This was the priciest water flosser we tested but we really noticed the difference. The relatively slim handle meant it was also one of the easiest to use, even though it still had a fairly decent 250ml reservoir which lasted around a minute before needing an easy refill.
We all know we should be flossing once a day as part of our oral health routine. But it’s an all-too-easy step to skip when we’re rushing out the door or exhausted and desperate to fall into bed. Traditional dental floss can also be hard to use correctly, especially if you’ve had certain dental work including crowns and braces, and it’s non-biodegradable so not a great choice for the environment. That’s where water flossers come in.
Like brushing with an electric toothbrush and a good toothpaste, water flossers have changed the game when it comes to keeping our teeth and gums healthy. Also known as oral irrigators, water flossers spray a high-pressure jet of water between your teeth to clean the spaces that brushing misses, and removes food and bacteria. This helps keep plaque at bay, reduces the risk of cavities, helps prevent gum disease, fight bad breath and, in some cases, whiten teeth.
“Water flossers can be a great option for people who have trouble flossing by hand,” says Dr Rhona Eskander, dentist, co-founder of Parla, ambassador for WaterPik and owner of Chelsea Dental Clinic. “People who have had dental work that makes flossing difficult – like braces or permanent or fixed bridges – might also like to try water flossers.”
Although they can take a little getting used to initially, it’s best to only switch on the device once the tip is inside your mouth, then keep it at a 90-degree angle to the gum line as you go and always lean over the sink as it can be messy.
They come with a refillable water tank so you can spray as you work from the back teeth to the front and may include extra features such as a massage feature for healthy gums, variable pressure settings and even a tongue scraper. It’s worth looking for a flosser that comes with an orthodontic tip too if you wear a brace or gentler settings or dedicated heads if you have implants, crowns or sensitive teeth.
How we tested
We used these water flossers one at a time over several weeks, using each once a day on consecutive days. We considered how easy each was to use, how clean our teeth looked and felt and any extra features the water flosser offered. We also flossed our teeth with ordinary tape floss after use to check how effective the water flosser had been. These are the ones that came out on top.
The best water flossers for 2023 are:
- Best water flosser overall – Philips sonicare cordless power flosser 3000: £94.99, Amazon.co.uk
- Best water flosser for travelling – Spotlight oral care water flosser: £50.65, Amazon.co.uk
- Best water flosser for newbies – Waterpik cordless plus water flosser: £59.99, Superdrug.com
- Best water flosser for whitening – Waterpik whitening water flosser: £99.99, Amazon.co.uk
- Best water flosser for healthy gums – Panasonic rechargeable oral irrigator with ultrasonic technology EW1511: £79.99, Amazon.co.uk