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Water flossing, an alternative to traditional flossing, is an effective way to clean between and around your teeth. Unlike traditional flossing, which uses nylon floss material, water flossing involves a handheld device that disperses water that flushes out leftover food, residue, and debris. While water flossing may be great for almost anyone, it’s particularly helpful for those who’ve experienced dental work, like braces or bridges.
Many water flossers come with features like different pressure modes, additional tips, and can be water-resistant for use in the shower.
Read on below to find our favorite water flossers that encourage a healthy, clean mouth.
What to Look For in a Water Flosser
Consider Your Usage
Are you going to be taking your water flosser with you to the office and on frequent trips? You may want a cordless, portable model that can easily be tucked away into your bag. If you have the need for a deeper cleaning, one product on this list combines a water flosser with an electric toothbrush and floss. Or if children will be using the water flosser, you'll want an easy-to-use model that makes it fun for them to floss. Additionally, if you are planning on using your water flosser in the shower, be sure to find a water-resistant model.
Different Pressure Modes
Everyone has different preferences for how soft or strong they can handle the water pressure against their teeth and gums, particularly if you have sore gums. Many models have multiple settings to ensure your water flossing experience is comfortable. Lighter pressure modes can also be more suitable for children as they get used to using the water flosser.
Some models come with different-sized tips to place into the water flosser depending if you have dental work like braces. Our pick for kids on this list has two tips, one for regular cleaning and one for braces. Having more options means you can find the fit that works for you.
Best Overall: Philips Sonicare AirFloss
We love this flosser for its ability to seamlessly fit into any busy lifestyle. Not only does it clean your entire mouth in 30 seconds, but when fully charged, this flosser can be used for up to three weeks. You also have the choice between flossing with just water or adding in mouthwash for more intense cleaning. You know it works too because it received a Seal of Acceptance from the American Dental Association, one of only five powered interdental cleaners to receive it.
To use manually, click the button for a quick burst over your chosen area, then move on to the next spot and repeat. Additionally, you can use the auto-burst feature which sends several blasts of water one after another as you move throughout the mouth.
Best Cordless: Waterpik Cordless Freedom Water Flosser
You can take this cordless water flosser anywhere. Equipped with a travel bag, three water taps, and a water plug to prevent leakage, you never have to worry about having to charge (it includes 3 AA batteries) or finding extra space in your carry-on. Because it’s also water-resistant, you can even bring it in the shower with you. Multitasking, for the win.
Best for Deep Cleaning: Jetpik JP200 Elite Dental Power Floss System
Everything you could possibly want comes with this powerful water flosser. The innovative system combines three uses in one—a water irrigator, electric dental floss, and sonic toothbrush in one device. The pulsating water jet massages gums and dislodges residue, revealing a cleaner, healthier mouth.
Best for Travel: Waterpik Sidekick Water Flosser
Although it’s conveniently compact, there is no shortage of power when it comes to this water flosser. The mighty pulse successfully removes residue—wherever you are in the world. Jetsetters will love the “mini” size, which is small enough to toss in your purse and the fact that it’s so user-friendly. The swivel base makes it easy to get every nook, plus it’s equipped with global voltage capabilities, so use in other countries isn’t compromised.
Best for Kids: Waterpik Kids Water Flosser
Ideal for children over the age of six, this water flosser is not only effective, but fun to use. Along with the bright color, this device was created with kids in mind. Easy-to-press buttons control the on and off switch and pressure modes. It also comes with two tips—one for braces and a traditional tip for regular cleaning.
Do dentists recommend water flossers?
Yes, many dentists recommend water flossers to their patients. And the American Dental Association awards the ADA Seal of Acceptance to water flossers that meet certain criteria, noting that they can be helpful in removing plaque from the gum line and between teeth. Studies have generally found that water flossers are at least as effective as using string floss to remove food particles from between teeth.
Do water flossers damage gums?
No. Water flossers have undergone testing as to how they affect plaque formation, bleeding, and gum pocket depth. The general consensus is that water flossers help remove plaque and are effective and safe to use.
Do water flossers help with bleeding gums?
They can. One study showed reduced bacteria in gum pockets as deep as 6 millimeters, and another study showed that patients who reported gum inflammation and bleeding showed reduced bleeding after using a water flosser.