If you’ve had braces, you likely know about water flossers. These dental care appliances shoot a pinpoint jet of water at teeth to dislodge any food particles—particularly around the wires and brackets of orthodontic appliances. But they’re also useful tools for everyone else, cleaning teeth while massaging gums to promote good oral health. They’re also ideal for people who, because of reduced manual dexterity, might not be able to use traditional string floss.

Many water flossers are counter-top units, with large reservoirs for water and multiple power settings. However, some come in portable models, perfect for throwing into a suitcase when on the go.

While water flossers can’t get into all the narrow spaces between teeth like string floss can, they do cover a larger surface area and, combined with flossing and brushing, help provide a complete cleaning for that fresh-from-the-dentist feeling.

The best: Waterpik WP-663 Water Flosser

Comes With Seven Tips

When you want to treat your mouth. Amazon

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Waterpik’s top-of-the-line unit features 10 different pressure settings, as well as a dual-step “pulse modulation” mode that flosses between teeth and then massages gums. It comes with seven tips, including three regular ones, a toothbrush tip, a plaque-seeking tip, one tip for people with braces, and one for those with gum disease. The irrigator rotates a full 360 degrees to reach all your teeth, and a helpful timer beeps every 30 seconds as a reminder to shift to a different part of your mouth. The settings are controlled by a dial on the main unit, and on/off switches are located on the flosser’s handle and on the Aquarius’s base. The unit’s reservoir holds enough water for 90 seconds of use.

Best for travel: Philips Sonicare Airfloss Ultra

Accurate Stream

Three water pulse settings. Amazon

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This portable model features a reservoir in the handle to keep the unit compact and easy to carry. It uses air to propel the jets of water, which ends up using less liquid than some of its competitors—a benefit when the water reservoir is small. The unit’s travel size doesn’t leave room for many features, but it can be set to deliver single, double, or triple pulses of water, or a continuous stream. The Airfloss comes with a charging base to power up its internal, lithium-ion battery, as well as two tips (for two family members).

Budget pick: Panasonic DJ10-W Cordless Dental Water Flosser

Affordable And Effective

Powered by AA batteries. Amazon

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This inexpensive travel flosser features an innovative, collapsible design that lets you store the unit inside its reservoir-handle, taking up less room in your luggage, handbag, or backpack. It has two speeds, and holds enough water for 40 seconds of flossing. Panasonic’s unit runs on two AA batteries, making it perfect for any place an outlet might not be available for charging, like camping, or when stuck at an airport.

For children: Waterpik Water Flosser for Kids

Colorful Design

Dental hygiene doesn’t have to be boring. Amazon

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We’ve yet to meet a kid who likes flossing, but water flossers make the job just a bit more fun. Designed for kids six and older, the WP-260 features a brightly-colored design and even comes with some stick-on decals. The counter-top style unit features three pressure settings, and both a regular and orthodontic tip. The covered reservoir holds about 60 seconds of water.