If you’ve ever experienced tooth pain or had a tooth or several removed due to tooth decay, then you’ll know it can be costly and uncomfortable. Fortunately, this situation can be completely avoided by removing and preventing the build-up of plaque between teeth and the gumline; the best way to do this? – by frequently using one of the best water flossers.
Ultimately, we want you to have healthy teeth that are stronger, whiter, painless and aesthetically pleasing everytime you crack a big smile – Pauline Courtney, Website Founder
Best Water Flossers UK
At BestWaterFlossers.co.uk, we compare and review the most powerful, most effective and most reliable electric water jet flossers, also known as oral irrigators. We also explore the effectiveness of other flossing alternatives including air flossers and string dental floss.
Our mission wouldn’t be complete if we also didn’t provide you with guides and tips on how to remove dental plaque and maintain oral hygiene properly. Read to find out more about how a water flosser can make your teeth healthier.
What is a Water Flosser?
Imagine a safe and effective device that can powerfully eject a stream of water to quickly remove dental plaque from between your teeth and gumline; even in hard to reach areas.
Luckily, there is…
And it’s called a water flosser, which is also known as an oral irrigator or an electric dental flosser.
Every water flosser has a reservoir that holds a certain amount of water which lasts for a specific amount of continuous usage time.
The amount of pressure a water flosser produces depends on each model, and most devices have adjustable pressure settings.
A water flosser is actually a rather simple device that’s easy to use, fast and proven to be effective – more so than string floss and air flossers.
5 Clear Reasons Why You Should Floss Your Teeth
Most people have a routine of brushing their teeth twice a day – once in the morning and once at night, and do their best to avoid sweets, yet they still have problems with their teeth.
This proves that eating the right food and frequently brushing teeth is simply not enough in keeping your teeth healthy. We know why, and here are 5 of the best reasons why you should make a habit of flossing your teeth daily.
- Prevent Build-Up of Dental Plaque, a thin layer of bacteria that develops on the surface of teeth and is responsible for various oral diseases including cavities (tooth decay) and periodontal (gum) diseases.
- Reaches Areas a Toothbrush Misses – While the bristles on a toothbrush can do a good job of brushing away the bacteria and food on the surface of your teeth, the gaps in between are almost always neglected as they’re a lot hard to reach. A dental floss is designed to take care of this problem.
- There Are Multiple Types of Flossers – Even though we support the use of water flossers, there are plenty of other dental flossers that are designed to do the same thing using different methods. Some are more effective than others, but this wide selection allows you to choose according to your budget, time and teeth sensitivity.
- Easy to Floss – Learning how to floss your teeth properly doesn’t take long especially if you have a water flosser. Dental flossing is a clinically proven method for removing plaque and reducing the risk of gum disease, therefore it’s highly beneficial for the entire family to practice flossing everyday.
- Doesn’t Have to Be Time Consuming – Due to the rise of electric water and air flossers, flossing your teeth is no longer a time consuming chore that was once the case with string floss. These new devices only requires you to just push a button!
Best Water Flossers Buying Guide
Type of Water Flosser
There are primarily 3 different types of water flossers:
- Countertops – They are usually more advanced with more features and bigger water reservoirs. They are widely regarded as the best water flossers.
- Cordless – These are more portable and lightweight, which makes them ideal for small bathrooms and to take travelling. Though they offer rechargeable convenience, their cordless and compact features results in lower pressure and smaller reservoirs.
- Combination – These models combine an electric toothbrush and oral irrigator on one base unit. They are basically advanced countertop models with an additional electric toothbrush.
- Air Water Flosser – The Philips Sonicare AirFloss utilises air pressure combined with high speed water droplets to do the job. They are usually not as powerful or effective as an advanced countertop water flosser.
Your decision should be based on your budget and needs, though if space isn’t an issue, we would always recommend a countertop model due to their better value for money.
The most trusted manufacturer of water flossers is Waterpik, which has been around since 1962. There really aren’t any other brands that have established a foothold in this field so Waterpik is the dominant force. However, Oral-B are beginning to develop and release their own line of water flossers.
Measured in PSI (pounds per square inch) or Bar, the higher the number, the more pressure (water jet force) the water flosser can produce.
Most water flossers have adjustable water pressure settings that you can choose according to your teeth sensitivity or preference. Countertop models offer more settings while cordless models have a lot less.
It’s recommend that if you’re new to water flossing, you should start off at a lower water pressure setting and gradually increase when you get use to it.
The more advanced electric water flossers offer several modes of cleaning. In the instance of some of Waterpik’s devices, these modes consist of regular Floss Mode and a Hydro-Pulse Massage Mode – designed to stimulate the gums through water pulsations.
The maximum capacity the water reservoir holds depends on what type of oral irrigator it is – a large countertop or a portable cordless unit.
The amount of continuous flossing time you get from a water flosser directly relates to its capacity. Here are Waterpik’s general guidelines in regards to this:
- 150 ml = 30+ seconds of use
- 210 ml = 45+ seconds of use
- 450 ml = 60+ seconds of use
- 650 to 1000 ml = 90+ seconds of use
To maintain hygiene and cleanliness of the water reservoir, you should always keep it covered with the provided protective lid, get rid of any remaining liquid after flossing and allow it to dry.
If you decide to add mouthwash to the water reservoir, Waterpik’s guidelines are not to go over a 1:1 ratio and to always rinse the reservoir out with warm water after each session.
Some advanced cordless, countertop and combination water flossers offer more than just an ordinary power button that continuously ejects water – they have an additional water control button that allows you to pause or stop the water stream temporarily while the device is running; great for getting the jet tip into the desired position without wasting water.
Though very few are, some cordless water flossers are waterproof and washable, therefore they can be used while in the shower.
Timer or Pacer
Also featured in some countertop water flossers is a timer/pacer that provides interval notifications to serve as a reminder for when you should move onto flossing the other side of your mouth.
In the case of the Waterpik Ultra Professional WP-660, a short pause occurs at 30 seconds as a signal of change, and another short pause at 1 minute to signal the end of the recommended flossing time. However, the unit will continue to run until you manually turn it off.
To make it easier to access all areas of the mouth such as behind the teeth, some water flossers, particularly the ones from Waterpik, have tips that manually rotate.
Models that do not have a rotating tip, the user has to rotate their wrist or turn the entire device within their hand instead. This can be an inconvenience especially for people who have poor dexterity.
The majority of oral irrigators includes several nozzles or water jet tips. For some water flosses, these nozzles and tips are the same including replacements.
Waterpik have a number of unique specialised tips that are designed for different purposes such as deep cleaning and plaque removal around braces.
You should also take into consideration the cost of replacing nozzles and tips as they need to be changed occassionally.
Consider if the electric water flosser uses a standard 3-pin UK plug or a 2-pin plug for UK shaver sockets. If you plan on taking your water flosser abroad, then universal voltage (100-240v) would be a useful feature to have also.
Water vs Air vs Dental Floss – Which is Best?
Traditionally, string flossers were the go-to tool for removing dental plaque between the teeth. In more recent years, the use of water and air flossers have become more common due to their convenience and ease of use.
There are pros and cons to each method of flossing, but let’s explore which one is best for practical use and removing dental plaque.
A cord made up of thin strands of fibre that may or may not be coated in wax. There are a few different types of tools that hold the floss – a plastic box dispenser, plastic wands and electric handled devices – all of which have varying degrees of practicality.
- Cheap to buy
- Sold in most supermarkets and pharmacies
- It can be painful if you have sensitive teeth
- It can get messy with food remnants being flicked out
- It’s often difficult to reach certain areas of the mouth
- It’s time consuming going from tooth to tooth
Provides a short burst of pressurised air and micro-water droplets to remove plaque in between teeth. The Philips AirFloss is the dominant product in this category.
- Can often be used with mouthwash for a fresher clean
- Easy to use at just the push of a button
- Better for flossing with braces
- Less devices to choose from
- Smaller water reservoirs
- Expensive replacement nozzles
Provides a pressurised stream of water powered by a motor with a pump. Waterpik manufactures the most renowned and popular water flossers on the market.
- Some models hold larger reservoirs meaning longer water jet times
- More functions such as massage mode and hydro-pulse
- Easy to use at just the push of a button
- Ideal for flossing with braces
- A wider range to choose from, including portable and full sized models.
- Cheaper replacement tips
- More expensive for better models
How to Use a Water Flosser
Here’s a demonstration by QVCtv on how to use a water flosser. The product used in this demo is the Waterpik WP-900 Combination model which has a sonic toothbrush and water flosser on one unit.
Final Words About the Best Water Flossers
It’s widely recommended by dentists to brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes each time, and dental flossing once a day (ideally following your last brushing session of the day).
By flossing your teeth regularly, studies have shown that 80% of dental plaque can be removed, and because string flossers are difficult and time consuming to use, water and air flossers have proven to be a lot more practical.
The best water flossers from Waterpik have been clinically proven to be up to 50% more effective than using string floss and 80% more effective than using the Air Floss from Philips Sonicare range.
Based on our own and other user experiences, we firmly stand behind the effectiveness of the best water flossers and you should have full confidence in buying one.
Pauline Courtney, Main Editor and Founder