Garmaine Staff asked 5 years ago

Is water flossing more efficient than string flossing to remove plaques from tooth surfaces?

I present below what I have found so far. In the following:

  • Waterpik is a manufacturer of water flossing devices. By extension, Waterpik = a type of water flossing device.
  • oral irrigator = water flossing device

{1} (published in 2013) says:

RESULTS: The WF group had a 74.4% reduction in whole mouth plaque and 81.6% for approximal plaque compared to 57.7% and 63.4% for the SF group, respectively (p < 0.001). The differences between the groups showed the water flosser was 29% more effective than string floss for overall plaque removal and approximal surfaces specifically (p < 0.001). The WF group was more effective in removing plaque from the marginal, lingual, and facial regions; 33%, 39%, and 24%, respectively (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: The Waterpik Water Flosser and manual toothbrush is significantly more effective than a manual brush and string floss in removing plaque from tooth surfaces.

and {3} (published in 2009) says:

RESULTS: The standard jet tip removed 99.99% of the salivary (ex vivo) biofilm, and the orthodontic jet tip removed 99.84% of the salivary biofilm. Observation of the remaining four teeth by the naked eye indicated that the orthodontic jet tip removed significant amounts of calcified (in vivo) plaque biofilm. This was confirmed by SEM evaluations.

CONCLUSION: The Waterpik dental water jet (Water Pik, Inc, Fort Collins, CO) can remove both ex vivo and in vivo plaque biofilm significantly.

whereas (mirror) says, without citing any scientific study:

The downside: A Waterpik doesn’t remove plaque from teeth as well as floss. “Flossing scrapes off the sticky film of bacteria, while a Waterpic just rinses it,” Hayes explains. says (mirror) using a Waterpik isn't a substitute for flossing.

and {2} (published in 2008) says:

As an adjunct to brushing, the oral irrigator does not have a beneficial effect in reducing visible plaque. However, there is a positive trend in favour of oral irrigation improving gingival health over regular oral hygiene or toothbrushing only.

I wonder if there now exists a scientific consensus on the efficiency of water flossing compared to string flossing for removing plaques from tooth surfaces.