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The Best Waterpiks and Water Flossers for Your Money, According to Dentists

Let’s face it, most of us don’t floss as much as we should. That’s not good, because gum disease is more common than many people think.

If you are serious about taking care of your teeth, then brushing should only be the first step. Yes, you should floss often too, and to help the cause, you may also want to invest in a good Waterpik.

In case you are unfamiliar with the term, Waterpik (with no "c" in the spelling) is actually the brand name that's become synonymous with the overall category of water flossers. They're devices that shoot a stream of water into your mouth and between your teeth to dislodge food, plaque, and other types of gunk that might get built up over time. Waterpiks (or water flossers, if you prefer) can help reduce the risk of gum disease and gingivitis.

But what's the best Waterpik or water flosser for you? We asked some dentists which 'piks are actually worth picking up.

Best Waterpiks and water flossers

1. Best overall: Waterpik Aquarius Professional Water Flosser Designer Series WP 672

The Waterpik brand was the overwhelming pick of the dentists interviewed for this piece, and the company has enough variations to suit multiple needs.

Dr. Ana Ortiz, the founder of Madison Green Family Dental in West Palm Beach, Florida, is among the many dentists who recommend Waterpiks. Specifically, the Waterpik Aquarius Professional Designer Series, which has 10 different pressure settings, seven different flossing tips, easy controls on the handle to adjust water flow, and a reservoir that holds 90 seconds worth of water.

"I particularly like this model because of its relatively compact design, while still having a large reservoir for your cleaning solution, whether water alone or mixed with baking soda, mouthwash," Dr. Ortiz says via email.

"This is important because to get into a daily habit of using a Waterpik a patient needs the machine to be readily accessible (i.e., it needs to stay out so you use it daily) and to be enough water to do a thorough job of cleaning your teeth and gums. And this is silly, I know, but lots of patients like it because it comes in both white and black so they can incorporate it into their design preferences with a little more ease."

She adds, "I would be doing a disservice to my patients if I didn't mention this, but don't assume 'water picking' is an equal substitute for flossing. While it's certainly better than doing nothing at all, flossing really is the best method to prevent oral issues, however, a Waterpik can compliment most preventative measures really nicely."

2. Editor's pick: Waterpik WP-660 Water Flosser, Aquarius Style

Dr. Rhonda Kalasho, of GLO Modern Dentistry in Los Angeles, has seen great success with the Aquarius style of Waterpiks. "It has a tank you can fill lukewarm water in, which I suggest to be lukewarm if you have sensitive teeth, and you adjust the pressure setting. It can be a bit more expensive than all the other brands, however it is the most easy to use," she says.

The good thing about the Waterpik WW-660 is that it usually costs $15 to $20 less than the "Best Overall" Waterpik model above, and it still features 10 pressure settings, 7 different flosser tips and holds 22 ounces of water, which should last for about 90 seconds worth of usage.

"I also love that Waterpik has so many tips I can choose from, and they include ones you can use to brush over your teeth, even tips used for below the gum line and behind and around crowns, and implants," says Dr. Kalasho. "I personally have seen a major reduction in my patients' gum disease, staining and bad breath after including a water flosser like the Waterpik as part of their oral hygiene home regimen."

3. Best for low prices: H2ofloss Dental Water Flosser

If you're trying to keep your teeth clean while sticking to a budget, and you also have chompers that are a bit on the gentle side, Dr. Lata Stefano, a dentist based in Ohio, recommends the H2ofloss Dental Water Flosser.

"This choice can be less expensive, has lower pressure which many users like, and has a quieter motor than many of the other options," she says.

The list price for the H2ofloss is around $50, but we've often seen it on sale for closer to $35. Equipped with 6 pressure settings and 12 different flossing tips, it's very versatile and should work for people with a wide range of teeth sensitivity. Roughly 85% of the 12,000+ reviewers Amazon rate this model at 4 or 5 stars.

4. Best cordless water flosser: Waterpik Cordless Water Flosser WP-560

If you are always on the go, Dr. Mike Golpa can relate. Based in Las Vegas, he's the CEO of the G4byGolpa dental implant centers, and he recommends the cordless Waterpik.

"This one is extremely portable. Because I travel very often, this is a significant feature for me," he says. "I can take it everywhere and it saves space on the counter, while stationary models are quite bulky."

Waterpik is the top brand in water flossers, and this model is the company's top cordless option. It has three pressure settings and four flosser tips to handle a variety of needs (plaque seeker, classic jet, etc.), and comes with a travel bag and travel plug — as well as a rapid magnetic charger that will give you a full battery after four hours.

5. Best cordless model for low prices: Nicefeel Cordless Water Flosser

Dr. Ashley Paré is a Florida-based cosmetic and general dentist and founder of Shoreline Smiles. Partly because she has many patients who have permanent retainers, braces, or dental implants, "my personal favorite would be the Nicefeel Cordless Water Flosser Teeth Cleaner," she says.

"The reason I like this particular model is the price and convenience it provides. It's truly portable, or at least as portable as an irrigation machine can be. The reason I place such value on this unit is that for those of us with cosmetic dental work or orthodontics in place, having access to a tool like this can be a lifesaver. I don't literally mean life-saving, but getting something properly stuck in your permanent retainer can be super frustrating, so being able to take care of it while at the gym, at work, on business or personal travel, and so on is unique."

The Nicefeel's battery will be fully charged after four hours, and it'll last up to 20 days before needing to be recharged. Priced at $35, and available for even cheaper via sales or coupons often available at Amazon, the Nicefeel is quite a good value.

6. Another good option: Philips Sonicare AirFloss Ultra

If you're one of the millions of Americans who know they need to floss more, Dr. Stefano has a simple recommendation for you.

She likes the Philips Sonicare AirFloss Ultra because of its "user-friendly" nature. "It's known to be the 60-second flosser," she says. "It has targeted cleaning and can improve gum health."

Best mouthwash to use with a Waterpik

Crest 3D White Luxe Glamorous White Multi-Care Whitening Mouthwash


Best Water Flossers of 2021

Best Water Flossers of 2021

Water flossers are handheld devices that spray water between your teeth in steady pulses. Like traditional flossing, water flossers remove plaque and food particles between your teeth. 

Water flossers that have the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance help prevent cavities, gingivitis, periodontal disease, and other oral health conditions. The ADA currently accepts Waterpik and Philips Water Flossers.

Benefits of ADA accepted water flossers over regular string floss:

  • Can remove more dental plaque between your teeth and along your gum line
  • Help prevent and reduce gingivitis between your teeth
  • Massage your gums, which can help improve gum health 
  • Convenient and quick cleaning
  • Ideal for people with limited dexterity (moving abilities) or arthritis  
  • Easy to clean between dental implants, dental bridges, braces, and other dental work

5 Other Options

Why You Should Trust Us 

All medical content on this site, including this guide and other product reviews, is written by our team of experienced writers and researchers. All NewMouth writers vet products that are recommended and reviewed in the industry. In cases where this is not possible, our team will:

  • Compare positive and negative reviews on the products
  • Talk to company leaders to ensure their products are safe and effective
  • Look into costs to ensure customers are getting the best quality products at reasonable prices
  • Read research studies to compare the pros and cons of each product

Every piece of content is heavily reviewed before publication. All content on NewMouth is also medically reviewed by a licensed dentist, specifically any content where we recommend products. Our dentists are specifically instructed to flag any recommendations they don’t agree with. Any products that don’t meet their professional standards are removed.

Many of the products we recommend have the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. These products are proven to be effective in preventing gum disease, cavities, and other oral health conditions.

When we recommend products that do not include this seal of acceptance, we conduct further research to ensure reputability. This may include speaking with company leaders, reading hundreds of customer reviews, and ensuring they provide quality customer service.

All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

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How we picked

Why you should trust us

We spoke with Jessica Hilburg, associate dean for clinical affairs at NYU College of Dentistry, and Ruchi Sahota, a dentist in Fremont, California, who serves as a media spokesperson for the American Dental Association (ADA). We also spoke with Chhaju Ram Goyal, co-founder and director of All Sum Research Center (an independent research lab in Canada that tests oral-health-care products), whose name is on much of the scientific research related to water flossers (though, problematically, that research was paid for and designed by none other than Waterpik).

As health and science reporters, we frequently write about goods and services that offer inventive ways to care for ourselves and our bodies, including period underwear and online therapy. We do not floss as much as we should, and anything that can help us out with that is great. But we also know how common it is for pricey newfangled gadgets to be duds.

Who this is for

If you won’t or can’t use dental floss, and you don’t mind spending some cash on a device that might break or get disastrously moldy, consider a water flosser.

Water flossers are an alternative (or an addition) to string floss. They don’t require the same dexterity that string floss does (though you still need fine-motor skills). They can make it easier to clean around braces. And they are arguably more fun to use than string floss.

But they’re also pricier, bulkier, and fussier. Even using a generous 18 inches of string per floss (PDF)—which allows you to use a new section of string for each tooth—you’ll go through under $10 worth of floss per year. By contrast, the least expensive water flossers cost about $40. Plus, you’ll need to clean your water flosser from time to time, but string floss is maintenance-free.

It’s unclear how water flossers compare to regular string floss in terms of cleaning.

Only your own dentist can tell you whether a water flosser is the best choice for your oral hygiene, according to the dentists we spoke with. “Everyone’s teeth are different, everyone’s gums are different,” Ruchi Sahota, a dentist in Fremont, California, said. If you embark on a water-flosser experiment, get feedback from your dentist about how well it’s working.

By and large, it’s unclear how water flossers compare to regular string floss in terms of cleaning. Water flossers that bear a seal from the American Dental Association (ADA) have been evaluated by the organization and are shown to clean teeth better than a toothbrush alone. However, the ADA doesn’t compare water flossing to string flossing. (The ADA isn’t entirely independent of companies that sell dental goods: Member companies pay the organization a fee to evaluate their products. But the ADA designs and controls the evaluations itself, giving us enough peace of mind to trust the seal.) There’s a paper arguing that water flossers are superior to string floss. However, the research was funded and overseen by Waterpik. Thus, we’re skeptical of the results, even though the journal the paper appeared in is peer reviewed by an editorial board of dentists.

Actually, the evidence that even string flossing improves overall oral health isn’t of great quality. But the ADA recommends some sort of daily flossing, and the experts we spoke with likened interdental cleaning to any other routine hygiene step. “There might not be a study, but most people would agree that taking a shower is a good thing,” said Jessica Hilburg, associate dean for clinical affairs at NYU College of Dentistry. Sahota likened it to cleaning out any of the little crevices on your body, like your belly button.

How we picked and tested

All of the water flossers we tested for this guide.

There are dozens upon dozens of water flossers available. Because there’s so little research on how well they work, we focused on those that have earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This certifies safety and efficacy.

That left us with a small field of models to choose from. We initially tested six that represented a mix of corded and cordless (and some different sizes), favoring models that had higher user reviews. For our second round of testing, in 2020, we focused on cordless flossers, narrowing down the testing pool to four different models from three brands: Waterpik, Philips Sonicare, and Panasonic. For a third round of testing, in 2021, we tried two new countertop water flossers from Waterpik.

We pinpointed the features that will have the biggest impact on what it’s like to use a particular water flosser:

  • Stream style: Flossers made by Waterpik and Panasonic dispense a continuous stream of water, whereas those from Philips emit a quick, tiny burst of water (or mouthwash) whenever you press a button. It’s unclear which approach is better for your gums. We found that the Waterpik’s continuous stream made the spaces between our teeth feel more thoroughly rinsed. However, as the Waterpik filled our mouths with water, it required us to drool as we water-flossed. The Philips’s quick bursts (the company calls this method “air flossing,” though it still involves a tiny bit of liquid) filled our mouths more slowly, so we had to spit just once, at the end of a cleaning. If you want to use mouthwash or other antibacterial solutions in your water flosser, the Philips style is better because it doesn’t require nearly as much liquid. Yet all of our picks are compatible with mouthwash, which you can dilute in the larger reservoir to avoid waste, if desired.
  • Power source: Some flossers need to be plugged into the wall during use, and some are cordless. Some cordless models have a built-in rechargeable battery, and others run on replaceable batteries.
  • Counter space: Philips models take up a bit more space than an electric toothbrush. Because of their larger tanks, cordless Waterpik models need as much room as a shampoo bottle. Traditional plug-in and cordless Waterpiks, with their extra-large tanks, take up as much space as a mega roll of plush toilet paper.

Other features that matter (but aren’t as important as those first three) include:

  • Settings: The more you can adjust the water stream, the better you can adjust the flosser’s feel to your exact preferences. With the Waterpik and Panasonic models, this means pressure settings, which can vary from two to 10 options, depending on the model. Some Waterpik units even have a massage feature, which oscillates the pressure of the stream. This style made our teeth feel cleaner, but there was more of a learning curve as we figured out how to lean our heads above the sink in order to drool neatly. The Philips flossers let you customize between one and three “bursts” of water per button press, which some may find easier to deal with.
  • Tips: All flossers shoot water out of a removable tip, allowing multiple people in a household to use the same device without sharing germs. Some models have holsters for multiple tips, while others have no storage. Some come with a range of tips that vary the stream width, though not all of these are useful—you don’t really need a tip that doubles as a toothbrush.
  • Tank size: All flossers theoretically hold enough water to work through your whole mouth. But having a larger tank can be nice because it allows you to focus on any trouble spots (like a stubborn fleck of popcorn) or do a touch-up without having to refill.

No matter which model you pick, buy a water flosser only if it’s under warranty. Across the category, water flossers tend to fail easily: They can leak, wane in strength, or simply give up the ghost. We favored those that have fewer complaints. But your best option is to buy something with a long warranty (two or three years is typical), and be prepared to file a claim if needed.

If you want a reliable flosser, stick with string.

We rotated through our selection of finalist flossers for several weeks (the experience of using them was so satisfying and novel that one tester water-flossed upwards of four times a day). On top of that, we spoke with other Wirecutter staff members who personally use and like water flossers, and we read through many customer reviews of these devices.

Our pick: Waterpik Ion

An Waterpik Ion, our best water flosser pick.

The Waterpik Ion is the best countertop water flosser. It cleans mouths thoroughly, and it is highly adjustable. And, thanks to its cordless charging base, the Ion can be used in all types of bathrooms—regardless of whether there’s an outlet nearby. The removable charging cord can be stored anywhere and brought out every few weeks to recharge the flosser. The Ion features a strong, steady water stream. And it has a larger-than-average, 26-ounce water tank (with a wide, easy-to-refill mouth), which holds enough water to floss between each tooth and then some.

Like many Waterpik countertop flossers, the Ion has 10 pressure settings, so you can find the perfect water-stream strength. This model also comes with six tips that offer different stream widths. But unlike other flossers, the Ion has a magnetized handle cradle, which makes it easier to store the handle and the cord that connects it to the reservoir compactly.

The Ion takes up less counter space than other countertop flossers we’ve considered, including our runner-up pick, the Waterpik Aquarius. (The Aquarius could be compared in size to a mega-roll of toilet paper, whereas the Ion is closer in size to a regular roll.) Because with the Ion you’re not tied to an outlet, you can move the device wherever on the counter you prefer.

As with most flossers that produce a constant flow of water, you’ll have to learn how to artfully drool while using the Ion.

The attachments of the Waterpik Ion side by side.

The six included tips offer different widths of water streams, though you probably wouldn’t use most of them on a regular basis. Photo: Michael Murtaugh

A close up of the Waterpik Ion flosser's cord that is neatly wrapped on it's the base.

The curly cord that attaches the flosser tips to the wand and water reservoir is about 34 inches long, which we found to be plenty. Photo: Michael Murtaugh

The Ion is one of the easiest water flossers to refill after each use or so (a requirement of all flossers) and to wipe out regularly: It has a wide, dishwasher-safe reservoir that is easily removed and that doesn’t have any hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. The tank lid attaches to the unit and flips up, so there’s nothing to set aside while you fill and clean the tank. It holds around 90 seconds’ worth of water, which gives you plenty of time (and then some) to floss your entire mouth. One tester found they could do a quick floss in about 30 seconds; if they spent more than a minute, their teeth felt fantastically clean.

The Ion comes in two colors (black and white) and is warrantied for three years. If our pick is unavailable and you prefer a countertop flosser with cordless charging, consider the Waterpik Ion Professional, which is nearly the same model, but with a slightly smaller water tank.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

Although Waterpik claims the Ion can last for a month between charges, we needed to recharge the device every three weeks or so when water flossing every day. Even so, we found this model to be a worthwhile upgrade over having to keep a countertop flosser plugged in at all times in order to run it.

Like most water flossers, the Ion is slightly noisy (similar to electric razors and many bathroom electronics), but not terribly so.

Because of its continuous stream, the Ion (like all of our picks) involves a learning curve. That stream means your mouth fills up with water pretty quickly. You’ll either have to pause to spit several times during a flossing session or learn to let it dribble out (even the official Waterpik literature features an image of a person straight-up drooling). And if you pull the nozzle out of your mouth too quickly, you’ll send water spraying across the bathroom.

Runner-up: Waterpik Aquarius

The Waterpik Aquarius Water Flosser, shown on a purple background.

If plugging in is not an issue, the Waterpik Aquarius is a solid water flosser that offers a similar experience to that of our pick, the Ion. The Aquarius made our mouths feel totally clean, thanks to its strong, continuous stream (which is similar to the Ion’s). This model also ties with the Ion for having the most stream pressure settings and tips of all the flossers we tested. So the Aquarius gives you the best chance of finding the pressure, pulse, and stream size that feels good to you.

With the Aquarius, there’s no charging system or batteries to contend with because it plugs into the wall via a 4-foot electrical cord. (Though, unlike the Ion, this model must remain plugged in to operate.) Although there are more reports of it breaking down or becoming caked with mold than we’d like, in three years of research and long-term testing, we’ve found the Aquarius to be a reliable device.

Though the Aquarius is not quite as easy to clean as the Ion, it does have a wide, dishwasher-safe reservoir that holds plenty of water for at least a single flossing session. This model takes up more counter space than the Ion and many other water flossers we considered. As with all of our picks, with the Aquarius you’ll be drooling a lot because of the constant water flow. Unlike our other picks, this model has two modes (for a regular “floss” stream or a “massage” mode, which shoots pulses of water), and it comes with seven different tips (one more than the Ion comes with).

A close up look at the adjustment dial on our top pick.

The floss mode delivers a continuous stream of water, which we found to be the most effective for cleaning. On the strongest setting, it actually made one of our tester’s gums bleed, possibly because they were not used to flossing. Some water-flosser manuals acknowledge a week or two of bleeding as part of the “training period,” when your gums get used to being power-washed.

The massage mode is a pulsing stream. This mode also felt like it cleaned well, and it filled our mouths with water at a slower rate, which in turn made for less awkward drooling. The massage mode could be helpful for folks who prefer a gentler stream.

The Aquarius comes with seven basic tips offering different widths of water streams (though you probably wouldn’t use most of them on a regular basis). Unlike the Ion, this model has a spot next to the tank to store tips; this is handy if you want to share the flosser with family members or switch between a couple of tips yourself. The curly cord that connects the handle to the tank is about 33 inches long, an inch shorter than the Ion’s.

All of the different head options that the Aquarius comes with arrayed on a clean wood surface.

Like the Ion, the Aquarius comes with a three-year warranty. It is available in five colors: black, white, blue, gray, and orchid (a purple hue).

Also great: Waterpik Cordless Express

The Waterpik Cordless Express Water Flosser shown on a purple background.

The Waterpik Cordless Express is a great compact option for people who desire a smaller device, for either portability or space-saving purposes. As with our other Waterpik picks, you’ll drool heavily when using this flosser. But unlike our countertop picks, this one is fully waterproof—you can use it in the shower. We found this extremely helpful both for remembering to floss and limiting cleanup (what better place to drool on oneself than in the shower?).

If you have hand-grip issues, a cordless water flosser may not be right for you. Because it’s an all-in-one device, with the water reservoir attached to the handheld sprayer, this model is much wider and heavier to hold than our other picks. When filled with water, the Cordless Express weighs more than a pound—versus our top-pick handle’s single ounce. The body of the Cordless Express features a useful grip pattern to help you avoid dropping the device, but people with smaller hands may have difficulty holding its 5-inch circumference.

With just two settings, the Cordless Express is much simpler than our other picks. It holds enough water or mouthwash (or other antibacterial solutions) for 30 seconds of spray, which is enough to complete a single floss. It’s extremely easy to fill, however, so if you feel the need to floss again, you can be back to drooling in mere seconds.

The Cordless Express uses three AA batteries, instead of plugging into the wall with a charging cord, so you’ll want to have extra batteries on hand (or use rechargeable ones). Removing and replacing the batteries is an easy process, as is cleaning the device. And, as with our other picks, this model’s water reservoir can go in the dishwasher; weekly cleaning is recommended.

This model comes with two tips—far fewer compared with our other picks. But the Cordless Express is compatible with all other Waterpik tips.

The Cordless Express has a one-year warranty (much shorter than that of our trusty corded picks), and it comes in white or black.

What to look forward to

Other good water flossers

If you can’t find the regular Waterpik Ion in stock, consider the rechargeable Waterpik Ion Professional. This model has the same 5.5-inch footprint and 34-inch flosser cord as our pick, the Ion, but it holds 23 ounces of water (instead of 26 ounces).

If you’re looking for a traditional corded water flosser for a child, or for an adult with smaller hands or dexterity issues,Waterpik’s Water Flosser For Kids may be a worthy compact option. Its neon green coloring isn’t exactly subtle, but this flosser has the same per-minute pulses and flow rate as our picks. However, its highest pressure option is lower than that of our picks (80 psi versus 100 psi). And this model also offers only 60 seconds of flossing capacity (our picks offer 90 seconds) and a shorter warranty (two years versus three). We found this flosser’s smaller, thinner handle easy to grip, but it does not have a rotating tip option or an on/off switch. Since this one is meant to be refilled after every use, it does not come with a lid.

The competition

Countertop water flossers

In our experience, the Waterpik Ultra cleans just as well as the Ion and the Aquarius. But its lid isn’t attached to the tank (which is less preferable for regular maintenance).

We didn’t test the Waterpik Sidekick Water Flosser, despite its pluses. We like that this corded model is smaller than other countertop Waterpiks, can fit in a small travel case, and looks quite nice (especially the black-and-copper model). But, unfortunately, it comes with only one tip, which cannot be changed (making it a little gross for use by multiple people). Also, it has just five pressure settings, and, at the time of publication, the Sidekick was nearly double the price of the Aquarius.

The Waterpik Classic Professional Water Flosser, which we also did not test, is similar in function and size to our top pick and costs a bit less. But it has only six pressure settings and comes with just two styles of tips. There’s also no cover on the tank lid.

We chose not to test the Instagram-popular Fresh Pro Flosser because of its exorbitant cost and lack of the ADA Seal.

Cordless water flossers

The Panasonic EW-DJ10-W Oral Irrigator is a well-reviewed water flosser. But due to its collapsible design, it tends to stay damp for a while, which, well, dampens the overall experience. It also looks and feels a little cheaper than our cordless pick, despite being the same price. However, if the Waterpik Cordless Express is unavailable, the EW-DJ10 isn’t a completely awful substitute. It has a two-year warranty.

We used to recommend the Philips Sonicare AirFloss Ultra, a unique water flosser that expels quick, tiny bursts of water or mouthwash, instead of a constant stream of water like our picks. After finding a bevy of disappointing reviews citing poor performance, however, we no longer recommend it.


  1. Jessica Hilburg, associate dean for clinical affairs at NYU College of Dentistry, phone interview, September 25, 2018

  2. Ruchi Sahota, dentist and media spokesperson for the American Dental Association, phone interview, October 15, 2018

  3. Chhaju Ram Goyal, BDS, director at All Sum Research Center, phone interview, October 16, 2018

  4. Federal Government, ADA Emphasize Importance of Flossing and Interdental Cleaners, American Dental Association, August 4, 2016

About your guides

Nancy Redd

Nancy Redd is a senior staff writer at Wirecutter covering everything from Santa hats to bath bombs. She is also a GLAAD Award–nominated on-air host and a New York Times best-selling author. Her latest picture book, The Real Santa, follows a determined little Black boy's journey to discover what the jolly icon truly looks like.

Shannon Palus
Best Water Flosser 2021

Best water flossers to jet wash your gnashers

No matter how good an electric toothbrush you have sitting on your sink side, any dentist will tell you no amount of sonic power negates the need to floss. 

Thankfully, in 2021, that needn’t mean the gum-bleeding rigamarole of thin cord. Water flossers are fast becoming the norm for a comprehensive oral hygiene regime, blasting away plaque in an altogether less manual way. 

In other words, if regular old floss is the raggedy brush you use to sweep away the leaves from the garden patio, a water flosser is the pressure washer that unveils the original colour of the stone beneath. 

So if you're going to invest in that most essential style accessory, your smile, the addition of a water flosser in your bathroom cabinet really doesn't need questioning. But before you splash out, here are just a few things to note…

Do you really need to floss?

The narrative on flossing and how regularly you ought to be doing it has been conflicting, but pretty much any dentist worth their jar of lollipops agrees that some form of daily interdental brushing or flossing is essential for the healthy maintenance of your pearly whites.

If you're lacking in space between your teeth, flossing is especially necessary for eradicating plaque in areas your toothbrush simply won't reach in your twice-daily two minutes in front of the bathroom mirror. That's because brushing will only target the front and back of your gnashers, neglecting the harder-to-reach sides. Left uncleaned, this can lead to plaque buildup and, in turn, oral health ailments such as gum disease.

Do dentists recommend water flossers?

Just like an electric toothbrush is an easier way to clean your teeth than a manual brush, the main appeal of a water flosser, or oral irrigator as it is sometimes known, is its convenience. Water flossers are particularly well suited to anyone undergoing orthodontic work involving attachments on their teeth, such as fixed braces or Invisalign, for whom normal flossing is particularly difficult. For dentist-approved results, some suggest using both traditional floss and water flossers to dislodge food particles, then rinse away plaque, as the latter won’t replicate the scraping motion of former.

How do you use a water flosser?

The most important thing to remember when using a water flosser is to always place the tip inside your mouth before turning it on. Failing to do that is a sure-fire way to end up with a flooded mess around your sink. Water flossers shoot out a thin, pressurised stream between the teeth, most coming with various pressure settings to tweak the force with which it comes out. Be patient, it might take a couple of uses before you find a pressure that'll make the process feel natural.

Similarly, water temperature is a variable that will alter the irrigation experience, lukewarm being recommended so as not to cause any unnecessary discomfort. A minute a day will do the trick, which isn't all that much to ask after a two-minute brush, and the good ones will shut off for you thanks to built-in timers.

Will a water flosser remove stains from teeth? 

Water flossers are primed to target hard-to-reach areas in the same way as regular floss, but some also boast a teeth-whitening ability with the addition of special tabs you can buy seperately, which infuse the water being sprayed into your mouth. Waterpik claims its whitening model is more effective than any over-the-counter strips or home methods, and safer too, though you're unlikely to get any results of a Harley Street standard. For more on a whiter, brighter smile, check out our dedicated guide here.

What's the best water flosser to buy?

Once a product more-or-less exclusive to its originator, Waterpik, many names in the oral hygiene space have now released its own take on the water flosser. Not sure which to buy? We got hands-on with the market-leading models to make the decision easier for you.


Place to buy waterpik best

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Best Water Flossers – Waterpik vs Jetpik vs h2ofloss

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Now discussing:

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