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The WaterpikTM Water Flosser: Significantly More Effective than Interdental Brushes for Removing Plaque

Comparison of water flosser and interdental brush on plaque removal: a single-use pilot study

Lyle DM, Goyal CR, Qaqish JG, Schuller R. J Clin Dent 2016; 27(1): 23-26.


To determine the efficacy of a WaterpikTM water flosser vs. interdental brushes for plaque removal.


Twenty-eight subjects completed this one-time use study. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of two groups: WaterpikTM water flosser (WF) plus manual tooth brushing or interdental brushes (IDB) plus manual tooth brushing. Plaque scores were obtained using the Rustogi Modification of the Navy Plaque Index (RMNPI). Subjects were instructed on the use of their interdental product. Post-cleaning scores were obtained after a supervised brushing and use of the interdental device. Scores were recorded for whole mouth, marginal, approximal, facial, and lingual regions for each subject.


The WaterpikTM water flosser group was significantly more effective than the IDB group for removing plaque from all areas measured. Specifically, the WF was 18% more effective for whole mouth and marginal areas, 20% for approximal areas, 11% for facial areas, and 29% for lingual areas.


The WaterpikTM water flosser and manual toothbrush removes significantly more plaque from tooth surfaces than interdental brushes and a manual toothbrush after a single use.