Fixed braces have and will continue to transform the smiles of millions around the world for many years.
This highly technical wire and bracket system might be able to change tooth alignment for the better, but it does to provide many ideal locations for plaque build up. If not removed it can potentially cause irreversible damage to your teeth and gums.
Brushing and flossing are the fundamentals to this all important plaque removal and good oral healthcare
When wearing a brace, the intricate bracket and wire system can make the process of keeping your teeth clean much more difficult though.
Keeping your mouth clean when wearing a brace will take longer than without, but there are many tools that can help you achieve more effective cleaning results with less effort and in some cases less time.
I have compiled a list of what I consider to be the best electric toothbrushes for braces and there are other flossing tools such as Oral-B’s Superfloss (view on Amazon) that can help you remove the bacteria and debris.
One other type of flossing product is the water flosser.
Combining the power of electricity and water, a water flosser can for some, revolutionize the way they clean their interdental spaces and dental appliances such as braces.
In this article I give my opinion on the best water flossers for braces, whilst also explaining in the buyer’s guide section exactly what these products are and why you might want one yourself.
Our Top 5 Picks For The Best Water Flosser For Braces
As you can see, 4 of the 5 suggestions are Waterpik models; why that is will become apparent as I provide more information below on each, how they work and why these are my top picks.
1. Waterpik WP-660
Water flossers don’t really get much better than the American Dental Association approved Waterpik WP-660 Aquarius.
The 22 ounce (650 ml) tank offers up to 90 seconds of usage time.
|Waterpik WP-660 Aquarius||13,468 Reviews||$89.99 from $62.99||View on Amazon|
You can choose from 1 of 10 different pressure settings to find the one most comfortable for yourself.
The unit even has a built in timer and pacer so that you clean the interdental spaces of your mouth evenly.
Whilst you may not need all 7, there are this many different tips included in the box, 1 of which is the Orthodontic tip, specially designed for braces.
A fully rotatable nozzle (360 degrees) means you can move the water jet to any angle in the mouth.
Water flossers can be quite noisy due to the pump inside but the WP-660 is a little quieter than most, making for a more enjoyable user experience.
Available in a range of colors, you do not have to stick to the default ‘White’ color.
Your choices are:
- White – WP-660
- Black – WP-662
- Blue – WP-663
What we like
- Excellent cleaning offered
- Good box contents
- Various pressure settings
- Largeish water tank given units size
- Water control button on handle
What we dislike
- The massage mode seems a little unnecessary
- Not the largest tank given its one of the more premium models
Read our full Waterpik WP-660 review
2. Waterpik complete care water flosser WP-900
This is a water flosser, just as capable as our number 1 pick, the Aquarius.
Made by the same brand, it doesn’t have features like the built in timer and pacer and is too a fraction larger, but it does come with an electric toothbrush included.
|Waterpik Complete Care WP-900||6,099 Reviews||from $129.99||View on Amazon|
Taking care of your oral health is more than just flossing and when an electric toothbrush can remove 21% more plaque than a manual brush, it is well worth considering.
The beauty of the WP-900 is both are built into this unit and it only takes up 1 power socket in the bathroom, unlike the 2 sockets you would need if you bought an electric toothbrush and water flosser separately.
A countertop mounted unit, the water flosser part is not cordless and does require mains power when in use. The electric toothbrush on the other hand has a rechargeable battery built in.
Better electric toothbrushes are available from Sonicare and Oral-B, but this does the job with a built in pacer and 2 minute timer, automatic power off and comes with a travel case for those times you need it.
The water reservoir is 23 ounces (700ml) gives in excess of 90 seconds of usage and 5 different tips are in the box, including an orthodontic tip, making it suitable for various users without the need to buy extras.
A compartment on the unit gives a place to store these tips too.
10 different pressure settings are available, controlled by a rotary dial, you can get the perfect pressure for you and your teeth.
A neat, strong performing and good value all in one solution.
What we like
- All in one solution
- Large water reservoir
- 5 different tips included
- 10 different pressure settings
- Electric toothbrush included
- Built in timer and pacer with toothbrush
- Toothbrush travel case
What we dislike
- Not the best electric toothbrush
- Larger unit
Read our Waterpik complete care WP-900 review.
3. H2ofloss Water HS-F 8 Flosser
At quick glance this looks very much like a Waterpik water flosser, but it is actually made by a company called H2ofloss.
Not a known brand, their product is very similar, but the big benefit is price; about half the price.
Whilst it might not have the American Dental Association’s seal of acceptance it is hard to argue with what you get here for the money.
I don’t like suggestions to be driven by cost alone, but it certainly provides an affordable option and a way of trying a water flosser out without having to part with too much cash.
It does however have a good range of features.
With the largest water tank I have seen on a product of this type, you should get a minimum of 150 seconds running time from the 28 ounce (800ml) water tank.
A whopping 12 tips are included in the box and there is a storage unit for these provided as well.
Just like the premium alternative the nozzle can be rotated a full 360 degrees.
On the handle of the unit is a slider that allows adjustment of the water pressure from a very low 5 PSI through to a much more powerful 110 PSI.
The quality is not as good as Waterpik and it doesn’t feel like it will last quite as long.
What we like
- 12 tips included
- Tip storage unit
- Large 28 ounce (800ml) water reservoir
- Long running time
- Variable pressure settings
What we dislike
- Quality and reliability concerns
Read our H2ofloss review.
4. Waterpik WP-560 advanced cordless water flosser
Countertop options are going to provide the most power, versatility and practicality for those who wish to clean effectively around a brace.
However, there are circumstances where cordless options are more practical or necessary. Maybe you are always on the road, or you are off on a camping trip?!
|Waterpik Cordless Advanced WP-560||1,709 Reviews||$99.99 from $76.04||View on Amazon|
This cordless option from the brand leader does still boast the fact that it has been approved by the ADA.
The 360 degree rotating nozzle allows for excellent access to all areas of the mouth just like the countertop options.
You will get around 45 seconds of usage from a full tank, which is enough for a very quick clean, but because of the extra surface area a brace offers, my feeling is to clean most effectively with this unit, you will need to refill it 2 or 3 times.
Included are 3 different flossing tips, 1 of which is the all important orthodontic style.
You can choose from 1 of 3 different pressure settings when in use, so you can select the pressure you find most comfortable.
An innovative magnetic rapid charge systems ensures you can easily recharge the unit when required. No fiddly cables, the magnets align the charger.
To keep everything together on the go a travel pouch is provided.
And for those who like a bit of color in their lives, you need not be stuck with the clinical White colour option as the 5 choices:
- Pearly White – WP-560
- Brilliant Black – WP-562
- Classic Blue – WP-563
- Radiant Orchid – WP-565
- Rose Gold – WP-569
What we like
- Trusted brand
- Interchangeable tips
- 3 pressure modes
- Good sized sized tank
- Easy charging
What we dislike
Read our Waterpik WP-560 review.
5. Waterpik WF-03 cordless freedom water flosser
Built in rechargeable batteries are all well and good but there is a certain convenience to removable and user replaceable batteries.
This then is why the AA battery powered WF-03 cordless water flosser from Waterpik is a top choice.
|Waterpik Cordless Freedom WF-03||2,323 Reviews||from $52.32||View on Amazon|
Particularly convenient for travellers, you get a pouch in the box to store the unit and the tips.
3 tips are included, 1 of which is the Orthodontic tip that is best suited to braces.
It is a fairly chunky unit, but then again, the water unit is built into this handheld device. You will need to refill it 2 or 3 times to complete a decent overall clean of the brace and gums, rather than a quick clean.
There are 2 pressure settings to choose from and unlike a lot of the alternatives it does not have the 360 degree rotating nozzle.
However, it is water resistant for use in the shower.
It does not feel quite as good quality as some of the more expensive alternatives, but then again this is a ‘cheaper’ option from a trusted brand.
What we like
- Trusted brand
- Interchangeable tips
- 2 pressure modes
- Reasonable sized tank
- Good battery life
What we dislike
- Feels a little cheap
Read our Waterpik WF-03 cordless freedom review.
What is a water flosser?
A water flosser is an electrically powered piece of equipment that delivers a stream of water at pressure through a nozzle.
As the liquid touches the tooth, gum and brace surface it blasts away the plaque, bacteria and food debris.
Where regular flossing or interdental brushing relies on the contract of a piece of floss or the bristles of an interdental brush, water flossing relies on pressurised water.
Think of it a little like a pressure washer for your teeth!
Of the many reasons people give for not flossing, some of the most popular are, it hurts, its awkward and it makes my gums bleed.
A water flosser is a tool that is designed to help overcome these issues as it delivers similar, or potentially better results than regular floss, whilst being easier to use too.
Although manufacturers do make many different shaped nozzles/jet tips for their flossers, the basic concept is that they are designed this way to help push water deep into the mouth and point the water jet at angles not normally easily achievable with regular flossing tools.
You get 2 main types, corded (countertop) and cordless (portable/wireless) flossers.
As the name implies one can be moved around with more ease than the other, with the other being the most feature rich and practical when used everyday with braces.
Why would I need a water flosser with a brace?
Hassle and effectiveness are the two words that come to mind to answer this question.
Feeding floss or interdental brushes in and around brackets and archwires can be a test of patience and will power.
Most who wear a brace are unlikely to want to leave their teeth at increased risk of decay or indeed take the risk of getting gum disease.
However there can be times where it all just feels like too much effort.
The water flosser solves this problem for many.
By a simple press of a button you can get a constant stream of pressurized water to blast away all that bacteria that accumulates on the brace.
It may take you 5 minutes to floss properly with conventional floss, but a water flosser allows you to do this in a fraction of the time.
It also presents an option to floss when you would have otherwise chosen to skip because time was not on your side.
And with independent clinical studies showing Waterpik to be 3 times more effective than regular brushing and flossing (Sharma et al 2008) then it is a bit of a no brainer right?!
Are water flossers safe for braces?
Yes, they are. They will not do damage to your dental appliance.
The pressure or the way in which a water flosser works is in no way going to damage your brace if used correctly.
In fact many water flosser manufacturers, including market leader Waterpik, have specialised tips for braces, to achieve even better results.
The following animation shows how a water flosser with an orthodontic tip cleans around a brace.
Water flossing v string flossing with braces
This is and will always be a topic of debate and I don’t think there will ever be unanimous agreement on which is better.
Some dental professionals are not massive fans of water flossers, because they believe that the physical contact of the floss or brush is better.
To be fair, this is logical, backed by some clinical evidence, but the water flosser has too undergone many studies and its worth has been proven several times over.
Brand leader Waterpik have spent many years perfecting their products to create an equivalent alternative and I am sure most dental professionals would agree that they rather a patient complete some form of interdental cleaning than none at all.
Dentists such as Dr Szymanowski still believe regular string floss is the answer, whilst Hygienist’s like Jamie Collins who writes at Dentistry IQ essentially conclude that whilst regular flossing is the gold standard, it is about finding a product that works for you.
One of the consequences of not cleaning the teeth and gums properly can be gum disease or where the condition is more serious, it is classed as periodontitis. Given that this condition starts out as a result of plaque buildup, the words of Dr. David Jolkovsky, a diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology, should then be taken quite seriously.
Dr Jolkovsky wrote a literature review that addressed the safety of the water flosser and found that: “The studies unequivocally showed that a Waterpik Water Flosser reduces inflammation, removes bacteria from deep periodontal pockets, does not cause damage to mouth tissues and is in the same range as brushing teeth, flossing, and using wooden sticks in the incidence of bacteremia.”
I am not here to say that one is better than the other, I clearly state the pros and cons of water flossing are outlined in our Best Water Flosser article, but there is clear evidence that water flossers are beneficial.
In an ideal scenario it will be best to use both a water flosser and more traditional string floss and interdental brushes when time allows. The more attention you can give your teeth, the better your oral health will ultimately be.
How to floss with a water flosser
Pushing water at your teeth and gums can be messy and splashback is most certainly a result of not having the right technique when using a water flosser.
Practice makes perfect and many products come with some good instructions.
The best way to show you is to watch someone else.
The following video from Waterpik gives a good demonstration of how to do it right. There is also a written guide here.
Your opinions & feedback
Have you bought and used a water flosser to clean your brace?
Which model did you buy and why?
What did you think of it?
Please share your comments below, so that I and other readers can benefit from your insights.
You can too leave any questions you might have in the comments section and I will get back to you.
Last updated: 2019-03-20 at 16:53 // Source: Amazon Associates