The 10 Best Water Flossers
This wiki has been updated 32 times since it was first published in May of 2015. If you're continually finding the remnants of meals in your teeth, it may be time to step up your dental hygiene. These water flossers will quickly knock stubborn food particles loose, helping you to look your best while improving the health of your gums. They are especially important now that poor oral health has been linked to numerous diseases. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
January 03, 2020:
Do you dread the moment your dentist asks you whether you've been flossing on a daily basis? If so, you're not alone. Flossing is time-consuming, messy, and an all-around chore. Water flossers make the task a little bit easier by freeing up one of your hands and requiring less concentration. They simply propel water through the spaces in your teeth to dislodge whatever might be lingering there after your last meal.
You may think that avoiding flossing is no big deal, but you're wrong. Flossing keeps your gums strong and less susceptible to infections like gingivitis, and it can also help curb sensitivity. Plaque buildup can cause both discomfort and discoloration, so there's really no upside to skipping out on this basic hygiene practice — especially if you have a water flosser on hand. For an almost fully automated dental routine, you might consider picking up an electric toothbrush.
The Yohoolyo Portable, Hanasco H100, CalmDo Merapure, ToiletTree Products Poseidon, and Waterpik Complete Care are new additions to the list, added to give users more distinct design options including more travel-friendly models. The Ginsey Profloss, Nicefeel Oral Irrigator, Waterpik Complete Care WP-950, Greenvida Oral Irrigator, and Lavany Family were removed due to several complaints, among them inadequate water pressure and batteries dying prematurely.
ToothShower Suite Combining water pressure with brushing action to help you achieve a sparkling-clean smile in very little time, this model is the real deal. If you're the type who can't stand the tedium of flossing tooth by tooth, this may be the solution for you. toothshower.com
Conair Interplak This device boasts a simple, cordless design and intuitive one-button operation. There are two pressure settings and a removable water tank that is super easy to fill and clean. However, it runs on two AA batteries which, unfortunately, are not included. ulta.com
Jetpik JP200 This set comes with pretty much everything you need to keep your mouth healthy in between visits to the dentist. There are multiple attachments and even a manual flosser for clearing out stubborn plaque and debris. It also comes with a rinsing cup. bedbathandbeyond.com
Lurking Between Your Teeth
For most people, a quick smile in the mirror won’t betray any horrific dental problems.
For most people, a quick smile in the mirror won’t betray any horrific dental problems. They won’t see little green goblins growing out from the spaces between their teeth, nor will they encounter visible cavities into which small children may fall. That’s because the real dangers threatening your oral hygiene are mostly invisible to the naked eye.
There’s a saying shared by western religions that choose to personify the devil that says, “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world he didn’t exist.” The idea is that anyone ignorant of evil is complicit it its perpetration. The same goes for your teeth; ignoring the basic tenets of dental care will result in all kinds of problems that, at the end of the day, are your responsibility to prevent.
If you aren’t flossing on a regular basis, a litany of miserable experiences is sure to plague you. Least concerning from a health standpoint (though certainly disconcerting both socially and for any disease implied by the symptom), is bad breath. Food particles caught between your teeth will exacerbate tooth decay, which combines with all that rotting food to give you some hair-raising halitosis.
Beyond any unpleasant aromas, not flossing can result in a massive buildup of tartar on the teeth, as well as around and below the gums, leading to gum recession and periodontal diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis, none of which end well for your mouth or for your bank account. After all, even with good insurance, there’s a significant out-of-pocket cost for root canals, bridges, crowns, caps, and the dozens of other painful and complicated therapies for failed teeth. Down the line, plaque buildup and loss of teeth can also contribute to very serious aliments ranging from kidney and heart diseases to diabetes.
A Better, Waterier Way To Floss
Fortunately for those of us who disdain the experience of flossing, water flossers, also known as gum line irrigators, provide a completely different experience with remarkably similar–and some might say improved–results.
Traditional flossing is meant to drag a line of nylon or Teflon polymer into the space between your teeth and your gums, to drag it back out (laden with bacteria, tartar, and food particles), and to repeat. Sometimes this polymer is waxed for smoother movement, and sometimes it isn’t. The process is uncomfortable at best and painful at worst, contributing to the fact that only about 50 percent of Americans floss on a daily basis.
This also occurs as bacteria from between your teeth collects on the fingers around which you secure a long string of floss.
Water flossing works a little differently. A concentrated stream of water takes the place of a chemically derived line of flat rope. Since water is at once significantly soft and powerful, it’s a method that proves far more enjoyable than traditional flossing. Water’s ability to conform to any space allows it to reach deeply into your gum line without feeling too invasive, and its natural erosive abilities remove just as much bacteria and food material as traditional floss, provided your unit creates sufficient water pressure.
What’s more, you don’t have to worry about reintroducing bacteria from one set of teeth into another. With traditional floss, if you accidentally drag the same section of floss between two or more teeth, you could actually spread dangerous bacteria around your mouth. This also occurs as bacteria from between your teeth collects on the fingers around which you secure a long string of floss. With a water flosser, each drop of water moving between your teeth is fresh and clean, resulting in a safer, cleaner experience.
The debate between advocates of water flossing and those committed to the traditional method isn’t likely to settle down any time soon, but that debate usually focuses specifically on the cleaning capabilities of each. A more appropriate bottom line should be whether you floss at all, how comfortable that experience has been, and whether a water flosser would increase the frequency and variety of your oral hygiene routine. If one of these units is likely to get you flossing once or more per day, you'll be well ahead of the hygiene curve.
Your Favorite Flosser
Choosing from among the water flossers on our list will have a lot to do with where you perform your oral hygiene rituals, what water temperature you prefer to use, and whether you want to use filtered or unfiltered tap water in that performance. There are three basic types of water flosser available to you: tank-based, faucet-based, and shower-mounted.
They attach directly to the faucet in your bathroom sink, and their pressure comes not from a motor, but from your home's water pressure itself.
Tank-based flossers have a small tank attached to them that holds a reserve of water. These models use a motor to force water through the unit’s hose and handle, and into your mouth. You can also fill the reservoir with filtered water, which some units will then heat up, so if you have a good filtration system in your home, you can use the same quality water that you drink to clean your teeth. The downside here is that if your water reserve runs out before you finish flossing, you have a wait in store.
Faucet-based units have an endless supply of hot water (or at least as big a supply as you have a hot water heater in your home). They attach directly to the faucet in your bathroom sink, and their pressure comes not from a motor, but from your home's water pressure itself. Of course, if you have weak water pressure in your residence, you might not be able to generate enough of a flow to achieve a total clean.
Shower-mounted options install directly in your shower line, just behind the showerhead. These allow you to perform your flossing routine in the warmth and comfort of your shower, combining many of the good and bad points of faucet-bases systems, but with the added advantage of a toggle to switch the water flow between the flosser and the shower.
Once you’ve decided where you want to floss, you can look for amenities like multiple flosser heads that can hygienically accommodate an entire family, or portability among tank-based units should you want to travel with your system.