April 2015

Almost every dental professional has heard a 'story' that questions the safety and efficacy of Water Flossing. Regular recommenders, who see great results from Water Flosser users, know these 'stories' are the dental version of 'urban myths.' In this newsletter, we address the science that has 'turned the tide' for the Waterpik® Water Flosser.

Dental professionals are more savvy about the research

Savvy dental professionals know that to provide the best care to patients, decisions need to be based on science when the data is available.  It's this understanding and dedication to scientific evidence that has helped dental professionals understand the effectiveness of the Waterpik® Water Flosser.

Over 60 studies have definitively shown that the Water Flosser can reverse gingivitis, reduce gingival bleeding, remove plaque, and improve the host response to enhance healing and improve oral health. A recently published literature review in the February issue of Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry specifically looked at the safety profile of Water Flossers concluded:

"The evidence shows that using a pulsating Water Flosser is safe and effective. This is based on decades of use by the public and a body of evidence that has not reported any adverse effects."

Most dental professionals have heard more than a few myths about the Water Flosser.  These can include the belief that it can harm tissue or push bacteria into the pocket. There is no evidence to support these opinions. In fact, the reverse is often true. Studies have shown that the Water Flosser can reduce bacteria and pocket depth.

What's changed over the last 10 years or so is our understanding that the clinical decision making should be guided by the evidence. Dental professionals can be confident that when they recommend the Water Flosser, there is a significant body of scientific evidence demonstrating that is it undeniably safe and effective.

Improvements in scientific technology

The scanning electron microscope expands our view

For many years, conventional wisdom on the Water Flosser was that it did not remove plaque. This was based on an inconsistency in the research; some studies did show reduction of plaque while others did not. It was not until studies that compared the Water Flosser to string floss began to demonstrate plaque removal that this outcome was evaluated using the best technology available.

A study at the USC Center for Dental Biofilm utilized the scanning electron microscope (SEM) to evaluate plaque biofilm removal post water flossing. The SEM is able to detect information about the topography and composition of a surface and can achieve resolution better than one nanometer. By using the SEM to evaluate the topography and composition of the tooth surface, the investigators found that a 3 second application of pulsating water at 70 psi was capable of removing 99.9% of plaque from the treated area.

Many have learned that swishing with water is not effective for removing plaque. What makes the Water Flosser different is that the effect of pulsation and pressure created hydraulic forces that were capable of significantly removing plaque biofilm.

This short video provides a synopsis of this study.

Oral Health Study from USC finds Waterpik® Dental Water Jet Removes Plaque Biofilm
Oral Health Study from USC finds Water Flosser Removes Plaque Biofilm

New and improved product features

An on/off button on the handle helps eliminate the 'm' word

The Waterpik® Aquarius™ Professional Water Flosser is the newest and best Water Flosser from Water Pik, Inc. It is now available in teal, black, pink, and white (see photo below), has a satin chrome finish and upgraded features.

Upgraded features include:

  • On/off water control on handle (photo on right)
  • LED information panel
  • Pulse-modulation technology; Floss for maximum plaque removal and Hydro-Pulse Massage for enhanced gingival stimulation
  • One minute timer and 30 second pacer
  • 7 Water Flosser tips including the Orthodontic Tip, the Plaque Seeker® Tip and the Pik Pocket™ Tip and a tip storage case
Learn more about the Waterpik® Aquarius™ Professional Water Flosser