Waterpik® Agrees with AP Report that there is Little Proof that String Flossing is Effective

Water flossing is the clinically proven more effective way to floss


Waterpik®, a leader in innovative personal oral healthcare products for over 50 years, wants Americans to understand that the AP’s announcement earlier that there is very little scientific evidence that flossing daily prevents gum disease and cavities, only applies to string flossing, not water flossing.

Ms. Deborah M. Lyle, RDH, BS, MS, Director of Professional & Clinical Affairs Waterpik®, said, “The Associated Press just confirmed what I have known for years – the unequivocal recommendation of string floss is not scientifically based. However, the announcement did not say you do not have to clean between your teeth. As a clinician and researcher, I have found that a water flosser was better for my patients than string floss and they have been proven more effective in several clinical studies.”

Ms. Lyle said she has been frustrated for years that dental professional associations continue to tout the benefits of string flossing when the science does not support its general use. “It’s clear that people need an easier and more effective alternative to clean between their teeth. There is science to support the use of a Waterpik® Water Flosser and it has been proven more effective than string floss.”

“Unlike string floss, Waterpik® Water Flosser has been clinically shown to remove plaque and reduce bleeding gums. The first study was conducted at the University of Nebraska in 2004 and showed up to 52 per cent better improvement in gum health. To date, there are a total of five clinical studies that compare the water flosser to string floss, consistently demonstrating that water flossing is more effective than string flossing for better oral health.  Water flossing has also been shown to be up to three times as effective for removing plaque around braces and twice as effective for improving gum health around implants, compared to string floss.”

“The important thing that people have to realise is that cleaning between your teeth and below the gum line is critical. That is where bacteria can hide undisturbed, continue to grow and cause gum disease. The good news is that if you dislike using string floss, you have other alternatives that work.”

Ms. Carol A Jahn, RDH, MS, Director of Professional Relations & Education, Waterpik®, added, “What’s really important is that people shouldn’t feel guilty about not using string floss. As a dental hygienist, I have seen first-hand that most people struggle to use string floss correctly. When you are not able to master the technique, you are not going to get results. What I would like people to know is that you still need to clean between your teeth and there is better way. Water flossing is easy to do, only takes a minute a day and, in clinical studies, has consistently been shown to provide significantly better improvements in gum health over string floss. I’m a hygienist and water flossing is the way I choose to clean between my teeth.”