Best Water Flosser For Braces

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Gemma Wheeler

(GDC Number: 259369)

best water flosser for braces

Braces are a wonderful invention and their results are very impressive, I know because I wore one for years.

However, equally impressive is the result of poor oral hygiene when wearing one.

With a fixed brace there is a greater surface area, more gaps and more places for bacteria to latch to grow and form into plaque and tartar deposits.

Your teeth and gums are already under pressure when wearing a brace and the last thing you want is to add to the situation by not cleaning your mouth properly.

Make no mistakes about it, when you wear a brace you will need to spend extra time cleaning your teeth.

It is likely whether you are going through or are about to go through such orthodontic treatment, you will be shown the images of what not taking care of your teeth looks like.

So how do you make sure you take care of your teeth, gums and mouth properly during this time?

Best Water Flosser For Braces 1

Thankfully there are a vast array of different tools available today, to make the awkward job of cleaning your fixed braces much easier.

My first piece of advice is to invest in an electric toothbrush.

I have written about the benefits of an electric toothbrush and even put together a list of the best electric toothbrushes for braces.

Aside from brushing, interdental cleaning is the next most important thing to consider with a brace. There are a wide variety of flossing tools and orthodonic kits for braces to choose from.

Best Water Flosser For Braces 2

Flossing gets into all those tight gaps and spaces that the brush might not have reached.

TePe are amongst the best interdental brushes for braces, however, this is a very manual process and still quite fiddly and awkward.

Water flossing is in our opinion is a much more effective and convenient solution.

Using water, delivered at pressure, microscopic particles are reached and washed away with a lot more ease.

The article is broken up into four main components:

IMAGE PRODUCT
Best Water Flosser For Braces 3
Waterpik WP-660UK
  • Large water tank
  • 10 pressure settings
  • Water control button on handle
view on amazon →
Best Water Flosser For Braces 4
Waterpik WP-450 Cordless
  • Cordless
  • Built-in rechargeable battery
  • 2 pressure modes
view on amazon →
Best Water Flosser For Braces 5
Waterpik Ultra
  • Good tank size
  • 10 pressure settings
  • 3 year warranty
view on amazon →
Best Water Flosser For Braces 6
Waterpik WF-03 Cordless Freedom
  • Cordless
  • 2 pressure settings
  • Powered by AA batteries
view on amazon →
Best Water Flosser For Braces 7
Fairywill 5020a
  • Great value
  • 3 modes
  • USB charging
view on amazon →

Our top 5 picks for the best water flosser for braces

In the sections below you can read a little more about each oral irrigator and the reason we have chosen it as the best in its category. 

1. Waterpik WP-660UK

Preview Product Rating Price
Waterpik WP-660 Ultra Professional Water Flosser Waterpik WP-660 Ultra Professional Water Flosser 1,153 Reviews £79.99 £65.72

Read our full Waterpik WP-660 Review

Short review: From the market leading brand it is the standard to beat.  It offers all the desirable features of a water flosser.  With a 600ml capacity tank it gives a 90+ second run time, more than enough time to give a thorough clean to the braces, teeth and gums.

Supplied in the package are 7 different tips, including an Orthodontic tip which is specifically designed to clean better around dental fittings such as braces. With a life of 3 months, be sure to stock up on spares – view them here on Amazon.

The 10 pressure settings allow you to find the right setting for you and what clears away the debris best, whilst the 360 degree rotation that the nozzle offers means you can reach all gaps in the mouth with less hassle than before.

A timer and pacer are built-in too to ensure you are flossing for long enough.

Available in Black and White colour options, it connects to the 2 pin shaver socket in your bathroom and is well designed to take up as little space as possible on your worktop.

Pros

  • Excellent cleaning offered
  • Good box contents
  • Various pressure settings
  • Largeish water tank given units size
  • Water control button on handle

Cons

  • The massage mode seems a little unnecessary
  • Not the largest tank given its one of the more premium models

2. Waterpik WP-450 Cordless Water Flosser

Preview Product Rating Price
Waterpik Cordless Plus Water Flosser Waterpik Cordless Plus Water Flosser 1,778 Reviews £54.99 £48.00

Short review: Flossing with braces usually takes more time, even with a water flosser as you have more surface area to consider.

However, there are certain times and situations where a cordless option is just better for some users, particularly if you do not have a power outlet in your bathroom.

For us the WP-450 is the best cordless option for those with braces.

The built-in rechargeable battery is charged from a standard 3 pin UK mains plug, but the wire free use allows a little more flexibility.

Made by Waterpik the clean is good as is the overall quality with the option for different tips.

It is supplied with an orthodontic tip, but you might wish to stock up on spares buy buying a 2 pack here on Amazon.

2 pressure modes and good rubber grip on rear of brush handle make it easy to grip and get comfortable with.

A little bulky and cheap feeling, the tank could be bigger but given the portable nature a line has to be drawn.

Pros

  • Trusted brand
  • Cordless
  • Interchangeable tips
  • 2 pressure modes
  • Rechargeable battery

Cons

  • Bulky
  • Tank size is a bit small
  • Feels a little cheap

3. Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser

Preview Product Rating Price
Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser 891 Reviews £59.99 £56.49

Read our full Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser Review.

Short review: A reasonable sized countertop flosser that offers 10 pressure settings and an array of nozzles in the pack it is an alternative to our winner.

It offers a similarly sized tank, which should give more than enough flossing time, but the lid that also double up as a storage compartment for the different nozzles makes for a nice touch if you are to share this flosser with other family members.

The nozzles are interchangeable. 6 are provided, including 1 x orthodontic and being a waterpik, the nozzle is rotatable a full 360 degrees.

A little noisy.  But made up for by the fact it comes with a 3 year warranty.

Pros

  • Reasonable tank size
  • Number of nozzles included
  • 3 year warranty
  • 10 pressure settings
  • Smart design

Cons

  • Noisy

4. Waterpik WF-03 Cordless Freedom Water Flosser

Preview Product Rating Price
Waterpik Cordless Freedom Water Flosser Waterpik Cordless Freedom Water Flosser 127 Reviews £44.99 £39.99

Read our full Waterpik WF-03 Cordless Freedom Water Flosser review

Short review: Cordless and powered by AA batteries this is a little more versatile for those away from power or do not have a power socket in the bathroom.  Well suited to those travelling and want the convenience of user replaceable batteries.

From the brand leader the tank is a reasonable size with the option of using different tips.  An orthodontic tip is supplied, but you do not get the advantage of a 360 degree rotation to the flossers nozzle.

2 pressure modes is appealing but the overall bulky size and the slightly cheap feel to it is disappointing.

Pros

  • Trusted brand
  • Cordless
  • Interchangeable tips
  • 2 pressure modes
  • Reasonable sized tank
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Bulky
  • Feels a little cheap

5. Fairywill 5020a Portable Water Flosser

Preview Product Rating Price
Fairywill 5020a Portable Water Flosser Fairywill 5020a Portable Water Flosser 958 Reviews £27.99

Short review: Fairywill have made a name for themselves in the electric toothbrush market offering good value products.

The Chinese company have now taken that approach to the water flosser market.

I make no excuses in saying that it doesn’t feel in hand as good as some other units, notably those from Waterpik.  Nor is there the extensive clinical backing.

However, the 5020a is a functional piece of kit that offers 3 flossing modes, normal, soft and pulse.  I think scientifically it probably cleans nearly as well as Waterpik.

With a pressure range from 40-90 PSI you should get a great cleaning experience.

Lasting up to 45 seconds, the tank size is good for a portable unit and you should be able to complete a whole clean without needing to refill.

Also nice to see is that the unit charges via a USB cable, so you can connect it to a USB wall socket, power adapter or even a USB port on a computer.

Replacement nozzles are available also, something that unbelievably some lesser known manufactures seem not to offer.

Pros

  • Good value
  • 3 modes
  • Good sized tank
  • USB charging

Cons

  • Good value
  • 3 modes
  • Good sized tank
  • USB charging

Why should you listen to us?

Electric Teeth is an independent organisation with a mission to simplify dental health.

Our team is a mixture of consumers and dental professionals.

We strive to create honest, informative content, telling you the facts, good or bad.

We are not sponsored by big brands or healthcare companies. Our site is funded by affiliate revenue and ads, but we only recommend products that we have tested and truly believe to be worth your money.

Why not watch this short video to find out all about us?

Buyer’s Guide

What is a water flosser?

A water flosser, also known as an oral irrigator or water jet is an oral hygiene product that pushes water (or mouthwash) into the mouth at pressure through a nozzle.

As the liquid touches the tooth, gum and brace surface it blasts away the plaque, bacteria and food debris.

It is much like a jet wash or pressure washer (albeit smaller and less powerful) the water is a softer, yet effective option for achieving a cleaner and healthier mouth.

Best Water Flosser For Braces 8

The nozzle and handles is shaped and designed  in such a way that it allows you to move the tip deep into the mouth and point the water jet at angles not normally easily achievable with regular flossing tools like string floss and interdental brushes.

Brushing your teeth only clean 60% of the tooth surface, some 405 goes uncleaned unless you partake in interdental cleaning whether that is flossing or using interdental brushes.  This is only made worse by braces or orthodontic appliances.

Using a water flosser can aid with this considerably as the tiny water particles reach into those areas regular brushing just does not get too.  Making cleaning dental braces much easier.

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.

Best Water Flosser For Braces 9

Why would I need a water flosser with a brace?

A dental brace offers up more surface area for bacteria and food stuffs to stick to.  Food particles frequently get caught in brackets and wires.

Such also restricts the ability for you to floss in between the teeth and up into the gum line as the wire arch normally restricts movement.

Failing to clean properly around these can result in staining of the teeth, decalcification (white spots), poor oral health and gingivitis or gum disease.

Gum disease starts with a swelling and redness to the gums, they are tender to the touch and often bleed.  If left untreated it can lead to in the most severe cases tooth loss.

Water flossers make it considerably more convenient to clean these surfaces and reach the gumline, getting rid of the bacteria that cause gum disease.

Whilst not all come with them, an orthodontic tip can be very useful as it combines a traditional jet tip with bristles to wash and sweep away the debris.

The following animation shows how a water flosser with an orthodontic tip cleans around a brace.

Waterpik® Orthodontic Tip with Braces Animation

Are water flossers safe for braces?

Yes, most definitely.

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 brands have specialised tips for braces, to achieve even better results.

Waterpik, the brand behind our winning flosser has been shown through independent clinical studies to be 3 times more effective than regular brushing and flossing (Sharma et al 2008).

Best Water Flosser For Braces 10

Water flossing v string flossing with braces

There is somewhat of an ongoing debate between those for and against either method.

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.

Dr. David Jolkovsky, a diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology, 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.”

The intention with either is to remove the plaque and bacteria to achieve a cleaner and healthier mouth.

Here at Electric Teeth, we recognise that both the traditional string floss and water flossing have their place.  What we believe to be pros and cons of water flossing are outlined in our Best Water Flosser article.

String floss makes a level of contact that is undeniably more beneficial than water, but when cleaning around a brace, using string floss can be very time consuming and awkward.

If you can, we would strongly recommend using a combination of both string and water but given the time constraints life throws at us, water flossing offers a faster and convenient yet effective option for interdental cleaning.

Best Water Flosser For Braces 11

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.

How to Use a Waterpik® Water Flosser (UK)

Your opinions

Do you wear a brace? Which flossing solution do you use, or are you thinking of buying one?

I welcome you to leave any feedback and questions in the comments below.

About Jon Love

Jon is a leading voice on electric toothbrushes and has been quoted by mainstream media publications for his opinions and expertise.

Having handled & tested hundreds of products there really is very little he does not know about them.

Passionate about business and helping others, Jon has been involved in various online enterprises since the early 2000s.

After spending 12 years in consumer technology, it was in 2014 that he focused his attention on dental health, having experienced first-hand the challenge of choosing a new toothbrush.

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