If there’s one thing dentists repeat over and over again is that flossing plays a crucial role in our dental hygiene. Cleaning between your teeth goes a long way towards reducing bacteria in the mouth, as well as plaque and food build-up. It can even help prevent cavities and gum disease. If you floss your teeth regularly (and you should), it’s important to have the right type of flosser or you risk doing more damage than good to your gums, teeth, or any existing dental work.
While dental floss is most often a go-to, it’s not always the best option, especially if you have dental hypersensitivity. That’s where water and air flossers come in – they’re a lot gentler on gums and can make your dental routine less of a chore.
Do dentists recommend water flossers?
Dentists may recommend using a water flosser to people with sensitive gums, or who’ve had specific dental work done including bridges, dental crowns and veneers. Water flossers, also known as dental water jets or oral irrigators, are also the preferred option for people with arthritis, or for anyone who finds string floss difficult to use. Some studies even suggest that water flossing can be up to 50% more effective than traditional string flossing, because it can remove bacteria deep between teeth and below the gumline.
What’s the best water flosser to buy?
If you’re considering adding a water flosser to your teeth cleaning arsenal, we’ve listed some of the best water and air flossers to buy, based on features, functionality, and prices.
- KMISE Professional Cordless Dental Oral Irrigator: $49.99 RRP*
- Waterpik Cordless Select Water Flosser: $121 RRP*
- Philips Sonicare AirFloss Ultra: $153 RRP*
- Panasonic Air Jet Water Flosser: $159 RRP*
- Waterpik Ultra Professional Water Flosser: $170 RRP*
KMISE Professional Cordless Dental Oral Irrigator − $49.99
This KMISE cordless and lightweight water flosser from Amazon is ideal for travel and home use. It comes with four interchangeable ‘classic’ tips, one orthodontic tip and one tongue cleaner, plus a portable bag and 360° rotatable jet tips to help you reach and clean teeth at the back of your mouth. This can help prevent tooth decay, dental plaque, dental calculus, and dental hypersensitivity. This gadget also features three cleaning modes (high, medium & low) to suit various oral care needs and a rechargeable lithium battery which gives you 15 days of use after a four-hour charge.
Waterpik Cordless Select Water Flosser − $121
Waterpik is one of the best-known brands for water and air flossers. This cordless model from Pharmacy Direct is perfect for small bathrooms, travel, or use in the shower. It features a waterproof design, two pressure settings, a 45-second water capacity, a 360° tip rotation, a four-hour USB charging port and four water flossing tips. This flosser is said to be up to 50% more effective than traditional dental floss.
Philips Sonicare AirFloss Ultra − $153
You can keep your dentist smiling (and yourself) with this Philips Sonicare AirFloss Ultra (HX8431-03) from Appliances Online. This flosser combines air and liquid (mouthwash or water) to blast away up to 99.9% of plaque (based on a lab study) in less than 60 seconds, according to the brand. It’s said to be powerful enough to give a thorough clean, while also being gentle on your teeth and gums. It also features single, double, or triple ‘burst’ settings that can be adjusted with a push of the activation button.
Panasonic Air Jet Water Flosser − $159
You can simplify your dental routine with this easy-to-use Panasonic Air Jet Water Flosser (EW1211A765) which features three pressure settings, including a ‘soft’ setting for those with sensitive teeth and gums and a ‘regular’ setting that uses strong, aerated water pulses to remove food particles and plaque. This flosser also has a rotatable nozzle claimed to help water easily reach deep interdental areas like the back of the mouth. You can adjust the angle and change the water direction by simply turning the nozzle. This model is available on Appliances Online.
Waterpik Ultra Professional Water Flosser − $170
This Waterpik flosser (available on Amazon) is one of the most advanced models. It features pulse-modulation technology to effectively remove plaque and a hydro-pulse massage mode to stimulate gums and improve circulation. It also comes with 10 pressure settings for gentle to maximum cleaning and seven accessory tips for different dental needs, plus a one-minute timer with a 30-second pacer to help you get a thorough water flossing in all areas.
What is the difference between a Waterpik and a water flosser?
There’s no difference. Waterpik is simply a water flosser brand and not a separate type of gadget. Waterpik is considered the leading brand globally for all things flossing and offers several models to suit various dental needs. Other well-known brands include Sonicare, DentJet, Panasonic and HydroFloss. If you’re unsure of which type of water flosser to buy, it could be worth speaking to your dentist for advice.
Can water flossers damage your teeth or gums?
No, water flossers are actually gentler on the teeth and gums than string floss. They use pulsating water rather than direct pressure to clean between your teeth. String floss on the other hand can sometimes snap and cut into your gum tissue − this can happen if the space between your teeth is tight or if you apply too much pressure.
Are water flossers worth it?
Water flossers can be worth the investment for an easy teeth cleaning solution. Toothbrush bristles aren’t small enough to clean effectively between your teeth, and that’s why dentists often recommend adding flossing to your oral care routine. While traditional dental floss is effective at removing plaque and food particles, it can sometimes be harsh on the gums or even damage dental work – that’s where water flossers can be a good option.
*Prices taken from respective retailers, correct as of July 2021.