For those who need extra help in the flossing department, water flossers can be a total game-changer. Using traditional floss and doing your daily brushing shouldn't be replaced—unless your jaw movement is restricted, you've recently had oral surgery or dental work (like braces), or your teeth are very sensitive. Which is where water flossers can come in handy. Some folks even use water flossers in addition to their brushing and flossing routine, since they can be a gentler way to clear plaque and debris. But since there are many different types of water flossers on the market, which one is the best for you?
- Sharon Huang, DDS, dentist and the founder and CEO of Les Belles NYC
When should you use a water flosser?
Water flossers come in all shapes and sizes. For example, you may have been seen ones with a huge water tank and then other small cordless ones that can fit in your weekender bag. But no matter what your preference is, these devices all have the same purpose. Although water flossers can't clean with the same depth as regular string floss, they still can make an impact, especially for those who have special dental concerns.
"So the patients who have a hard time flossing, can't seem to get the floss in, are discouraged because they can't get to the back, if they have arthritis, or if they have retainers, braces, water flossers are really, really helpful," says Sharon Huang, founder of Les Belles Dentistry NYC. "It doesn't do the same job as the regular flosser." But that doesn't mean it isn't effective.
"[They're] really good at flushing debris off," Huang continues. "So patients with a lot of space in between their teeth, the water flosser is really helpful because it's hard to get all the debris from the areas in between the teeth."
So, if you really want to take your oral hygiene from amateur to pro, water flossers are one way to do it. To help sort through some of the best picks for water flossers, take a look these these below.
Best cordless water flossers
Perhaps one of the most popular flossers—outside of the Waterpik—is this device from Burst Oral Care. Not only is it designed to remove pesky food particles hiding between your teeth, but thanks to its ergonomic design, you can comfortably brush past the two-minute mark and beyond. Additionally, the flosser comes with three different pressure modes that you adjust based on your teeth’s sensitivity. Plus, it’s one of Huang’s favorite recent discoveries. “It’s good and it’s convenient. When things are more convenient, people tend to use it more,” she says.
Pros: Good-looking enough to share on Instagram.
Cons: Smaller reservoir requires more-frequent refills.
You know it’s good when the American Dental Association has even accepted the product. This cordless Waterpik flosser is pretty stacked in terms of functionality. In fact, it claims to remove 99.9 percent of plaque and that it’s perfect for using on teeth implants, braces, and for a slew of other dental conditions. Not to mention, the battery lasts up to four hours and comes with a magnetic charger that you turn on by sticking to the front of the flosser.
Pros: Long-lasting charge makes this a great choice for frequent travelers.
Cons: One of the higher-priced offerings on the list (but still, way cheaper than dental work).
Unlike the rest of water flossers on this list, this Philips Sonicare device uses compressed shots of air to help keep your teeth fresh. From one shot to three shots, you can customize how many bursts of air a minute you want to use for your cleaning. Additionally, the flosser also has two nozzle heads and a rechargeable battery that lasts up to two weeks, making it one of the most energy-efficient devices on the market. And to sweeten the deal, you get to bring home a bottle of mouthwash to help take care of your morning breath.
Pros: Elegantly designed and substantially crafted.
Cons: Not everyone may enjoy the sensation of air.
If you’re looking for a water flosser that’s both customer-approved and budget-friendly, Waterpik has got you covered again. With this flosser, you get the all basics, plus a tiny bit more. Sure, it can remove plaque and clear out the debris that doesn’t get picked up immediately after string flossing. But what’s more impressive is that it comes with a separate nozzle and has two solid speeds to give you a well-rounded cleaning from start to finish. Plus, you don’t even need to buy the triple A batteries, since they’re conveniently already packed inside.
Pros: Sleek design; gets the job done affordably.
Cons: You’ll need to keep backup batteries on hand.
Best water flossers for braces
While it can be challenging to floss with so much metal hardware covering your teeth (if you have braces, that is), this Waterpik Aquarius flosser can help make that process a little easier. For starters, it comes with seven different tips, including one to target plaque. There’s also a timer to tell you how long you should use the device, in addition to 10 different pressure settings. And apart from braces, the flosser is great to use for a variety of dental concerns, like cleaning around sensitive crowns and the small pockets around the gums.
Pros: Compact size and powerful pressure make this an investment-worthy choice.
Cons: Higher cost than some others on this list.
For something that’s more lightweight and simple, you may want to consider this Zerhunt Water Flosser. At $36, it packs quite the punch when it comes to versatility. The reservoir tank holds 300mL, which is good for more than a minute of continuous flossing. It also comes with four different tips to try out and a detachable water tank that make refills such a breeze.
Pros: Small footprint won’t take up much space in your bathroom.
Cons: Color scheme is ’90s, but not really the cool ’90s.
The best part of this H2ofloss water flosser that it can hold a lot of water—we’re talking 800mL worth. Which is good for more than two minutes of flossing. The device also has 12 different nozzles, including two nasal tips and two tongue cleaning tips. And unlike its previous model, this HF-9 version is a lot quieter.
Pros: Generously sized water tank encourages thorough flossing.
Cons: Larger size eats up a lot of counter space.
You can’t fit a dental hygienist in your pocket, but this is the next best thing. This portable water flosser has a telescopic water tank that expands when you need to floss on the run.
Pros: Pocket-sized; comes with multiple nozzles for targeted plaque attacks.
Cons: Takes up more bag space than traditional floss.
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