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If you’re anything like most people, your dentist prods you to floss during every visit. The week after your visit, you do really well. You floss every day. After that, well, you have better things to do. Plus, you don’t even know if you’re doing it correctly, and every time the floss slips, your gums bleed. Who’s to blame you for avoiding the whole process?
A water flosser can make flossing a much simpler, faster and pain-free experience. Water flossers use pressurized water to clean between teeth and along the gum line. And because most of us don’t use traditional floss correctly, water flossers can be a better option to ensure we’re getting our mouths as clean as possible.
There are a variety of water flossers on the market with different capabilities, and it can be difficult to decide what will work for you. Read on to see our picks for the best water flossers as well as our buying guide. By the end, you’ll be ready to ace your next dental exam.
Many people refer to water flossers as Waterpiks, and for good reason. Waterpik developed the first water flosser in 1962 and has been an industry leader ever since. The Waterpik Aquarius Professional Water Flosser is the most advanced model the company has created yet. It features an on/off switch on the handle and two different modes: floss mode and hydro-pulse massage mode.
The Waterpik Aquarius also comes with seven different tips, including several specialized for braces, implants and other dental work. With ten different pressure settings, you can pick the one that feels best to you. The flosser has a 1-minute timer with 30-second pacer, and its large water reservoir will last 90+ seconds, more than enough time for a good clean.
Philips Sonicare is a big name in electric toothbrushes, and their AirFloss Rechargeable is quickly becoming popular among water flossers. It doesn’t have quite as many features as our top pick, but it’s just as effective. The reservoir is in the handle, so it has a smaller profile, and can hold enough water or mouthwash for two 30-second cleaning sessions. It uses air to blast water through the nozzle so requires less water than other models.
The AirFloss Rechargeable will last three weeks on a single charge. It comes with one nozzle that just needs to be replaced every six months. It’s safe and gentle enough to use with veneers, implants and braces.
For those who travel or want the ability to floss on the go, the Panasonic Portable Water Flosser is an elegant option. This cordless water flosser runs on two AA batteries. It’s also collapsible so it can easily fit in a suitcase, gym bag or even your purse. The 5.5-ounce reservoir provides 40 seconds of flossing, so you don’t have to sacrifice that clean feeling when you’re away from home.
The Panasonic Portable has two pressures settings: high-speed pulse for everyday cleaning and lower-speed pulse for children or those with sensitive gums. The flosser is also 100 percent waterproof so it can be easily cleaned under running water.
Water flossers can feel like a big investment, but you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg for clean, healthy gums. The H2ofloss Water Flosser provides excellent results for a fraction of the price of other water flossers. For a countertop flosser, this model is very quiet. You can adjust the pressure by moving a sliding bar on the handle, so you can find the setting that works best for you. Its large 800 mL reservoir will last for 150 seconds.
The H2ofloss Water Flosser comes with 12 tips, so the whole family can use it. Several of the tips are also specialized, including orthodontic, periodontal, tongue cleaning and nasal tips. The unit is 100 percent waterproof, making cleaning a breeze.
Not all water flossers are created equal, and it can be difficult to know which features are useful and which are just for show. In this guide, we outline the top considerations to make when choosing a water flosser, including customizability, power source, cleaning, cost and warranty/return policy.
Water flossers can be as basic or as customized as you’d like. Keep in mind that added features tend to be reflected in the price, so be sure to only pay for those that you need. Common features include:
The two primary types of water flossers are countertop and portable. There are also models that connect directly to the faucet, but these tend not to perform as well. Countertop and portable models both have pros and cons, which are summarized below:
|Power Source||AC Power||Battery|
|Pros||-More Powerful -Larger water reservoir -Usually more features||-Small and compact for travel -Quieter -Simpler to use|
|Cons||-Louder -Takes up more space||-Less powerful -Smaller water reservoir|
Water flossers are intended to keep your mouth clean, so you want to make sure they are as clean as possible. Some types are easier to clean than others. Waterproof models are great because you can simply wash them in the sink, or even rinse them after each use.
Some types are dishwasher safe, which makes cleaning even easier. To keep extra tips organized and clean, a water flosser with built-in storage can be helpful.
Portable models tend to be easier to clean because they don’t have a cord to consider. Countertop models that have a rechargeable base, rather than the entire unit plugging in to the wall, are also easier to keep clean because you can rinse the flosser after use without worrying about the cord. If you have a model that plugs directly into the wall, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to clean without submerging the unit.
Water flossers can cost as little as $20 or as much as $150, depending on your needs. The price tends to go up with added features, so make sure you’re not paying extra for something you don’t need. For those with braces or dental work that requires special attention, it might be worth it to pay a little more for a unit with specialized tips.
If you only need the basics, opt for a cheaper model with just one or two tips. You may prefer different pressure settings as you get used to your water flosser. If you’re a water flossing veteran, then one pressure level might be sufficient.
Portable flossers tend to be more affordable than countertop models, but you’ll also have to consider the fact that you have to replace their batteries every so often. If you’re not sure if a water flosser is right for you, consider purchasing a portable flosser to try it out. You can always get a more powerful countertop flosser later and keep the portable model for travel.
Especially if you’re investing in a high-priced water flosser, you’ll want to find one with a favorable warranty and return policy. The most common warranty is a two-year limited warranty. That typically means that if you find a defect on your water flosser within two years, it will be replaced. If something breaks due to regular use, however, that won’t be covered. Some flossers do offer longer terms or full warranties, so opt for a model with these terms if that’s important to you.
You’ll also want to look into a product’s return policy to ensure you can send it back if it isn’t the right fit for you. Most water flossers can be returned within a 30-day window, but be sure to read the fine print to make sure you’ll get a full refund.
It may not be self evident, but oral health and sleep health are very much related. In fact, one study found that subjects who flossed every day experienced good sleep and high energy. Why would that be?
One reason is that if we have a solid oral hygiene routine, we’re more likely to have a healthy sleep routine. If you set aside a few minutes each night to take care of your teeth, you’re probably going to bed at a reasonable hour as well.
Bad oral hygiene can also lead to health problems that can negatively impact sleep. Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is often linked to poor or no flossing. Gums become inflamed when plaque builds up around the teeth.
If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to an increased susceptibility to other diseases like cardiovascular disease, infective endocarditis, bacterial pneumonia and diabetes. These health issues will surely impact sleep, not to mention the pain associated with gum disease that will keep you awake.
We’re more likely to skip flossing than to skip brushing, so water flossers can be a helpful addition to a bedtime routine because they’re easier to use than traditional floss. Therefore, individuals are more likely to use them. Water flossers are also easier to use for individuals with limited mobility in their hands.