It’s not easy to beat that feeling you get after you leave the dentist after having your teeth cleaned, but you can make it last every day by using a water flosser. People with braces are often recommended to use water flossers, but anyone can use one (and potentially benefit from it).
What does a water flosser do? Dr. Adam S. Harwood, DMD, an endodontist in New York City, explains that water flossers use a pressurized stream of water, occasionally pulsating, to remove food particles and plaque.
Compared to string floss, water flossers, also known as oral irrigators, are a lot more expensive upfront. However, they are somewhat uncomfortable to use-be prepared to drool. Furthermore, there is no solid evidence that they are better than traditional floss. Many people, however, love how the water jets feel between their teeth, and some find the wand easier to control than a piece of string.
Listed below are some of the most effective water flossers to try right now, according to a bunch of dentists and hygienists we consulted.
|Waterpik Aquarius Water Flosser|
|Waterpik Cordless Water Flosser|
|Waterpik Sonic-Fusion 2.0|
|Panasonic Cordless Dental Water Flosser|
|Waterpik Water Flosser for Kids|
1. Waterpik Aquarius Water Flosser
There are 10 pressure settings on the Waterpik Aquarius, which has a three-year warranty. However, this model requires more counter space than most flossers, and it must be plugged in while being used. Overall, we appreciated its ease of use and cleanability. Aquarius also includes a massage option, which emits pulses of water.
The Waterpik Aquarius was named the #1 best-selling water flosser on Amazon for quite some time now. Water (or mouthwash) can be stored in its large reservoir for up to 22 ounces, which should allow users to floss for about 90 seconds – three times as much as most wet flossers. You can even pulse water to massage your gums.
Each tip has a different purpose: three classic, one for plaque, one for braces, one for periodontal pockets, and one with a toothbrush head. It’s also available in a bunch of fun colors, like deep purple and navy blue. If you’re going to keep it on your countertop, the more colors the better.
2. Waterpik Cordless Water Flosser
Compared to other water flossers, Waterpik’s cordless model is considerably more affordable. For those who are hesitant to try an oral irrigator, it is an affordable alternative.
There are only two settings, but the switch allows you to adjust the water pressure easily. There’s no need to worry about losing a charger since it takes three AA batteries. There is a reservoir that holds five ounces of water (equivalent to 30 seconds of use), and it is removable, so it can be cleaned in the dishwasher.
If portability or space-saving are important to you, the Waterpik Cordless Express is the perfect choice for you. You’ll drool heavily when using this flosser, just as you do with other Waterpik picks. Unlike our top picks for countertops, this one has a waterproof coating that can be used in the shower. In addition to helping us remember to floss, it also helped limit cleanup (where better than the shower to drool on yourself?).
Having hand-grip issues may not be conducive to using a cordless water flosser. This water sprayer is wider and heavier to hold because it’s an all-in-one device with a water reservoir attached to the sprayer. Filling the Cordless Express with water makes it weigh more than one pound compared to our top pick’s single ounce. Its 5-inch circumference is difficult to hold for people with smaller hands, and the device’s body has a useful grip pattern to prevent dropping.
Cordless Express has only two settings, making it simpler than our other picks. The mouthwash container holds enough water (or other antibacterial solution) to complete a single floss for 30 seconds. However, if you feel the need to floss again, it’s easy to refill and you can return to drooling quickly.
3. Waterpik Sonic-Fusion 2.0
Waterpik Sonic-Fusion is recommended by experts since it combines brushing with water flossing in one appliance, has a built-in timer, and features adjustable water pressure to accommodate sensitive teeth.
According to Dr. Jacqueline Fulop-Goodling, an orthodontist at New York’s Dr. Smiles, “This product switches brushing and flossing to both, and it removes the harmful bacteria and debris deep between teeth and below the gum line, where traditional brushing and dental floss cannot reach.”
According to Dr. Marie Jackson of Stellar Smile Center in Montclair, New Jersey, water flossers are specifically recommended for people with dental restorations that are difficult to keep clean. Women who are pregnant may also benefit from water flossers. The condition known as pregnancy gingivitis occurs when someone is pregnant. By using a tool in addition to floss and a toothbrush, one can stimulate blood flow to the gums and reduce swelling.”
4. Panasonic Cordless Dental Water Flosser
Panasonic’s water flosser is not approved by the ADA, but if that’s not a dealbreaker for you, then definitely consider it. Thanks to its cordless and collapsible design, the battery-operated model (which uses AA batteries) is ideal for travel.
Although it’s super portable and perfect for a gym bag or the office, users say they prefer a water flosser with higher pressure settings for regular use at home. Its 5.5-ounce water tank can last about 40 seconds.
5. Waterpik Water Flosser for Kids
Dentists from six different practice groups recommend this bright-green water flosser for kids because it is gentle. Using a water flosser too vigorously can damage young, sensitive gum tissue (especially in children).
A pediatric dentist in New London, Connecticut, says she likes Waterpik’s water flosser for kids because it’s designed with a low-intensity dial that doesn’t damage gum tissue.
As a bonus, she notes that Waterpik for kids comes with fun colors and stickers so you can customize it. Kids and teens are intended to use it, so they make it kid-friendly. In addition, it includes different adapters, such as a brush to help clean around the brackets.
How effective is water flossing compared to regular flossing?
No, they do not work the same way, because they use different methods. In order to prevent tartar buildup and cavities between teeth, water floss covers more surface area while regular floss gets into the spaces between your teeth and below the gum line. String floss is able to wrap around the teeth completely, something that water flossers cannot do. In addition, water flossers are much more expensive than standard string floss.
“Both methods have distinct advantages, so a versatile dental hygiene program incorporates both,” says Dr. Harwood. The dentists we consulted said to brush your teeth first, then use string floss to loosen anything stuck between your teeth and to keep your gums healthy, then use a water flosser to flush it all out.
Are water flossers approved by dentists?
According to the dentists we spoke with, people with braces will definitely benefit from using a water flosser since the wires make it difficult to use traditional floss. Water flossers are very effective at flushing out food and debris that get trapped in and around brackets, according to Sally Cram, DDS, a practicing periodontist in Washington, D.C.
Also, water flossers are a great option for elderly people or anyone with limited dexterity. Dr. Harwood says people with arthritis may find wrapping floss around their fingers uncomfortable. Other than these examples, however, dentists don’t recommend giving up regular flossing in favor of using a wet flosser.
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In most cases, water flossing should be done in addition to (and not in place of) regular flossing. Using a water flosser is better than nothing if you know you won’t use regular floss.