews, so I decided to give it a try.

It was easy to assemble, and came with batteries included (these have since run out – I now use rechargeable batteries, which I replace once a week). The unit was easy to assemble and use. I hadn't been using an irrigator for a few months by the time I bought the Panasonic, and my gums bled pretty badly the first few times I used it – this totally normal for people who aren't used to using an irrigator. Gradually the bleeding subsided, and after about two weeks of nightly use, without any other changes in my oral hygiene regime, diet or anything else, my gums stopped bleeding completely when I brushed, and another week or so after than, they no longer bled at all when using the irrigator either. Needless to say, I'm very happy about this! My teeth and mouth feel very clean too – much more so than with brushing alone (or my previous ham-handed attempts at flossing!), and I can't imagine life without it now!

Panasonic EW1270AC Negative Points?

Overall, I'm extremely happy with the Panasonic. It's powerful, convenient, easy to use and maintain, has no battery issues, and basically does the job that it was designed for very well. The only thing I don't like so much (and where I feel it falls short when compared to the Waterpik) is that it only comes with one nozzle. The Waterpik (or at least the WP-360W model that I used) came with four – two large ones, and two small. This enabled the unit to be used by two people, and also, each person could choose between the higher water pressure provided by the small nozzle, or the more gentle pressure of the larger one. The Panasonic in contrast, there's only a single nozzle of one size (and no switch to vary the pressure), so if more than one person wants to use it, you'll need to purchase an additional nozzle (these are easily available though). As I say, this is a minor quibble, as the unit cleans very effectively and you soon get used to the pressure, but it would be nice to have a bit more control over the strength of the stream.

Where To Buy The Panasonic EW1270AC Portable Oral Irrigator

If you decide to buy a Panasonic portable irrigator (and I recommend anyone who cares about their dental health to seriously consider it), you'll find that it's readily available, both online and off, though you can get some especially good bargains if you shop on the net.

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