Best Water Flosser For Braces 2024 – The Only 3 You’ll Need + Why?

One of the things we recommend everyone in braces should own is a quality water flosser. They’re a lifesaver after a messy meal and make flossing much easier and faster than using regular string floss.

We’ve rounded up our top picks, tested them out, and come up with our personal choice for the best water flosser for braces in 2024. We’ve also got guides on when and how to use a water flosser on braces and some other helpful info from our personal experience.

Just want our top picks? Here you go: –

Best Portable Water Flosser For Braces
Philips Sonicare Power Flosser 3000 Cordless
Best Large Water Flosser For Braces
Philips Sonicare Power Flosser 7000
Water Flosser + Electric Toothbrush Combo
Philips Sonicare Power Flosser & Toothbrush System
Best Budget Water Flosser For Braces
Nicwell Portable Water Flosser

What Is A Water Flosser? (Waterpik)

A water flosser is a little machine that sprays water through a nozzle. It’s used to clear food debris from in between teeth – like dental floss or interdental brushes, but with short bursts of water.

Most of the time a water flosser has a water reservoir, an electric pump for the water, then a changeable nozzle. Some water flossers plug into the wall, though most are cordless and rechargeable.

Waterpik is the brand name of the most well-known water flosser. Much like tissues are known as Kleenex, or the word Hoover is used for a vacuum, or Xerox is used when people mean photocopy.

Why You Should Use A Water Flosser With Braces

When you get braces, it’s really important to keep up on your dental hygiene – even more than normal. That’s because with all the metal and rubber attached to your teeth, it’s easy for food debris and plaque to build up.

Water flossers are amazing when you have braces for two reasons: –

  1. It’s really hard to use traditional floss with braces. It’s almost impossible to get the floss in the gaps. Interdental brushes do work but can be harder to use and need to be replaced a lot.
  2. Even the tiniest snack leaves a lot of food debris in braces. Without braces you can eat a meal and have a quick check in a mirror to see if you have food stuck in your teeth. With braces on, you need to clean every single time. Water flossers clean food debris from braces really quickly and do a great job without all the hassle of floss.

Basically, you need to floss with braces and water flossing allows you to do it quickly and easily, without anything to throw away. It also makes it easy and quick to clean food out of your braces after a meal.

We really do recommend anyone in braces gets a water flosser. It’s possible to pick up a great model for a reasonable price and portable ones are easy to take to work or store easily while travelling.

Water Flosser Must Haves

  • Easy To Store – Modern water flossers can be transported easily and can be hidden away so they don’t take up half of the sink. Portable water flossers mean you can keep one in a locker at school or work, or in a bag that goes with you.
  • Different Pressures + Modes – This allows you to use less pressure when your teeth are sensitive after a wire change, or to change modes between one that’s good for flossing, and one that’s good for general cleaning.
  • Big Water Tank – This is really easy. Most tanks are good enough for one cleaning, and if you use yours loads you can get a big tank. Still, you should refresh the water and clean the tank regularly.
  • Rechargeable Battery – Consider a water flosser with a rechargeable battery for convenience and portability. This eliminates the need for replacing batteries or leaving it plugged in to use.

Best Water Flosser For Braces

Philips Sonicare Power Flosser 3000 Cordless

Best Water Flosser For Braces - Philips Sonicare Power Flosser 3000

The Sonicare Power Flosser 3000 is the best water flosser for braces in our opinion. From personal testing it does the job brilliantly while looking great, all at an affordable price.

The key pluses of the Sonicare Power Flosser 300 are: –

  • Takes 60 seconds to floss your entire mouth
  • There are 3 intensities and two modes, each with separate and clear buttons
  • 360-degree swivel nozzle + two nozzle heads
  • Comes with an orthodontic tip
  • It’s compact and cordless, easy to transport
  • Only needs charging once a fortnight
  • The perfect-sized reservoir that isn’t too big and bulky – 250ml / 8.4oz
  • Comes in a really nice mint color – or black and white options
Best Water Flosser For Braces Philips Sonicare Power Flosser 3000 Color Options
The mint is clearly the coolest (pun intended)

Not once have we had any complaints about this water flosser. It does the job well and blends in nicely to a modern bathroom. We’ve taken it on holiday to hotels in our bag with no issue. It’s been to work and didn’t look to clinical.

The charger is USB-C so if you already have a little charging station set up in your house, just plug yours in – though it comes with a wall adapter too. Sidenote: I love that I can just charge everything with the same cable now instead of having a mess of useless wires every few months…

It’s basically perfect and we’ll happily call it the best water flosser for braces for our purposes. Definitely the best portable water flosser as there are options for the bigger models if you don’t need to carry one around.

If you like to stick to brands you know and trust, for an alternative Oral B’s water flosser is pretty decent – though it’s very similar to the budget model lower down but at a higher price. For better quality stick to the Philips model above.

Best Large Water Flosser For Braces

Philips Sonicare Power Flosser 7000

Best Water Flosser For Braces Philips Sonicare Power Flosser 7000

If you want a water flosser for the long term to use at home – we’ve got the model for you. With a larger tank, more modes, and way more control over pressure, the Philips Sonicare Power Flosser 7000 is the king.

This beast has a tonne of different options, modes, and settings to play with. At the same time, it’s actually very simply to use: –

  • Comes with two different nozzles
  • FOUR different modes plus 10 different levels of intensity
  • Magnetic dock and auto-shut off option for ease-of-use
  • Massive 600ml reservoir – Detachable for easy refills
  • Comes with a nozzle case to store extras
  • 2-year limited warranty

If you’re just about to get this as part of an upgrade to your dental hygiene routine with braces – hold on a sec. If you’ve been using a standard manual toothbrush, you really need to get an electric one.

In fact, it’s literally our top recommendation to any getting braces. This flosser can also be bought with an inbuilt charger dock for a very good electric toothbrush, plus the brush itself. Consider the Philips Sonicare Power Flosser & Toothbrush System 7000 as a total package.

Best Water Flosser and Electric Toothbrush For Braces - Philips Sonicare Power Flosser & Toothbrush System 7000

Best Budget Water Flosser For Braces

Nicwell Portable Water Flosser

Best Water Flosser For Braces - Nicwell Portable Water Flosser

For a cheaper option, this Nicwell Portable Water Flosser held up really well in our personal testing. I found it absolutely did the job of a portable water flosser – though we do much prefer the Sonicare 3000 above.

  • Comes with a bunch of nozzles – Three different types
  • Nozzle rotates
  • 200ml tank
  • Waterproof
  • Rechargeable, includes a custom wall charger

In our testing, we found it was a little noisier, looked worse, and felt a little worse designed than our top pick. However, if you want to save a little money there is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t get this model.

Should You Floss Before Or After Brushing?

Before! Use your water flosser first, then brush. After you brush, you should spit and wash your face off but shouldn’t rinse your mouth with water. Leave the minty water in your mouth as the fluoride is good for your teeth.

That should actually leave more fluoride in your mouth than mouthwash. Interesting right? So if you use a water flosser after, you’ll probably be removing all that fluoridey goodness.

Basically, you remove debris in the braces and in-between teeth first with a water flosser, interdental picks, or traditional floss. Then you polish the outer surface of the teeth and remove surface plaque. Then you leave fluoride next to your teeth to keep them strong.

How To Use A Water Flosser On Braces

Using a water flosser on braces can be a game-changer for your oral hygiene routine. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to effectively use a water flosser with braces:

  1. Fill the reservoir: Begin by filling the water reservoir with cold water. You can also add a recommended mouthwash for an extra fresh feel.
  2. Attach the orthodontic tip: Most water flossers come with specialized orthodontic tips designed for braces. Attach the tip firmly to the handle.
  3. Position the tip: Lean over the sink and place the orthodontic tip in your mouth before turning it on. Close your lips enough to prevent splashing but leave a slight opening for water drainage.
  4. Adjust the pressure: Start with a low or medium pressure setting, and gradually increase it as you become more comfortable. Remember, gentle pressure is sufficient for effective cleaning.
  5. Start flossing: Point the tip at a 90-degree angle toward your gum line. Begin at the back of your mouth and work your way along the gumline, pausing briefly between each tooth.
  6. Aim between brackets and wires: Direct the water stream between the brackets and wires, ensuring thorough cleaning of those hard-to-reach areas.
  7. Move systematically: Work your way around your entire mouth, cleaning both upper and lower teeth. Take your time to give each tooth and gum area proper attention.
  8. Use Floss or Interdental Brushes After: Now you can go in after the water flosser and find any missed bits.
  9. Rinse and clean: Once you’ve finished flossing, thoroughly rinse your mouth with water to remove any debris. You’re done!

If you want to stay really hygienic, you can also empty the water reservoir and clean the water flosser itself after every use. However, you don’t need to.

Just give it a clean every week or so and don’t leave water sitting in it longer than a few days. Rinse the reservoir if it’s sat around too long. Check crevices for a build-up of hard water minerals etc.

Water Flosser Vs String Floss Vs Interdental Picks

Whether you were an avid flosser before or are stepping up your game because you now have braces – flossing is important. Traditionally string floss was the easiest option, but with braces that changes a lot.

If – like me – you had very crowded teeth before braces, you might not have been able to use floss. When I tried it just didn’t fit and always took ages, with pretty bloody results. Water flossing and interdental picks changed the game for me.

String Floss Advantages and Disadvantages With Braces

String floss with decent gaps and straightish teeth is cheap, easy to use, and does the job. However, it can lead to bloody gums if not used perfectly, and with braces on, string suddenly becomes a lot harder to use.

In fact, you’ll probably find it’s only half as effective as it used to be. It’s hard to get it all the way up to the gums by using a special thin floss end that you can push through the gums at the top over your braces.

I’ve tried and found even with that special floss it just wasn’t very effective with braces: 2/10

Water Flosser Advantages and Disadvantages With Braces

Water flossers are bulkier, more expensive than string, and require charging and a bit of planning. You also need a little practice to use them properly.

However, once you’re past that – they’re awesome. Super fast and efficient flossing that requires less cleanup and fuss than string floss.

With braces, you get the additional power-up of being able to remove food debris after a meal really fast. Literally, 30 seconds with one of these makes my life much easier after eating food with braces.

Game changer: 9/10

Interdental Picks Advantages and Disadvantages With Braces

The only reason the water flosser didn’t get a 10 is that it’s bulky, plus doesn’t get really deep in-between gums. Here’s where interdental picks come in. A couple of these in different sizes fit in your pocket and can go everywhere with you.

For certain hard-to-reach areas, while you have braces on, these get right in there perfectly. You can even angle the ones I use to make it easier.

The drawbacks are they’re not very eco-friendly or easy to clean, so I throw them out fairly regularly. They can also bend if you aren’t careful enough. You can unbend them but it’s a little annoying.

Great for tricky gums, a bit fiddly: 8/10

Our Flossing Suggestion With Braces?

A portable water flosser, a pack of super thin pink brushes for between gums, and some larger interdental brushes for between wires, and you are all set to go.

When Should You Use A Water Flosser?

Best Water Flosser For Braces - How To Use Water Flosser With Braces
You too could be this joyous and photogenic while using a water flosser!

Water flossing is a fantastic addition to your oral care routine, Here are some key moments to harness its cleansing power:

  • Morning Routine – Incorporate water flossing into your daily oral hygiene regimen. We find flossing first then brushing works best in the morning – remember you should brush first thing – before breakfast.
  • After Meals – After enjoying a meal, grab your water flosser to remove any pesky food particles that have found their way into your braces. This ensures your braces stay debris-free and fresh. Water flossers make braces life so much easier.
  • Before Bedtime – Before drifting off to dreamland, give your braces some love with a water flosser session alongside brushing.

Remember, consistency is key! Using a water flosser regularly – ideally a couple of times every day – will maximize its benefits and keep your braces and teeth in excellent condition.

Are Water Flossers Dangerous For Braces?

Rest assured, water flossers are safe for braces. However, it’s important to use them properly and with caution. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Adjust Water Pressure – When using a water flosser with braces, it’s advisable to lower the water pressure setting. High pressure can cause discomfort or damage to the braces or gums. Start with the lowest pressure setting and gradually increase if needed.
  • Just Had A New Wire? Go Easy – After getting a new braces wire, things can be a little painful for a few days. Start on the lowest setting and don’t worry if you need to take a break if it’s too painful. A day or two away is no problem.
  • Mind the Angles – Position the water flosser tip at a 90-degree angle to your gum line. This ensures effective cleaning without applying excessive pressure on the braces. Aim the tip towards the space between the teeth and braces for thorough cleaning.
  • Be Gentle – Maintain a gentle touch when maneuvering the water flosser around your braces. Allow the water stream to do the work and avoid pressing the tip against your braces or gums.

There is almost no chance of breaking a bracket with a water flosser, so don’t worry too much. the same goes for bite blockers.

Should You Use An Orthodontic Tip VS Regular Tip

If your water flosser has an orthodontic tip, use that. It should have a little tapered brush on the end. Use it to semi-brush away debris on your braces. You can order special tips for most models.

Can You Use A Water Flosser After A Tooth Extraction?

If you have had cuts or holes made to pull down impact teeth, don’t floss near any cuts. It could open up the wound. If you’ve had teeth removed for your treatment, also be very careful about using a water flosser or just skip it until it’s fully healed over.

For now, just brush very carefully leaving plenty of space around it to let it heal.

Should You Get A Water Flosser With Invisalign?

If you’re rocking Invisalign clear aligners, you should absolutely get a water flosser. When you eat and have to remove the aligners, you’ll want to waste as little time as possible before putting them back in.

Using a water flosser gets rid of annoying debris that could take longer to remove without one. It also helps to clean the aligners faster, removing any stubborn gunk.

Do Dentists Recommend Water Flossers?

Many dentists recommend water flossers as an essential tool for maintaining oral health, particularly for individuals with braces. There is also plenty of research with a few studies showing good results.

This study had three groups testing the removal of dental plaque: brushing only, brushing and flossing, and brushing and using water flossing. The brushing-only group fared the worst, the second group much better, with the water-flossing group slightly better. Bleeding gums were reduced for water flossing subjects too.

This other study found water flossing is just as good as regular string flossing – if you were worried at all.

Another study found flossing and water flossing both gave similar results, with water flossing slightly better in certain more awkward areas.

What Is The Difference Between Waterpik and Water Flosser?

Waterpik is just the name of the brand that made a popular range of water flossers. They used to be the only and the best portable water flossers, but we think there are now better models.

Can You Use a Water Flosser For Whitening Teeth?

There are some places that suggest the best water flosser for teeth whitening, but the truth is that they don’t do that. For sure if you have problems with tartar and plaque, any water flosser will help remove it.

That would lead to your teeth seeming a little cleaner, but there is nothing about water flossers that whitens your teeth. There are also no specific models that would do that better than others.

There are plenty of methods to whiten teeth, and it is possible to whiten teeth while wearing braces. However, braces water flossers won’t do that specifically.