As far as water flossers go, this Waterpik product is about as straightforward as it gets. Running off batteries instead of a charger, and with only one control, this is one product for which you won’t regret throwing out the manual.
Despite this, it remains a credible option for people who don’t have any particular requirements: it’s waterproof, allows you to select a jet of either low or high pressure, and holds enough water to give you half a minute of flossing time at the latter setting.
With two general-purpose tips included, it’s also possible for a couple to share the same device. It’s somewhat noisy but not deafening, and, significantly, it is made by the company that more or less pioneered the idea of flossing with water.
Although both oral irrigators and the American Dental Association have been around for a long time, it’s only in recent years that the ADA has begun issuing seals of acceptance to those water flossers they’ve found to be both effective and safe to use. Like the Cordless Advanced and the Aquarius from the same manufacturer, this WF-02 can claim this distinction.
As the approval process is time-consuming and rigorous, ADA certification is available only to large brands that are serious about their water flossing products. Both clinical studies and laboratory tests are required to qualify.
Although it’s much the same as any other high-quality handheld water flosser in most ways, the WF-02 is unique among those we’ve selected in that it’s powered by 3 AA-type batteries. These should last about a month depending on what brand you buy. You can also use rechargeables as long as they’re of the NiMH type. The initial set of disposable batteries is thoughtfully included so you don’t have to harvest some from your smoke detectors.
The lack of a charger makes this one of the more compact water flossers when it comes to travel. All products of this type are on the clunky side, though – once you add in the bulk of your hair dryers, clothes irons, and whatever other home comforts you’d like to take with you, you might have less space left in your suitcase than you’d like. The ability to use batteries will still be a major plus in some circumstances, however, like when you’re roughing it in the wilderness but still want to maintain a beautiful smile to impress the squirrels.
Easy to Use
The reservoir is easy to fill whether on its own or attached to the main unit. Each tank will give you only about half a minute of flossing, however.
Changing the batteries takes some getting used to, but this is understandable: the slot that houses them is very well-designed and makes the body as a whole totally waterproof when the cover is installed correctly.
As with the Cordless Advanced, this flosser’s pressure range is not the widest, and you can only select between “off”, “low” and “high” using a simple slider switch. This makes it easy to set it to “high” when you meant to use the lower setting, or to turn it off with a carelessly-placed thumb.
Those of us with especially sensitive gums may indeed find this water flosser painful to use. Bear in mind that all water picks come with a bit of a learning curve: you actually have to feel where the stream is hitting the inside of your mouth and delicately move it along your gumline instead of (say) hitting the more sensitive surface of your tongue. Other people, who want a deep clean even at the cost of a little discomfort, will instead want to look at a more forceful portable flosser like the Akunbem, which we reviewed here. That one can reach up to 120 PSI as opposed to 75.
The Bottom Line
Due to its price and convenience factor, this is a good option for someone who’s never used a water pick before but would like to try one out, perhaps on their dentist’s recommendation. There’s little to confuse you, though you do have the option of adding other tips for specific tasks (most Waterpik nozzles with a part number ending in “100E” should work). If it turns out that you like the results of flossing with water, you’ll have the comfort of knowing that you’ve chosen a good brand that backs this product with a 1-year warranty.
- Very simple to operate
- Doesn't require electric power
- Pretty long battery life
- Small reservoir
- Only two intensity settings