The 5 Best Water Flossers of 2023, According to Dentists

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Look for water flossers from reputable brands, and ones that have multiple tips and pressure levels.
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If you've been to the dentist at some point, you've probably been urged by the person cleaning your teeth to keep up a regular flossing routine. And while that routine typically entails a wax-coated string or interdental brushes, those are not the only floss options.

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Enter: water flossers. "Water flossers help with food and plaque removal in difficult-to-clean areas of the mouth and teeth," James Galati, DDS, president of the New York State Dental Association, tells LIVESTRONG.com.

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Plus, water flossers can bring forth benefits that individuals can't necessarily get from string floss and a toothbrush, says Preston Hansen, DDS, clinical director for the Nuvia Dental Implant Center in Salt Lake City. "The spray of water [in a water flosser] gives a new way to disrupt the bacteria in the mouth and release it," he says. "Water flossers are also able to go deeper than brushing and flossing alone."

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Water flossers can also be especially helpful for older adults, or anyone with limited hand mobility, Dr. Galati adds. Flossing is necessary for healthy teeth, and water flossing is an effective alternative if you find cleaning between your chompers tedious and can also be a helpful preventative tactic if you're prone to cavities.

Here, Dr. Galati, Dr. Hansen and other dental professionals spotlight their top picks for water flossers for 2023.

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The Best Water Flossers

How We Chose

Of the five water flossers recommended on this list, four are from Waterpik. That's because, as the experts LIVESTRONG.com interviewed unanimously agreed, Waterpik is the gold-standard brand for water flossers due to its high-quality construction and rigorous testing practices.

In addition to expert recommendations, the following factors were incorporated into the decision to spotlight each water flosser below:

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  • Cost
  • Intended use (i.e. for braces or travel)
  • Adjustable pressure levels and/or nozzles

1. Best Overall: Waterpik Ion Water Flosser

Pros

  • Rechargeable cordless design suitable for travel
  • Compact design takes up minimal counter space
  • 4-week charge with lithium-ion battery

Cons

  • Reservoirs on cordless water flossers are often smaller than traditional varieties (and need to be refilled more often)

The Ion Water Flosser from Waterpik is a top choice overall for Kasen Somana, a Melbourne-based cosmetic dentist. Although part of that recommendation stems from its portable, no-fuss, cordless design, he also believes it is a particularly effective gum- and tooth-cleaner.

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"The Waterpik Ion Water Flosser has 10 pressure settings and also comes with [six] changeable tips," he says. "These tips have varying stream widths, so you can choose whatever pressure and stream width you're most comfortable with."

Plus, the model is cordless — making it compact and easy to travel with.

Buy it:Walmart ($79.88); Waterpik ($89.99); Kohl's ($89.99)

2. Best for Braces: Waterpik Aquarius Water Flosser

Pros

  • Contains 7 tips, including one specifically for braces
  • Features 10 total settings with pressure variations
  • Has a reservoir capacity of at least 90 seconds

Cons

For folks with braces, there was a clear standout among the dentists we interviewed: the Waterpik Aquarius Water Flosser.

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"It features a unique combination of pressure and pulsation technology to help remove plaque and food particles from between teeth and below the gum line," says Cary Goldstein, DDS. "The Aquarius also has a unique tip specifically designed for braces and comes with a handle-mounted power button for easy use."

Buy it:Amazon ($92.99); Waterpik ($99.99)

3. Best Electric Toothbrush and Water Flosser Combo: Waterpik Complete Care 9.0 Electric Toothbrush and Water Flosser

Pros

  • Set features both a toothbrush and water flosser
  • Brush contains two different heads, both of which are sonic
  • Has a reservoir capacity of at least 90 seconds

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive than other water flossers on this list
  • Only features 5 water flosser tips (as opposed to 6 and 7 in other models)

"For those looking for an electric toothbrush/water flosser combo, the Waterpik Complete Care 9.0 Electric Toothbrush and Water Flosser is a great option," Dr. Goldstein says. "This model has a unique combination of two-minute brushing and one-minute flossing for a complete oral care system."

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Dr. Goldstein is also a fan of the combo set's special tip for braces and pressure control system. "It also comes with a convenient storage bag," he adds.

Buy it:Amazon ($99.99); Waterpik ($139.99)

4. Best Cordless: Burst Water Flosser

Pros

  • Compact and portable
  • Easy-to-use configuration
  • Holds a charge for up to 80 days

Cons

  • Has 3 pressure settings (other varieties on this list have upwards of 10)
  • Is capable of holding 3 tips, but 2 tips are sold separately

The Burst Water Flosser comes recommended as great cordless variety of water flosser from Joyce Kahng, DDS, a cosmetic dentist based in Costa Mesa, California. "I like the Burst Water Flosser because as a portable variety of water flosser, it holds a charge for quite a while," she says, adding that this particular water flosser is often leak-proof (even when upside-down).

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"It is also very user-friendly for a beginner because it doesn't have as many options for settings," Dr. Kahng says.

Buy it:Burst ($54.99); Amazon ($69.59)

5. Best Budget-Friendly: Waterpik WP-100 Ultra Water Flosser

Pros

  • Features 6 flossing tips and 10 pressure settings
  • Has a reservoir capacity of at least 90 seconds
  • Contains a 2-minute timer

Cons

  • Not portable and/or cordless

Waterpik is industry-standard brand for water flossers — but for those looking to save, the company does feature some lower-cost models that are worth considering. "If you're looking for a low-cost water flosser, the Waterpik WP-100 Ultra Water Flosser is a great choice," Dr. Goldstein says. "This model provides a powerful, yet gentle clean, and has six different tips, including one for braces."

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Another added bonus, Dr. Goldstein says: This model comes with a two-minute timer — so you know exactly when to stop cleaning.

Buy it:Amazon ($60); Waterpik ($69.99); Target ($53.99); Kohl's ($79.99)

What to Look for When Buying a Water Flosser

1. Credibility of the Water Flosser's Brand

Although you don't ‌technically‌ need to buy an Waterpik or Burst model to reap the benefits of water flossing, the experts we interviewed for this story extended a word of caution when shopping among lesser-established brands.

"I've personally owned many name brand water flossers, and the Amazon ones do not last as long as the name brand," Dr. Kahng says, noting that the tips are noticeably more narrow (and therefore precise) on Waterpik water flossers than on generic-brand ones.

"It is important to look for a brand that has a lot of research and development behind them, and not a one-off brand."

2. Varying Pressure Levels

An effective water flosser should have more than one pressure setting, Dr. Hansen says. "If you are investing in a water flosser, it is a good idea to get one with different levels of spray pressure," he notes.

It's common for his patients who've never used a water flosser to start on the gentlest setting then slowly work their way up to harder flows, Dr. Hansen says.

3. An Adequate Battery Life

If you're purchasing a portable or travel water flosser, taking note of the battery life is key, Dr. Kahng says. (For example, the Waterpik portable water flosser above has a four-week charge time, while the Burst claims to hold a charge for 80 days.)

If you're buying a portable water flosser, keep in mind that the reservoirs tend to be smaller than cord varieties — so be prepared to refill often. "You may need to refill the reservoir several more times than a standard option to get through the mouth," Dr. Kahng says. "They are a great option for travel though."

4. Multiple Tips or Nozzles

Although it's possible to get clean teeth using a single nozzle or tip on a water flosser, having multiple types — with varying widths and points — can help you navigate the changing crevices and surfaces in your mouth (especially if you have braces or other orthodontics). Aim to buy a brand with multiple removable nozzles, if possible.

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