Everyone hates flossing. It’s uncomfortable, your gums bleed, the floss is a hassle, and the whole thing takes extra time you’d rather spend catching up on your Netflix queue (don’t even try to deny it!). Even dentists hate having to nag their patients about flossing, knowing full well that every smile and nod that goes along with “yes, I’ll be sure to floss more often” is just a boldfaced lie. If you’ve got braces, you’ve got a free excuse—sorry, I’d really like to floss more, but these wires just make it impossible! Yeah, I’m sure that’s the only reason you’re not flossing. But as much as we’re making light of the matter, flossing really is no joke. Gum health is important, and not just for the once or twice a year that you get your teeth checked out. Fortunately, technology has brought us these wonderful things called water flossers, and it’s probably high time you started using one.
A Quick Rundown of the Top Water Flossers
We get it, your attention span is short (I mean, do you even focus long enough to actually brush for two minutes straight?). That’s why we’re putting this quick list up at the top, but you can read the detailed breakdowns below.
Why Should You Get a Water Flosser?
Reason #1: Convenience
Floss is cumbersome. You try to use it and end up jabbing yourself in the gums. Plus you’ve wrapped it around your fingers and are losing circulation. Oh and of course you’ve gotta shove those fingers in your mouth, and now they’re covered in saliva. Great. All finished? Bet you love that damp string of used floss covered in general grossness. Yum. A water flosser gets rid of all of that.
Reason #2: Effectiveness
Even with good technique and a fair bit of effort, it’s easy to miss some spots while you try to floss. Fortunately, water can make its way into the tightest of spaces, so it’ll clear out your gums better than a manual dental floss could.
Reason #3: Adjustability
No I didn’t just add this because it sounds better to have three reasons compared to two. Adjustability is a real advantage over the old school way of flossing because it allows you to control the pressure of the water, making it so people with sensitive gums aren’t just writhing in pain the whole time, while others with hard-to-break plaque can really crank things up. That type of flexibility makes regular dental floss look so last millennium.
A Note About Braces…
Seriously, if you wear braces, you really, REALLY, need to get yourself a water flosser. I don’t care if you’re a cheapskate and just get some cheapo $15 dealio. Do not—I repeat—DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELF TO LEAVE THIS PAGE WITHOUT GETTING A WATER FLOSSER IF YOU WEAR BRACES. Was that clear enough? I have a tendency to be too subtle, y’know, but really—no joke—your gums will not be adequately cleaned just by brushing.
What the Heck Is Gingivitis?
You hear about it—literally—every time there’s a commercial on about toothpaste or toothbrushes. Such and such brand fights plaque and gingivitis. Do you ever ask yourself what that even means? Well now’s the time to finally set the record straight. Gingivitis literally means inflammation of the gums. This is most commonly caused by bacterial overgrowth in plaque on your teeth. While gingivitis is reversible (which is why you should be flossing), it can progress to worse disease that can erode your teeth, eventually causing you to have to get them pulled. Since gingivitis is bacterial, you can also potentially develop abscesses, which would require drainage and could potentially lead to more systemic illness. Long story short, don’t mess around with your gums.
Wait, I Wasn’t Paying Attention, What’s a Water Flosser?
When an oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms love each other very much…they form water. And then you buy yourself one of those thirteen (!) bad boys we listed above and you blast that water at your gums and teeth. You know how when a tool shed gets all dirty and grimy you take a garden hose and just blast the snot out of all that gunk? That’s what a water flosser does. It blasts away all the food residue, plaque buildup, and other unpleasantness, leaving your teeth clean, polished, and healthy.
You might be thinking that a toothbrush already cleans your teeth and gums, so you must be all set, right? Wrong. If toothbrushes were enough to do the job, your dentist wouldn’t be hounding you about flossing. A water flosser hits tough to reach spots, and gets in between the gums and teeth in a way that the bristles on a brush could never hope to do.
There Are Different Types of Water Flossers?
Yeah, and pay attention, there’s gonna be a quiz. There are three major types: Corded Flosser with Reservoir, Cordless, and Corded with Faucet Hookup. You’re probably most familiar with the first two types, but we’ll cover all three.
Corded Flosser with Reservoir
These water flossers come with a sizeable reservoir that’s easy to fill once and use for a while. Connected to the handheld flosser portion by flexible tubing, the reservoir is also where you can adjust settings for pressure. While the most common and cheapest (at least at the low end) type available, they can eat up a fair bit of space, so if your bathroom is cramped, you might prefer a cordless style instead.
Look ma, no cords! These flossers have the reservoir built right in, and thanks to battery power don’t even need plugging in to a wall socket. The drawback is that these units are a bit more expensive, and they only hold a small amount of water, so prepare for frequent refills.
Corded with Faucet Hookup
These are the type that you may not have even heard of before. No need for reservoirs here, the cord plugs directly into your sink faucet. Awkward and definitely unusual, I can’t say I’d recommend this style in general.
What Actually Matters When Choosing a Water Flosser?
No use beating around the bush. You spend a lot of money on necessities, and saving money where you can is important. Consider your budget and how much you want to spend on a water flosser. While you can convince yourself this is a one-time cost, it’s not like dental floss is expensive, so that’s not a great rationale. Be judicious, and only pay for the extras if you think they’re actually worth it for you (but if they are, don’t skimp).
Whether it’s the size of the reservoir (or the portability of a cordless model) or the number of available pressure settings, consider the various features built in to the water flossers on offer. Particularly if multiple people are going to be using the unit, it’s important to have enough options to meet everyone’s needs.
You want this to be a one time purchase for the foreseeable future. Ensure that by choosing a brand that offers a warranty you can trust. If it’s gonna break, it might as well be covered.
Ok, Are You Ever Going to Give Me the Detailed Reviews?
Waterpik Aquarius (WP-660C)
- Clinically proven in efficacy
- Improves gum health
- Ease of use
- On/off water control on handle
- Two water flossing modes
- 7 water flosser tips
- Maximum cleaning
- Leaves mouth fresh
What We Like
The effective cleaning performed by the Waterpik Aquarius is certainly praiseworthy. It serves to remove accumulated debris and plaque with perfection. It also has a profound impact on the health of the gum and leads to quite a bit of an improvement in gingivitis. With a whopping 7 different tips to choose among, you’ll be able to get a personalized cleaning.
Furthermore, portability is not an issue and it does not take up a lot of space on your counter. It provides you with better results than regular string floss and is more convenient as well.
What We Don’t
A plethora of options can be overwhelming for some who’d rather just stick with simplicity. Honestly, though, we’re grasping at straws trying to find any negatives with this oral irrigator.
When it comes to efficiency, this product will not disappoint. It provides you with the perfect results and ensures that proper hygiene is maintained while at the same time a freshness level is also provided. While a bit expensive, this product is certainly worth every penny.
Panasonic Cordless (EW1211A)
- Compact design
- Removal of food particles with ease
- Different pressure settings for people with different types of gums
- Easy to clean and maintain
What We Like
This water flosser ensured that all food particles are removed with ease. It tends to reach the areas of the cavity where the regular dental floss fails to reach.
The compact design ensures that you do not have to face any sort of difficulty in keeping it with you. You will find it to be highly convenient and easy to maintain. It is dishwasher safe, thereby ensuring that cleaning it does not prove to be a difficult task.
With three pressure settings, you’ll be able to adjust the force without worrying about causing any harm to the gums.
What We Don’t
Due to the compact design, the size of the water tank is rather small and thus requires frequent filling, which can be a source of exasperation for many.
On the whole, this water flosser has indeed earned our admiration. The minor flaw in the form of the water tank is really a tradeoff, as a larger tank would mean a larger handle, thus sacrificing convenience. The effectiveness that it offers along with the high quality and ease of use ensure that you find it one of the most appealing options that you come across.
Philips Sonicare Airfloss (HX8211/02)
- Microburst technology with auto-burst
- Slim nozzle with guidance tip
- Easy to fill reservoir
- Safe to use on implants, veneers and orthodontics
- Usable with mouthwash
What We Like
This electric flosser is rather effective when it comes to removing the plaque between the teeth. You will find it to be more efficient than a manual toothbrush in this regard. The difference can be felt within a short span as it leads to an improvement in the gum health in a short period.
The slip nozzle ensures that it is able to reach the areas that otherwise pose difficulty in cleaning. Furthermore, the reservoir is easy to fill and would not take up a lot of your time. The fact that you can fill it with mouthwash—as opposed to just water—is a huge plus (and really vaulted the Airfloss up our ranks) because it’s practically a 2-for-1 in being able to break up plaque and kill the bacteria that build up at the same time.
What We Don’t
The flosser cannot be used from the back of the teeth. Furthermore, no explanation for this has been given in the manual, which leaves people confused. Also, note that while there is a newer Pro version of the Airfloss, we actually don’t recommend it, as it seems to produce less pressure (and use up more water/mouthwash) than this model.
On the whole, this flosser would not give you much reason to complain. Apart from the fact that it cannot used from the back, no major issues have been reported. It is effective in results. You will find it to be gentle, thereby ensuring that no harm befalls your gums.