Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to the most commonly asked question. Click on a question to view the answer window.

How does the water flosser compare to flossing? View Answer

It’s an easier, more effective alternative to string floss; a study at the University of Nebraska found that patients who added a water flosser to either manual or power toothbrushing reduced bleeding, gingivitis and plaque as well as manual brushing and string flossing.

The water flosser was up to 93% more effective at reducing bleeding and up to 52% more effective at reducing gingivitis.

A Canadian Study showed that for adolescents with fixed orthodontic appliances, the Waterpik® Water Flosser with the new orthodontic tip was 3.8 times as effective as string flossing, and 5.8 times as effective as brushing alone in removing plaque.

The water flosser reduced bleeding by 84%; this was 26% better than string flossing.

Are you saying that my patients do not have to floss? View Answer

No. If your patients are doing an effective job with string floss, they should continue. But if you have patients who cannot do it effectively or won’t do it at all, the Waterpik® Water Flosser is an easier, more effective alternative.

Does the Waterpik® Water Flosser remove plaque? View Answer

Yes, a recent study with biofilm expert Bill Costerton showed the Waterpik® Water Flosser can effectively remove plaque biofilm. The study showed that a 3-second pulsating lavage with either the standard jet tip or orthodontic tip removed 99% of biofilm.

If my patient is using a power toothbrush, do they need a Waterpik® Water Flosser? View Answer

Yes, a patient using a power brush can still get oral health improvements from using our water flosser. A 2005 study at the University of Nebraska showed that significant improvements in oral health occurred with the addition of a water flosser, even for patients using a sonic toothbrush.

Do you have any studies on patients with orthodontic appliances? View Answer

Yes, we have a study that compared the Waterpik® Water Flosser to string flossing. The Waterpik® Water Flosser was far superior to string floss; it was easier to use and the teenagers loved it. A 2008 study showed that for adolescents with fixed orthodontic appliances, the Waterpik® Water Flosser with the new orthodontic tip was 3.8 times as effective than string flossing, and 5.8 times as effective as brushing alone in removing plaque. The water flosser reduced bleeding by 84%; this was 26% better than flossing.

Do you have any studies on patients with implants? View Answer

We are the only water flosser that has been tested on implants, and it was shown to be very effective and safe. A study at the University of Buffalo compared 0.06% strength CXH irrigation delivered with the Pik Pocket™ tip to full strength rinsing with 0.12% CHX on implants. Irrigation with the water flosser was 87% more effective at reducing bleeding than rinsing.

Do you have any studies on patients with periodontal disease? View Answer

The Waterpik® Water Flosser can help periodontal maintenance patients remain stable by controlling bleeding and gingivitis. Daily use of the water flosser with plain water reduced bleeding on probing by 50% over a six-month time frame in a study of periodontal maintenance patients. Another study found that periodontal maintenance patients who added a water flosser to their daily routines reduced bleeding and gingivitis significantly more than those who used traditional methods.

Do you have any studies on patients with diabetes? View Answer

The Waterpik® Water Flosser is one of the only self-care products that has been tested on people with diabetes, and the findings showed it is excellent for helping patients with diabetes control gingivitis and bleeding. A study at the University of Buffalo found that patients with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes who added the Waterpik® Water Flosser to their home-care routine had a 44% better reduction in bleeding over those who did not use a water flosser.

Is a magnetized dental water jet better? View Answer

No, a magnetized product has not been proven better than a Waterpik® Water Flosser.

The Waterpik® Brand is supported by more than 50 studies demonstrating superior oral health outcomes for periodontal maintenance or for people with gingivitis, orthodontic appliances, implants, crown, bridges and diabetes as well as those unable or unwilling to use string floss; far more than any magnetized product.

Only two studies have been conducted on the magnetized product; both compared the unit to their own branded product without the magnet. The studies found better reductions in calculus and plaque on anterior teeth only. However, the index used had never been used before, so its validity has been questioned by the dental research community. The Waterpik® Water Flosser has been shown to reduce calculus by 50% as well as reduce supragingival and subgingival plaque biofilm.

Why is pulsation important? View Answer

Pulsation is key because it provides for a compression and decompression phase that allows bacteria and debris to clear from the pocket. With pulsation, you can also control pressure. Studies have found that a pulsating device can reach three times deeper than a non-pulsating device.

How does your product compare to units that attach to the shower? View Answer

Products that attach to the shower do not pulsate. Pulsation, a feature of every Waterpik® Water Flosser, is key because it provides for a compression and decompression phase, allowing bacteria and debris to clear from the pocket. With pulsation, you can also control pressure. Studies have found that a pulsating device can reach three times deeper than a non-pulsating device.

The Waterpik® Brand is supported by more than 50 studies demonstrating superior oral health outcomes for periodontal maintenance or for people with gingivitis, orthodontic appliances, implants, crown, bridges and diabetes as well as those unable or unwilling to use string floss; far more than any magnetized product.

Which tip should I recommend? View Answer

Three of our tips have been tested in clinical trials and found to help patients improve oral health. The jet tip is good for generalized full-mouth cleaning for a patient with most types of oral health conditions. The orthodontic tip features a small tapered brush for simultaneous cleaning and irrigating. It was designed to enhance plaque removal around orthodontic appliances, but it can help any type of patient. The Pik Pocket™ tip is a soft conical tip designed for deep pockets, furcations or any difficult to access area. It can be used in conjunction with either the jet tip or orthodontic tip.

How deep will irrigation penetrate into a pocket? View Answer

The Waterpik® Water Flosser can reach much deeper into periodontal pockets than either string floss, toothbrushes or other devices. Depth of penetration studies have shown that the standard jet tip can reach about 50% of the depth of a pocket. The Pik Pocket™ tip can reach 90% of the depth of a 6mm pocket. Studies looking at disruption of bacteria have shown the irrigation removed bacteria up to 6mm.

What solutions can be used in a water flosser? View Answer

Plain water is proven to work extremely well, but our units will accommodate most agents. A small amount of mouthwash can be added to the water for flavoring and/or to enhance compliance. Any solution used should be at room temperature for greatest comfort. Chlorhexidine and Listerine are two that have been clinically tested in the Waterpik® Water Flosser. Chlorhexidine can be diluted in varying strengths. When a patient uses an agent like these, they will need to flush out the unit with water after each use. Failing to do so may shorten the life of the unit.

Where can my patients find your product? View Answer

Waterpik® Water Flossers are sold by all major drugstores and mass merchandise chains, including Target, Walmart and Kmart. Most Costco stores also stock a Waterpik® model.

What support materials do you have for recommending the product? View Answer

We offer patient education brochures that come with a $5 dollar rebate. We also have a DVD designed for patients that includes several instructional clips and covers the benefits of using a water flosser.

What are the advantages of dispensing the water flosser directly to patients? View Answer

When you educate your patients and supply them with equipment, you’ll know they got the right product and that they will use it correctly. You promote credibility in your recommendation and save your patient the time it takes to shop for and purchase a product.

Should I be concerned about bacteremia? View Answer

A new guideline update from the American Heart Association states “Maintenance of optimal oral hygiene may reduce the incidence of bacteremia from daily activities and is more important than prophylactic antibiotics for a dental procedure to reduce the risk of infective endocarditis.”

Before recommending a water flosser or any device, it is imperative that practitioners consider both the patient’s overall medical and oral health status. A physician consultation may be advisable in order to assess the patient’s overall risk and execute the best clinical judgment.

What setting should the unit be used on? View Answer

The Waterpik® Water Flosser is safe to use on any setting. First-time users should always start out at the lowest pressure setting then gently increase the pressure over time to at least a medium setting.

Is there a danger in cross-contamination with the tips in the storage lid? View Answer

To those concerned about it, the tips can be cleaned with soap and water prior to storage or they can be placed in the top rack of the dishwasher. The tip storage unit can also be placed in the top rack of the dishwasher.

Does the Cordless model work as well as the countertop model? View Answer

All Waterpik® models deliver the clinically proven benefits we state on our packaging. However, our countertop models will deliver a much greater range of water pressure—from extra gentle to maximum cleaning. Experienced Waterpik® users tend to like the higher pressure settings, and those with special needs or sensitive areas usually prefer the lower pressure settings, which are offered by our countertop models.

Why should I recommend the Waterpik® brand? View Answer

Waterpik® Water Flossers are backed by more than 50 studies conducted in 25 university and independent research facilities. We have the most experience and expertise in water jet technology—more than any other brand. Our products have been tested on thousands of patients and have improved the oral health of people in periodontal maintenance and with gingivitis, orthodontic appliances, crowns, bridges, implants and diabetes as well as those unable or unwilling to use string floss. They are easy to use and affordable.

Is there any research on your product? View Answer

Waterpik® Water Flossers are backed by more than clinical 50 studies conducted in 25 university and independent research facilities. They have been tested on thousands of patients and have improved the oral health of people in periodontal maintenance and with gingivitis, orthodontic appliances, crowns, bridges, implants and diabetes as well as those unable or unwilling to use string floss. They are easy to use and affordable. Several research study abstracts are available on the following clinical research page.

Are the studies you cite independent studies? View Answer

Most Waterpik® studies are conducted by independent research organizations and universities; however, Water Pik, Inc. does sponsor most of this research. The studies are published in peer-reviewed journals and full disclosure of sponsorship is provided.