Before we look at the different products on offer, there is one important question to answer: Can you use an electric flosser as a substitute for traditional dental floss or interdental brushes?
The answer depends on who you ask. Some studies indicate that water flossing removed 29% more plaque than string floss, while other research has shown a greater reduction in gingivitis (gum disease) from using a water jet flosser.
In addition, oral care manufacturers usually conduct their own tests to show their product is the most effective at X, Y and Z.
Despite this, most dental professionals still advise patients to use string floss or interdental brushes – as well as an oral irrigator if they wish. The reason for this is that flossing and interproximal brushing physically scrapes plaque off the surface of the tooth, whereas a water jet flosser just rinses it.
If you're serious about good oral hygiene, you could use string floss or interdental brushes first to loosen any food particles and then rinse your teeth with an electric flosser. But if you can't use string floss for whatever reason (or just don't want to), a water flosser is definitely better than not flossing at all!