If you are serious about taking care of your teeth, then brushing should only be the first step. Yes, you should floss often too, and to help the cause, you may also want to invest in a good Waterpik.
In case you are unfamiliar with the term, Waterpik (with no "c" in the spelling) is actually the brand name that's become synonymous with the overall category of water flossers. They're devices that shoot a stream of water into your mouth and between your teeth to dislodge food, plaque, and other types of gunk that might get built up over time. Waterpiks (or water flossers, if you prefer) can help reduce the risk of gum disease and gingivitis.
But what's the best Waterpik or water flosser for you? We asked some dentists which 'piks are actually worth picking up.
Best water flossers
1. Best overall: Waterpik Aquarius Professional Water Flosser Designer Series WP 672
The Waterpik brand was the overwhelming pick of the dentists interviewed for this piece, and the company has enough variations to suit multiple needs.
Dr. Ana Ortiz, the founder of Madison Green Family Dental in West Palm Beach, Florida, is among the many dentists who recommend Waterpiks. Specifically, the Waterpik Aquarius Professional Designer Series, which has 10 different pressure settings, seven different flossing tips, easy controls on the handle to adjust water flow, and a reservoir that holds 90 seconds worth of water.
"I particularly like this model because of its relatively compact design, while still having a large reservoir for your cleaning solution, whether water alone or mixed with baking soda, mouthwash," Dr. Ortiz says via email.
"This is important because to get into a daily habit of using a Waterpik a patient needs the machine to be readily accessible (i.e., it needs to stay out so you use it daily) and to be enough water to do a thorough job of cleaning your teeth and gums. And this is silly, I know, but lots of patients like it because it comes in both white and black so they can incorporate it into their design preferences with a little more ease."
She adds, "I would be doing a disservice to my patients if I didn't mention this, but don't assume 'water picking' is an equal substitute for flossing. While it's certainly better than doing nothing at all, flossing really is the best method to prevent oral issues, however, a Waterpik can compliment most preventative measures really nicely."
2. Editor's pick: Waterpik WP-660 Water Flosser, Aquarius Style
Dr. Rhonda Kalasho, of GLO Modern Dentistry in Los Angeles, has seen great success with the Aquarius style of Waterpiks. "It has a tank you can fill lukewarm water in, which I suggest to be lukewarm if you have sensitive teeth, and you adjust the pressure setting. It can be a bit more expensive than all the other brands, however it is the most easy to use," she says.
The good thing about the Waterpik WW-660 is that it usually costs $15 to $20 less than the "Best Overall" Waterpik model above, and it still features 10 pressure settings, 7 different flosser tips and holds 22 ounces of water, which should last for about 90 seconds worth of usage.
"I also love that Waterpik has so many tips I can choose from, and they include ones you can use to brush over your teeth, even tips used for below the gum line and behind and around crowns, and implants," says Dr. Kalasho. "I personally have seen a major reduction in my patients' gum disease, staining and bad breath after including a water flosser like the Waterpik as part of their oral hygiene home regimen."
3. Best for low prices: H2ofloss Dental Water Flosser
If you're trying to keep your teeth clean while sticking to a budget, and you also have chompers that are a bit on the gentle side, Dr. Lata Stefano, a dentist based in Ohio, recommends the H2ofloss Dental Water Flosser.
"This choice can be less expensive, has lower pressure which many users like, and has a quieter motor than many of the other options," she says.
The list price for the H2ofloss is around $50, but we've often seen it on sale for closer to $35. Equipped with 6 pressure settings and 12 different flossing tips, it's very versatile and should work for people with a wide range of teeth sensitivity. Roughly 85% of the 12,000+ reviewers Amazon rate this model at 4 or 5 stars.
4. Best cordless water flosser: Waterpik Cordless Water Flosser WP-560
If you are always on the go, Dr. Mike Golpa can relate. Based in Las Vegas, he's the CEO of the G4byGolpa dental implant centers, and he recommends the cordless Waterpik.
"This one is extremely portable. Because I travel very often, this is a significant feature for me," he says. "I can take it everywhere and it saves space on the counter, while stationary models are quite bulky."
Waterpik is the top brand in water flossers, and this model is the company's top cordless option. It has three pressure settings and four flosser tips to handle a variety of needs (plaque seeker, classic jet, etc.), and comes with a travel bag and travel plug — as well as a rapid magnetic charger that will give you a full battery after four hours.
5. Best cordless model for low prices: Nicefeel Cordless Water Flosser
Dr. Ashley Paré is a Florida-based cosmetic and general dentist and founder of Shoreline Smiles. Partly because she has many patients who have permanent retainers, braces, or dental implants, "my personal favorite would be the Nicefeel Cordless Water Flosser Teeth Cleaner," she says.
"The reason I like this particular model is the price and convenience it provides. It's truly portable, or at least as portable as an irrigation machine can be. The reason I place such value on this unit is that for those of us with cosmetic dental work or orthodontics in place, having access to a tool like this can be a lifesaver. I don't literally mean life-saving, but getting something properly stuck in your permanent retainer can be super frustrating, so being able to take care of it while at the gym, at work, on business or personal travel, and so on is unique."
The Nicefeel's battery will be fully charged after four hours, and it'll last up to 20 days before needing to be recharged. Priced at $35, and available for even cheaper via sales or coupons often available at Amazon, the Nicefeel is quite a good value.
6. Another good option: Philips Sonicare AirFloss Ultra
If you're one of the millions of Americans who know they need to floss more, Dr. Stefano has a simple recommendation for you.
She likes the Philips Sonicare AirFloss Ultra because of its "user-friendly" nature. "It's known to be the 60-second flosser," she says. "It has targeted cleaning and can improve gum health."
Best mouthwash to use with a Waterpik
Dr. Pia Lieb knows how valuable a good smile can be. She is the founder of Cosmetic Dentistry Center NYC and was the exclusive dentist for Victoria Secret supermodels, as well as the go-to for top modeling agencies worldwide including: The Society Management, IMG, DNA, Next, Soul Modeling, Elite Model World and Women Management.
"Before using a Waterpik, you must ultrasonically and manually clean all of the debris and plaque off your teeth through brushing and flossing with run-of-the-mill dental floss," she says. She swears by "Crest Glamour Push Mouthwash, as its effervescent action helps remove all organic debris."