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J Clin Dent. 2016 Mar;27(1):23-26.

Comparison of Water Flosser and Interdental Brush on Plaque Removal: A Single-Use Pilot Study.

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Water Pik, Inc., Fort Collins, CO, USA.
All Sum Research Center, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.
Reinhard Schuller Consulting, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



The purpose of this randomized, single-use, single-blind, two-group, parallel pilot study was to compare the plaque removal ability of a water flosser and interdental brush when used in combination with a manual toothbrush.


Twenty-eight (28) subjects completed the study. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of two groups: Waterpik®Water Flosser (WF) plus manual tooth brushing or interdental brushes (IDB) plus manual tooth brushing. Pre-cleaning 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.


There were no differences between the groups for pre-cleaning plaque scores for whole mouth, marginal, approximal, facial, or lingual regions. Both groups showed significant reductions in plaque from baseline for all areas measured (p < 0.001). The WF 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 Waterpik Water Flosser and manual toothbrush removes significantly more plaque from tooth surfaces (whole mouth, marginal, approximal, facial, and lingual) than interdental brushes and a manual toothbrush after a single use.


Waterpik; approximal; binterproximal brush; biofilm; interdental; interdental brush; interproximal; plaque; water flosser

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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