In this article, we may include products or services we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission to help fund our mission to create more healthy smiles. Here’s our process.
Water flossers or oral irrigators are great for anyone who has fixed dental work like bridges or All-on-4 implants, or even braces, where they would normally need to use something other than a toothbrush to clean those spaces. For example, maybe you’ve been using floss and a floss threader or a proxy brush to clean under your bridge or braces. Weaving floss around every bracket on every tooth can be a big pain in the you-know-what. With a water flosser, you simply aim the stream of water to flush everything out instead of manually cleaning it with string floss.
Water flossers also work great for people who are recovering from gum disease. Since there are deep “pockets” under your gums you can’t clean with a piece of floss; the water flosser reaches deep under those areas to flush away food particles and plaque, preventing the spread of periodontal infections.
There are lots of water flossers on the market. And like electric toothbrushes, it can be stressful or confusing to narrow down all of the choices. Since I get to see the nitty-gritty of these products on a daily basis, I’ve narrowed it down to the top 6 best water flossers that I recommend to my patients, depending on their oral health needs, age, budget, and personal preferences:
The Burst water flosser has a lifetime warranty and rotates 360°, making it easy to reach every tooth in your mouth. This cordless water flosser is battery-operated and can last up to 80 days on one charge. This cordless model has a USB cord that can easily plug in wherever you choose. It also has three pressure modes or pressure settings: turbo, for “supercharged” water flossing; standard, which is the gentlest setting; and pulse, for added gum massaging as you floss.
Burst water flossers are cordless and water resistant, so you can travel anywhere (including taking it inside the shower.) They also come in four colors and have the option of replacement tips being shipped to you every 24 weeks for just $6 a pop.
The Burst cordless water flosser costs just $49.99, making it one of the best deals on the market for a name-brand device. I typically recommend Burst products because of their high quality and professional design, and the water flossers are no different. That’s why I rank them #1 over all of the others!
Even though it’s “cordless,” the cariPRO™ still comes with a USB and wall adaptor to charge it up as needed. One charge lasts about 28 days of battery life.
cariPRO™ comes with a 60-day trial and a two-year warranty. The water reservoir holds enough water for 45 seconds of flossing (155 mL to be exact.) An auto-interval smart timer helps you track how long you’re cleaning your teeth, and it’s even waterproof to use in the bath or shower. There are also three pressure settings: normal, soft, and pulse.
Waterpik is THE original water flosser. The brand has been around for decades, and the name “Waterpik” was the long-time standard for their countertop flossers. But Waterpik is the brand, and there are multiple styles of designs that fall within that manufacturer’s line of oral irrigators. My favorite is the “WP-660” design, also known as the Aquarius countertop water flosser.
When you buy this particular Waterpik, you get a countertop flosser with a easy to fill water tank reservoir that holds enough water for 90 seconds of use. There’s even a 30-second or 1-minute “pacer” to help make sure you don’t rush through your flossing routine.
The Waterpik Aquarius advanced water flosser has pulse-modulation technology for plaque removal and gum stimulation. It comes with seven different tips, advanced pressure control with ten different settings, and two modes: floss and hydro-pulse/massage. It’s backed by a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty. At a retail price of $99.99, you get the full-blown countertop Cadillac version of a water flosser; it’s just not portable like the ones listed above.
If don't like the idea of a countertop oral irrigator or don't have the counter space, they also makes the Waterpik Cordless Advanced Water Flosser. This cordless water flosser is also a great option but a bit more expensive than the burst cordless water flosser.
Whoa, whoa, whoa …stop the presses! You can brush AND floss your teeth at the same time? Well, with the Waterpik Sonic-Fusion 2.0 Professional Flossing Toothbrush, you can! Picture your Waterpik countertop models. Now, picture an electric toothbrush built into the nozzle. The toothbrush and flosser device literally delivers a steady stream of pressurized water to floss your teeth while you’re brushing them. Or you can just do one or the other at a time if you want to!
The brush portion of the Waterpik Sonic Fusion 2.0 has a two-minute timer with a built-in 30-second pacer, so you can brush each part of your mouth for the recommended amount of time. You can even adjust the toothbrush speed to go high or low, depending on what you like. If you’re switching between brush and floss mode, all you have to do is touch the button to change between the two (or, like I said, use the mode where it’s brushing and flossing at the same time.)
Like other Waterpik water flossers, there are also advanced pressure settings so you can adjust just how soft or firm the stream of pressurized water is.
On the go? Your electric toothbrush is portable and comes with a traveling case to take it with you. Of course, unless it’s hooked up to the countertop water reservoir, it won’t be able to floss your teeth in those situations.
Philips Sonicare Power Flosser 7000 comes with three quad-stream flosser jet tips and has four operating modes: clean, deep clean, sensitive, and massage. It’s rated 5 stars by consumers. This water flosser creates four wide streams of water for a thorough clean between the teeth and along the gum line.
Quip cordless water flosser is $65. It has two pressure modes a floss jet tips:
Quip wins with design. This sleek water flosser will look great in your bathroom and it holds a charge for 2 months! The extra wide top-open lid makes refilling the water reservoir easy!
Quip also has a 3-month optional replacement head subscription offering for $5!
Not all water flossers are created equal. Even if they’re the best of the best, there are still certain features that can vary from one design to the next. Depending on your personal preferences and oral health needs, these designs can factor into whether or not you’re happy with your purchase. There’s no right or wrong here, but if you don’t know what choices you have, you could wind up buying a water flosser that you don’t like, one that hurts to use, or doesn’t work for your family.
Here are the most important features to be aware of if you’re about to buy a Waterpik or similar product brand:
This is a big one. The size and placement of your water tank impacts how long you can use your water flosser each time and if you need to refill it during the process of cleaning your teeth.
Typically, you have three options for water reservoirs:
If your water flosser has an extremely large handle, that means the water reservoir is housed inside of it. Typically, there’s space to hold enough water for one use.
Having a portable water reservoir means you can use your water flosser anywhere. At the sink, in the shower, or take it with you when you’re traveling. The one downside is you’ll need to refill the water reservoir if you use it long enough to run through all of the water. If that’s a concern, be sure to compare the volume of the reservoirs when you’re shopping for the best water flosser for you.
These are slightly larger reservoirs that hold a lot more water. Your handpiece will have a small tube running to the counter reservoir, where it draws the water from. There’s typically room for more than enough water for two or three uses.
This can be a water flosser that has a tube to connect to your showerhead or sink faucet. You typically leave it there once it’s set up. Bonus: you never run out of water.
It definitely takes some practice to get used to a water flosser. Some people might have sensitive teeth and gums, where the water flosser actually hurts them to use it. Others may feel like they need a higher pressure setting to get way down in deep periodontal pockets or between their molars.
In my opinion, the best water flossers are those that have adjustable pressure settings. Meaning you can start out with a lighter stream and work your way up from there. While you probably won’t ever need to have it on full blast, there may be occasions when you do. It can be helpful to have an adjustable pressure setting to find your “sweet spot” where you’re comfortable but also know you’re getting your teeth clean.
One of my favorite things about these devices is that the best water flossers will have interchangeable nozzles or tips. Some have built-in tiny little brushes on the ends, which are great for cleaning around traditional orthodontic work, especially if you’ve got some bread or lettuce stuck underneath one of your wires.
Also, think about portability. Do you want to be able to travel with it or have your kid take it to summer camp? Then you probably want one with a self-contained reservoir, as opposed to a countertop one or being tied directly into your showerhead.
As far as features go, this one is up to you. You might like the idea of a pulsing water flosser to massage your gums while you’re cleaning your teeth or a water-resistant design that you can use while you’re showering.
Do you plan on sharing your water flosser with a family member? Some designs have color-coded interchangeable tips for each person to have their own snap-on nozzle.
Certain water flossers (like the cariPRO™, for example) have a built-in timer to help you stay on track as you clean around your mouth. If that’s something you feel is helpful, you might want to look into that feature.
Be sure to look at the size of the handle on your water flosser. Is it larger because of a built-in reservoir in the handle? If so, it might not work well for a child. But a smaller handle (because of tubing that goes to the counter reservoir or faucet) could be hard for someone with arthritic joints to hold onto. The countertop model is great if you have the counter space and generally have higher water pressure.
The size and design of the handle can also influence whether or not the nozzle is static or able to point in different directions. Keep this in mind if you’re worried about manual dexterity or mobility issues.
Honestly, it depends on who you ask. But we do know that there is plenty of data already out there showing that water flossing can remove up to 50% more plaque than traditional floss. If your dentist doesn’t like water flossers, it’s probably personal!
Yes, 100%! When my patients use a water flosser at home every day, I typically see much healthier gum tissues, cleaner braces, and improved pocket depths during their checkups, especially with my patients who have struggled with gum disease in the past.
Using water flossers makes it easy to thoroughly clean under the gum line and around spaces that you might not otherwise take the time to floss. So, you tell me which is better: not flossing or using a water flosser every day? The water flosser, obviously! Especially considering how affordable some water flosser designs are, it’s not expensive to invest in an effective oral hygiene aid that can help you keep your teeth longer.
It would take a lot of effort to actually hurt yourself with a water flosser. Teens and kids who use water flossers to clean around their braces can usually do so without any supervision.
No, tooth enamel can’t grow back. If you have a cavity—which is a physical hole or void inside of your tooth—that enamel is gone for good. The good news is that if you stop the decay process during the initial phases of “demineralization” (where acids and bacteria are etching away at the tooth), you can remineralize the enamel so that a full-blown cavity doesn’t form. But in order for that to happen, you need to make sure you’re thoroughly cleaning the entire surface and applying fluoride to the weak enamel so that it basically “soaks up” the minerals and essentially re-hardens in those spots. Water flossers can get to those hard-to-reach spots to help with remineralization.
Which is the best Waterpik or water flosser? It depends on your oral care needs! Do you want one that has the ADA seal of acceptance, or small and portable, or one with a built-in brush? Something that’s more budget-savvy? You can’t go wrong with Burst water flossers, Waterpik brands, or any of these top five professionally recommended water flossers.