There’s debate over whether a water pick is a good substitute for dental floss. For people with braces (or even without braces), flossing daily usually isn’t in the cards. Let’s face it, kids don’t like flossing, but a water pick is fun to use. When I had braces many moons ago, I’ll admit that I never flossed, even once. My teeth are still sparkling white at age 35, and I’ve had a total of 2 minor cavities since then. In reality, choosing the best water pick for braces isn’t all that difficult.
Water picks are great for removing large food particles and essentially power washing all the nooks and crannies around your braces. Using a water pick is undoubtedly easier and more effective for people with braces than dental floss. Plus, your kids and/or you are a lot more likely to use a water pick than dental floss each day.
In this guide, I share the top 5 water picks for braces, overviews of each model, complete reviews of each model, and the pros & cons. In just a few minutes, you’ll learn everything you need to know before you buy a water pick, aka a water flosser for braces.
|#1) Waterpik Aquarius Water Flosser|
|#2) Waterpik Cordless Express Water Flosser|
|#3) iTeknic Water Flosser Dental Oral Irrigator|
|#4) Homgeek Water Pick|
|#5) Waterpik Sidekick Portable Water Flosser|
Best Water Pick for Braces Reviews
Now that you’ve had the chance to check out our top picks, you’ve probably already noticed that the top models look about the same. The clear leader in the water pick department is Waterpik since its flossers have the most features, power, and of course, ADA approval. However, you may find that for about half the price, bargain brands are all you really need.
For people who prefer cordless water flossers for braces, it’s best to stick with Waterpik to get the most reliable model. The last thing you want is a broken pick during your travels or even while home.
Below, I share our individual reviews for each of the five models along with the pros & cons. It’s always a good idea to know what to expect from each model before you choose one. The pros & cons sections below are the best place to find that info.
1. Waterpik WP-660 Aquarius Water Flosser
Waterpik’s Aquarius model is the best-rated water pick on the market for braces. It’s the most reliable model in this guide with the most power and features. You may have noticed from the specs section in the chart above that the Aquarius empties its reservoir faster than its budget alternatives. There are 10 pressure settings to choose from ranging from 10 to 100 psi to find your perfect pressure.
A lot of first-time users think that 90 seconds per fill isn’t enough to complete the job only to find out later that it’s more than enough. The package includes 7 different attachments ranging from classic tips to a toothbrush tip that allows you to brush as you floss. One reason this is the best water pick for braces is the specialty Orthodontic Tip (OD-100E) made for cleaning braces. There’s even a Plaque Seeker (PS-100E) tip for use around dental work including crowns and implants.
Outside of the features, Waterpik is a trustworthy US-based company in Fort Collins, CO that’s been in business for more than 50 years. They’ve been around since the beginning of water flosser time and back up their products with the longest and most reliable warranty you’ll find in the water flosser aisle. Depending on your budget, you may find that it’s worth it to buy a Waterpik over budget alternatives based on quality, reliability, and a better warranty.
- There’s an attachment specifically made for cleaning braces
- Authentic ADA acceptance
- Longest warranty
- Approved by loads of people with braces for effective cleaning
- Takes just 1 minute per day
- A lot easier to get children with braces to use than regular floss
- Recommended by adults with braces
- Very easy to use for people of all ages
- Better overall oral hygiene
- It might be noisier than you’d like
- The cord may feel taut
- Potentially too tall to slide beneath a wall-mounted medicine cabinet
2. Waterpik WF-02 Cordless Express Water Flosser
Waterpik model WF-02 is one of our top-rated cordless water flossers for braces, and it only makes sense for one of the top brand’s cordless models to appear in this best of the best guide. The clear advantages here are portability and convenience. A cordless model is great for both home use and travel.
One complaint we noted above about the Aquarius model is the cord feels taut for some people. With a cordless model, you avoid that potential nuisance altogether. The drawbacks to going cordless are less power, fewer attachments, less cleaning time per fill, and the potential need for batteries. Also, we noticed that Waterpik backs its WF-02 model with a 1-year warranty compared to the longer 3-year warranty it offers with the Aquarius model.
As far as the cleaning experience, the WF-02 matches the WP-660 with up to 99.9% plaque removal. The unit uses 3 AA batteries and provides up to 30 seconds of cleaning time per fill. A couple of final considerations are no Orthodontic Tip (OD-100E) included in the base package, and the unit looks smaller in photos than in person so be sure to consider the dimensions before you buy it.
- Safe to use in the shower
- Children with braces love it
- Takes up less real estate on your bathroom counter than traditional models
- More powerful than you might think
- Good for international travel
- Easy to use and fill the reservoir
- Long battery life
- Fewer pressure settings than the Aquarius and the low setting may feel a bit too high
- Fewer attachments included
- You may not like the feel of the switch
- Larger in person than in photos
3. iTeknic IK-PCA004 Water Flosser Dental Oral Irrigator
If you prefer to take the budget route, iTeknic model IK-PCA004 is the best cheap Waterpik alternative. Instead of seeking ADA acceptance, budget brands are taking the FDA-safe route based on the materials. While this may look good on paper, it’s more window dressing than an actual selling point. Beyond that, this is a fully-functional water pick that mimics the Aquarius package all the way down to the included attachments.
If you missed the orthodontic attachment in the portable WF-02 unit above, this budget model brings it back. Like the Aquarius, there are 10 pressure levels to choose from, which is one of the main reasons to choose a standard corded pick for home and family use. Unlike the Aquaris, the IK-PCA004 has a higher max pressure rating of 125 psi. However, considering the IK-PCA004 takes 3 minutes to empty its tank compared to 90 seconds with the Aquarius, we do believe the Aquarius is more powerful.
One thing we like about this model is the included tongue cleaner attachment. That’s one thing you won’t find included in the Aquarius package, though, the IK-PCA004 does not include an attachment comparable to Waterpik’s Toothbrush Tip (TB-100E).
- Longer cleaning time per fill than the Waterpik Aquarius
- Includes an orthodontic attachment for braces
- More than enough pressure levels to find your sweet spot
- Easy for children and teenagers to use
- Not as tall as the Waterpik Aquarius
- Reaches the spots around braces where toothbrushes can’t
- A lot more affordable than a Waterpik
- Suction cup feet
- Not as reliable as a Waterpik
- Several reports about leaking
- It may feel small if you’re used to a Waterpik
4. Homgeek Water Pick
Our second and final budget alternative to the Waterpik Aquarius is the Homgeek Water Pick. Similar to iTeknic, Homgeek recreated its own version of the Aquarius. This model and the iTeknic model are about the same size. For people who are concerned about the Aquarius colliding with a wall-hung medicine cabinet, this shorter budget alternative is worth a look.
The included attachments are about the same as the iTeknic model. Both include a tongue cleaner attachment, which you may or may not find useful. The attachment you will find useful is the orthodontic tip for braces. The precision tip of the dental plaque attachment is also good to spray directly into braces to dislodge stubborn food particles that the normal jet attachments fail to force out.
One feature to note is the max cleaning time of 90 seconds compared to the 3 minutes offered by the iTeknic model. Since the Aquarius model offers 90 seconds of cleaning time, you may find that the Homgeek model is more powerful than the iTeknic IK-PCA004. Lastly, Homgeek backs its flosser with a 2-year warranty, and considering the low price of this unit, we think that’s more than fair.
- A good budget alternative to Waterpik
- Does a good job of deep cleaning in and around braces to release food debris
- Approved by children
- High-quality durable materials for the price
- More than ample pressure on the highest setting
- Leaves the mouth feeling so fresh and so clean
- You may not notice much difference between pressure settings 3 through 7
- Lacks the ergonomics of a Waterpik
- The lowest pressure setting may not feel low enough to you
5. Waterpik WF-04 Sidekick Portable Water Flosser
Of the models we reviewed, the Waterpik WF-04 is the best portable water pick for braces. Unlike the cordless unit, this unit plugs in, and it’s ready for domestic and international use. We really like the compact design and especially like the way it stores inside its reservoir. There’s also a branded Waterpik travel bag for storage during your travels. Even people with little counter space at home will find that choosing the WF-04 is advantageous.
The 13 oz reservoir provides up to 60 seconds of cleaning time with 5 pressure settings to choose from, which is 3 more than the cordless WF-02 model offers. The biggest drawback to the WF-04 is no interchangeable attachments. Waterpik calls the all-in-one design its “New Flossing Stylus.” The stylus design features the handle, hose, and standard jet tip with no option to switch the jet tip.
One last thing to keep in mind is the position of the power cord. Waterpik placed the power port at the back of the unit, and this makes it impossible to sit the unit flush with a wall while using it. We feel that Waterpik will most likely iron out this problem in its next version of the WF-04.
- More pressure settings than the cordless Waterpik
- Ready for global use (100 – 240VAC)
- Its clever compact design makes it perfect for travel
- Included travel pouch
- One of the quietest water flossers
- Stores nicely in a carry-on bag or suitcase
- No interchangeable attachments (no orthodontic tip)
- The unit cannot sit flat against a wall while in use due to the power cord
- Weaker than standard Waterpik models
The easiest way to choose the best water pick for braces is to choose Waterpik if you want a high-quality model and to choose Homgeek or iTeknic if you prefer to save some bucks. According to our meticulous research, all of the models in this guide are reliable and get the job done, with Waterpik being the most reliable of the bunch.
People with braces should consider models with orthodontic tips first since they’re specifically designed to clean in and around braces where food likes to hang out. The photo below shows the Waterpik Orthodontic Tip (OD-100E) available at Amazon #ad:
What’s nice about the tips is they’re sold in packs of up to 12 and are affordable. If you have multiple children or members of your household with braces, it’s a great way to avoid sharing the same attachments and make the kids feel special.