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Poor oral hygiene can lead to cavities, tooth loss, and gum disease. With time, gum disease can adversely affect heart health.
The bacteria that cause gum disease can also enter your bloodstream and affect a fetus. This has been linked to premature and low birth weight of babies in pregnant women.
Brushing your teeth twice a day is essential. However, regular brushing doesn't always clean food particles, plaque, and bacteria between teeth. Toothbrush bristles are not small enough to clean between these tight spaces.
Interdental cleaning, such as flossing, is essential to maintain good oral health. There are two options for interdental cleaning: dental floss or a water flosser.
Waterpik is the most popular brand of water flossers. Water flossers use a pressurized stream of pulsating water to clean between your teeth and under your gum line.
Waterpiks can help reduce bleeding and gum disease.
A Waterpik should not be used as a substitute for brushing. It is a floss replacement that helps reduce bacteria and keep your teeth and gums healthy.
You may prefer to use a Waterpik instead of flossing if you:
Scientific studies have shown that water flossers are just as effective, or more effective than string floss at removing plaque.— PubMed.gov
There are a few easy steps to follow in order to use a Waterpik Water Flosser correctly:
Using a Waterpik flosser can help treat hard-to-reach areas of the mouth, tightly spaced teeth, and periodontal pockets that may result from early gum disease.
Waterpik flossers can also help keep your breath fresher for longer. Additionally, Waterpiks are simple to use.
The main drawback of Waterpiks are their cost. They range in price from about $50 to $200.
Some people report that water flossers can be messy, and take some time to get used to.
Dental floss use goes back as far as prehistoric times. Dental flossing was first recommended by a dentist named Levi Spear Parmly in 1819. Floss was officially patented 55 years later by Asahel M. Shurtleff.
Today, floss is available as rolls of string or pre-cut in plastic holders called dental picks. Traditional dental floss is available in flavored varieties and as waxed or unwaxed strands.
String floss is significantly cheaper than water flossers. It typically costs $5-$10 for several yards, which will last months.
String floss gives you plenty of control. Flossing manually enables you to clean each tooth in an up and down motion, moving the floss between the teeth.
Some people may not be able to treat specific areas of the mouth when using string floss. You may also have a challenging time reaching between teeth that are very close together.
If you floss too far down below the gum line or too aggressively, your gums may bleed.
Further research is needed to answer this question. However, scientific studies agree that water flossers are at least as effective as traditional floss, and may be more effective at removing plaque.
One study from 2013 found that water flossers were significantly more effective at removing plaque. Another study from 2021 found that water flossers and floss were equally efficient at removing plaque.
So what does this mean?
The best dental hygiene method is one you will stick to. If you struggle to maintain a daily habit of flossing, a Waterpik may help you change your habits.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing twice a day and cleaning between the teeth once a day with floss or a water flosser.
Waterpik is the most recommended water flosser brand among dental health professionals. The brand sells several devices with varying price points for different needs and requirements.
Here are the top four water flossers:
Best Overall Floss (Editor’s Choice)
The best overall water flosser is the Waterpik WP-660 Aquarius Water Flosser. The Aquarius oral irrigator is best for at-home use. When used daily, the device can remove up to 99.9% of plaque between teeth. The Waterpik Aquarius is also 50% more effective than traditional string floss.
The built-in timer/pacer briefly pauses at 30 seconds and 1 minute to help track the flossing time. The device also delivers 1400 water pulses per minute for a deep clean.
The Waterpik Cordless Advanced is compact and does not have a large water reservoir. This model comes with four different flossing tips, three pressure settings, and 360-degree tip rotation.
It also features a magnetic 4-hour rapid charging system, a waterproof design, and an ultra-quiet operation. It's perfect for small spaces, travel, and can even be used in the shower.
Best Cordless Countertop Device
The ION Cordless Water Flosser provides maximum performance with cordless convenience. It is 30% smaller in size than traditional plug-in Waterpik models, so the ION is incredibly compact. The rechargeable cordless design also eliminates clutter, making it ideal for small bathroom counters.
ION’s rechargeable lithium-ion battery lasts up to four weeks per charge. It also features a convenient magnetic handle cradle and an on/off water control on the handle.
Best on a Budget
The Waterpik Cordless Freedom is portable and waterproof. It's great for small spaces, travel, or use in the shower.
It comes with three tips and two pressure settings. It runs on AA batteries, so no charging is required.