Dental Floss vs. Waterpik® Water Flosser: Myth vs. Fact


Dental floss. Is there any stronger love/hate relationship? Dental professionals love it – patients hate it. As a dental hygienist and life-long flosser, I’ve lived this relationship. I thought flossing was easy because it was easy for me. But it isn’t easy for most people.

Dental Floss: Challenging to Use

Dental floss only works for those who use it regularly and do it effectively enough to get a health benefit. How many people can:

  • Flex the string beneath the gumline
  • Move the string up and down with enough pressure for plaque removal
  • Avoid cutting into the tissue with too much tension

…all while not cutting off the circulation in their fingers? Not many!

Waterpik® Water Flossers: Supported by Science

Long before the first clinical study compared the Water Flosser to dental floss, many dental professionals told me that their patients preferred water flossing. And they were extremely happy with the results.

The science supports what professionals have been seeing chair-side for years. The Waterpik® Water Flosser is an easy and more effective alternative to string floss.

Clinical studies show that the Water Flosser is up to:

  • 51% more effective than dental floss for reducing gingivitis
  • 2X as effective as dental floss at reducing gingival bleeding
  • 29% more effective as dental floss at removing plaque

On a personal note, I haven’t used dental floss in more than three years. My oral health is excellent.

Change Hate to Floss to Love to Floss

If you keep recommending string floss and your patients keep "forgetting" to use it because they hate to floss, it’s time to recommend a product that is easy to use and backed by science.

Browse our selection of Waterpik® Countertop, Cordless, and Specialty models to find the Water Flosser that best fits your patients’ needs.

We also offer our Professional Series to dental offices. See our Dental Professional Site for more information.

About Carol Jahn

Carol Jahn has a BS in Dental Hygiene from the University of Iowa and an MS in Continuing Education and Training Management from the University of St. Francis. She has been a dental hygienist since 1982. Carol is a lifelong active member of the ADHA and past treasurer.

Carol has presented over 200 courses in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia. She has published more than 75 papers and contributed to 6 textbooks including the 10th and 11th editions of Clinical Periodontology.