Flossing becomes a sport when we reach the molars – the string barely makes it to the crevices, sometimes nicking the gums in the process. Save yourself the tussle, with a handheld water irrigator. It does the flossing for you, by shooting a steady jet of water between the teeth to dislodge the food particles and plaque there. Water picks or water flossers come with different pressure settings, too, to suit all tooth sensitivities. But, is it as effective as traditional flossing?
“Flossing is extremely important to dental hygiene. Brushing our teeth only cleans them from the outside, but flossing cleans in between and the gingiva (gums),” said Dr Yasmeen Al Bashatli, a cosmetic dentistry specialist with Medcare Medical Centre, Dubai. “A water flosser, which is a combination of air and water or mouthwash, removes the plaque layer, debris and even a bit of staining on the teeth.”
In fact, this gentler form of flossing could replace the traditional string for some, adds Dr Al Bashatli. “I believe everyone should use a water flosser, especially children, since they’re still learning how to brush properly. Cavities between the teeth is very common in kids; as for adults, it’s best for those who have crowns and fillings,” she said.
If you wear braces, you might find flossing an impossible part of your routine. Again, irrigating the brackets with pressured water can help you maintain oral hygiene, without damaging any fixture. Dr Al Bashatli advises water flossing once a day after brushing, preferably at night. Besides water, you could add a bit of salt to the solution or even irrigate with mouthwash.
Which water pick is for you? Our expert’s preference is a mid-range device that isn’t too advanced or complicated for the user. If you expect to floss at work, go for a cordless model that can travel with you. When it comes to the ideal pressure, Dr Al Bashatli says that the general rule of thumb is to clean the front teeth on low pressure and increase the setting for those at the back of the mouth.
We drew up a list of the best-rated water flossers on Amazon, with options for corded, wireless, travel and more. Get your own oral irrigator delivered to you as soon as tomorrow, with a Prime membership.
1. Best Overall: Waterpik Cordless Advanced Water Flosser, Brilliant Black
- Cordless, with a reservoir that lasts 45 seconds
- Rotating tip for harder-to-reach areas
- Three water pressure settings
- Comes with four tips, including ones for braces and implants
- Transforms into a travel unit, with bag and water plug to prevent leaks
- Takes four hours to charge
- Needs adapter for its two-pin US plug
As inventors of the world’s first water flosser in 1962, the Waterpik brand is worth looking into. Among its many variations is the cordless flosser, the company’s most advanced wireless model yet. Its tip rotates 360 degrees for easy access and comes with three water pressure settings. All you have to do is fill the reservoir at the bottom with warm water (mouthwash is optional) and run the tip across your gum line for 45 seconds. If you have braces, attach the included orthodontic tip for removing plaque; swap it with the plaque seeker tip for any dental implants. Reviewers say it has an ergonomic form with a rubber grip, and they appreciate the alternative tips for sharing with the family. The waterproof unit is small, portable and charges in four hours, with all of its accessories packing easily in a microfibre travel bag.
2. Best for Fast Charging: Panasonic EW1511W511 Water Flosser
- Cordless, with a tank capacity of 60 seconds
- Takes only one hour to charge
- Comes with two tips
- Five water pressure settings to choose from
- Replacement tips are not readily available
- Bulky for travelling
Panasonic’s water flosser cuts the charging time down to one hour, and boasts five water pressure settings for thorough irrigation. Fill the 200ml tank with water to floss for 60 seconds straight. Unlike our best overall pick, this irrigator comes with only one type of tip, designed to withstand varying pressures and speeds. Its Ultrasonic nozzle generates water vapour bubbles in the stream for an effective cleanse and even gently stimulates the gums. According to reviews, the charging stand is wall mountable and the battery can last for a few weeks on a single charge. They do note that since it’s quite sturdy, it’s not the best fit for travelling.
3. Best Corded Water Flosser: Philips Sonicare Power Flosser 7000
- Ideal for home use
- Silent operation
- 600ml water tank capacity
- Three types of nozzle, 10 levels of intensity and four modes
- Needs a power outlet in the bathroom or nearby
For a more permanent, long-lasting solution, add a corded water pick to the bathroom counter. Philips’ Sonicare Power Flosser 7000 cleans for longer with a 600ml tank and has several flossing modes and intensities. Granted you’ll need to clear more room for this unit, the Sonicare Power Flosser is a great option for the entire family. Alternate between clean mode, deep clean, sensitive mode and massage mode, then adjust the intensity level up to 10. Users get to switch between three types of nozzles: the quad stream nozzle sprays water in four different directions for a deeper floss, the comfort tip is specially designed for sensitive gums, and the standard nozzle is best for a regular clean. Reviewers say the unit is ideal for home use, as it’s super quiet and fairly powerful, with most users recommending the quad tip. Check out the cordless option in the Sonicare line, as well.
4. Best for Travel on a Budget: B.Well PRO-913 Mini Portable Oral Irrigator Water Flosser
- Micro-USB rechargeable, with one-month battery life
- 360-degree rotatable tip
- Three levels of pressure
- Portable in a travel bag
- Expensive for a small kit
Need a flosser for on the go? The B.Well PRO-913 is as compact as a power bank, so you can toss it into any carrier for flossing on holiday. There are three pressure modes to choose from, with a 360-degree rotating nozzle and a 150ml water tank capacity. Any power source compatible with a micro USB can recharge your unit, be it the laptop, PC or power bank. Once charged, you get one month of battery life. Your kit fits into a convenient travel bag, too.
5. Best Water Flosser Kit: MySmile Powerful Cordless Water Dental Flosser
- Great kit for travel and home use
- Five flossing modes, including one for children
- Decent water tank capacity at 350ml
- 20-day battery life
- Comes with a tongue cleaner and dedicated nozzles
- Has to be turned off to pause the water flow
- Takes six hours to charge
For a comprehensive kit – complete with a tongue cleaner and four types of rotatable nozzles – consider the MySmile cordless water flosser. The best part is that it has five flossing modes, one of which is dedicated to children aged eight and up. An OLED display on the device tells you how warm the water is, along with information on the remaining battery and the mode in use. With the help of a USB cable, you can juice your flosser anywhere, and a full charge will last for up to 20 days. There’s a nozzle for dislodging debris in the periodontal pockets, another one for braces and a different tip that targets plaque on the teeth. Many reviewers mention picking this up for their longer travels, besides home. They point out the impressive pressure, and advise starting off on the lowest setting.
Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.