Best water flossers for 2021
03 February 2021
Dentists advise that brushing alone might not be enough to keep your teeth and gums healthy. But is an electric water flosser a worthwhile addition to your bathroom for you and your family? We reveal our verdict and give you the lowdown on the 10 best water flossers to buy right now.
We all know how important it is to keep our teeth and gums squeaky clean, but most of us also know the feeling of being ticked off by the dentist for not flossing to their high standards.
Electric flossers use a jet of water or mouthwash to dislodge the particles that can get stuck between your teeth and left behind by brushing, with many offering different settings for people with braces or sensitive gums.
So whether you find flossing with string fiddly, or you just want to make sure you’re in the dentist’s good books the next time you see them, there will be an electric flosser that’s right for you. Here are the best water flossers for 2021.
1. Best overall water flosser: Waterpik Cordless Plus Dental Water Jet Irrigator Flosser WP-450
“After water-cannoning my teeth tonight, I thought I'd floss again, just to see if there was a difference and the floss came away with no smell on it. I call that an immediate result.”
Lightweight, cordless and easy to use, the Waterpik Water Jet makes it easy to maintain healthier gums, with two pressure settings that are kind to gums and a 360-degree rotating head to help you reach those tricky spots – particularly ideal if you’re grappling with braces.
It’s cordless – so no batteries needed – and keeps its charge for about a week. Just be aware that it charges using a standard UK three-pin plug, rather than a shaving socket, so think about where you might charge and store it before you buy.
2. Best budget water flosser: Turewell Oral Irrigator
“The Turewell flosser has a really long battery life and is charged by a USB lead. It's also much easier to clean than other flossers.”
Can you think of anything you can do 1,800 times a minute for less than 30 quid? Well, wonder no longer. This powerful water flosser can jet your gnashers up to 30 times every second to blast away food debris and leave your mouth feeling cleaner than ever.
It has three operation modes – normal, soft and pulse, which pampers your gums with a massage – and it comes with four replaceable nozzles.
A USB rechargeable design and 300ml capacity water tank mean that you can use it for up to 80 seconds without having to refill. On the flip side, it’s a bit bulkier than some other models.
3. Best for ease of use: Philips Sonicare AirFloss Power Flosser
“I think it's really good. I get food stuck in one particular gap in my teeth and this will get it out when regular floss doesn't.”
The Philips Sonicare is another cordless water flosser, which comes with a compact design and a shaving socket charger so it can sit on your countertop in the bathroom when not in use.
It’s great if you’re in a rush as it can clean your whole mouth in 30 seconds using ‘microburst technology.’ This applies a mix of pressurised air and micro-water droplets in quick bursts to leave your mouth feeling cleaner quickly.
While it’s more expensive than some other water flossers, it could be a good option if you’re thinking about trying a water flosser for the first time – it comes with a 28-day money-back guarantee.
4. Best water flosser for kids: Waterpik Water Flosser for Kids WP-260
“I encourage them to use it before brushing their teeth as part of their daily routine. Our dentist said they could add a little bit of mouthwash (one third) and the rest water.”
For a while, it was impossible to stop kids from flossing – but unfortunately that was the dance, rather than the dental health variety.
If you’d like to get your kids to take their oral hygiene to the next level, Waterpik is one of the best-known brands when it comes to electric water flossers, and they even have a model specially aimed at kids.
It has a more colourful design than the adult version, with a green water tank that sits on the countertop and a few stickers for children to get creative with decoration. It’s suitable for ages six and up, and could be particularly handy if yours have braces or find flossing tricky.
This one has a cord linking the water tank to the flosser, so make sure you have room for it in your bathroom first.
5. Best water flosser for the shower: Uvistare Cordless Water Flosser for Teeth with Gravity Ball
We all pull some funny faces while flossing, so you want to make sure your electric flosser will work whatever angle you’re holding it at.
The Uvistare’s unique gravity ball design means you can hold it at any angle while carrying out your cleaning – great for getting into every nook and cranny. It’s another cordless model, and has five flossing modes and six interchangeable nozzles, including a handy tongue scraper.
As it’s rated as IPX7 waterproof, you can also use it in the shower, allowing you to clean your mouth and saving the rest of the house from your singing at the same time.
6. Best for a large tank: Anjou Portable Oral Irrigator
The Anjou water flosser has three cleaning modes, which range in pressure from 30 pounds per square inch (PSI) up to 120 PSI, so you should be able to find a setting that suits you.
It has a 300ml water tank, so you won’t have to refill it that often, and its detachable tank makes it easier to clean – perfect for avoiding limescale build-up.
As with all models that have a bigger tank, it’s bulky, but that could be a worthwhile trade-off if you want a longer, more thorough clean.
7. Best water flosser for travel: Fairywill Cordless Portable Electric Water Flosser
Although coronavirus means that none of us are getting out and about much, the time will come where we are able to travel again.
The Fairywill Cordless Portable Electric Water flosser is designed with travel in mind and is a palm-sized model, with the main unit measuring five inches from top to bottom and 1.5 inches across.
Its double-sealing ring stops the tank from leaking, and the nozzle heads are detachable to make it more compact when on the go. The USB charger means there are more options to ensure you have a full charge while out and about too.
8. Best water flosser for gentle cleaning: Panasonic EW1211 Rechargeable Dental Oral Irrigator
The Panasonic EW1211 water flosser has a soft mode, which uses a water flow that contains fine bubbles of air to comfortably stimulate and massage areas of concern on your gums.
In particular, Panasonic highlights its effectiveness for periodontal care – a gentle water stream with a combination of microbubbles can directly clean any delicate areas caused by gum disease. It also has a jet mode which removes food residue caught between teeth and can clean around dental bridges, braces and crowns.
It’s a cordless model, and comes with a UK two-pin plug compatible with your bathroom shaving socket.
9. Best water flosser for whitening: Waterpik Whitening Professional Water Flosser
If you care enough about your oral hygiene to be interested in a new electric water flosser, the chances are you’d like to keep your teeth pearly white too.
If you’d like to shift some stains and clean your gums at the same time, Waterpik has you covered with a model that has a unique design to include whitening tablets as part of the process.
Clinically proven to remove up to 25% more stains than brushing alone, according to the manufacturer, the whitening infuser technology mixes water with a gentle stain removal agent that safely restores your natural whiteness, removes plaque and promotes healthier gums.
10. Best 2-in-1 water flosser: Waterpik Complete Care 9.0 Sonic Electric Toothbrush Plus Water Flosser
Even the best electric flosser can’t replace the work done by brushing – so you’re going to need a toothbrush too. This model from Waterpik offers the best of both worlds, housing an electric toothbrush alongside an electric water flosser so you can be sure you have all bases (and braces!) covered.
The design means you can charge both your electric flosser and toothbrush from the same shaving socket power outlet, although it’s worth noting that, while the toothbrush is cordless, the flosser isn’t – so you’ll need to have room for the water tank on your bathroom countertop.
Are water flossers as good as regular flossers?
If you don’t like string floss, don’t floss often, or find string floss hard to use, a water flosser could be the answer.
Many water flossers are now clinically proven to reduce gingivitis (bleeding gums), remove plaque, combat receding gums and improve gum health, and they can be particularly useful for cleaning if you have braces, bridges, crowns and dental implants.
But regular dental floss and interdental brushes can be effective too, when combined with brushing as part of your regular oral hygiene regime. You can find NHS’s advice on keeping your teeth and mouth clean.
How do you use a water flosser?
It’s best to use your flosser before brushing your teeth. Water flossers are electric, so you need to start by making sure it’s charged up. Once you’ve done that, fill the water tank with either lukewarm water (this can help prevent sensitivity) or mouthwash.
Depending on the type of cleaning you want to do, your electric water flosser might have a range of tips you can use that are suitable for different tasks, for example a plaque cleaner or an orthodontic tip.
One important thing – most electric water flossers come with a few different pressure settings. Make sure you start on the lowest setting, so you can be sure it’s comfortable for your gums. Once the tip is attached securely and you’re happy with the setting, you’re ready to go.
Once you have the flosser in your mouth, simply manoeuvre the tip where you want to clean, aim the nozzle between the gaps in your teeth and press the button on the flosser to activate the jet of water. You can then carefully work your way around your mouth, making sure you don’t miss any gaps.
It’s best to lean over your sink while you use your flosser. Water flossers work by shooting a jet of water and/or air out the nozzle, so you might find it takes a bit of practice to perfect your technique – the sink can capture any dribble while you’re getting used to it! And remember to clean your flosser regularly when using it by rinsing it, to ensure it’s hygienic at all times.
How do I choose a water flosser?
Here are a few things to consider when choosing a water flosser:
It sounds obvious, but the most important thing to consider when choosing an electric water flosser is finding one that is kind to your gums. If you have sensitive gums, it’s best to look for one that can be gentle on them.
What you want to use it for
Is it simply to jet food debris out from your mouth, or do you want something that will also clean your tongue or whiten your teeth? Our list of the best electric flossers sets out a few options if you’re looking for something in particular.
Dental work you've had done
Another thing to consider is whether you have any specialised requirements, such as braces, crowns or dental implants. If you have any of these, look out for models that have specialised attachments designed to get them sparkly clean.
Where you'll store your flosser
Don’t forget the practicalities of your bathroom, and think about where you will use and store your new flosser. You can choose from countertop models, which have a water tank that sits separately from the water flosser, or cordless models which have an integrated water tank and separate charging dock.
Countertop models tend to have more features and can offer a wider range of pressure, but they do take up a bit more room. Cordless electric flossers, on the other hand, are great for when you’re on the go.
What is the best water flosser to buy?
The Waterpik Cordless Plus Dental Water Jet Irrigator Flosser WP-450 is the best water flosser to buy right now. It’s lightweight, cordless and easy to use, with Mumsnetters praising its ‘immediate results’. It has two pressure settings, a 360-degree rotating head to help you reach those tricky spots and the option of the included orthodontic tip is proven to be three times more effective at reducing plaque for people with braces.
Because it’s cordless, there are no batteries needed, and it keeps its charge for about a week. Its standard UK three-pin plug means that everyone will have somewhere they can charge it too – unlike some models which need either a shaving socket or a USB charger.
Why you should trust us
Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation from a real parent, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which electric water flossers discerning Mumsnet users had bought. We compiled a list of water flossers they recommended, noting how effective they found them.
We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which water flossers had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media, and what customers’ reviews said about them.
Having collated all that information, we picked the water flossers we thought would make the best buys in several interest categories.
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