Dental Professionals - Frequently Asked Questions


All patients can benefit from using the Waterpik® Water Flosser. Children can use it (with supervision), and it is great for older patients who have dexterity issues.

The Waterpik® Water Flosser is ideal for people with implants, crowns, bridges, orthodontics and for those with diabetes or who are in periodontal maintenance.

  • No studies have shown that flossing reduces caries in adults. Since the Water Flosser is more effective for plaque removal and for gingivitis reduction, it should also be more effective for caries prevention.
  • The Water Flosser is ideal for those patients who are not flossing effectively or not flossing at all.

We recommend using the Water Flosser prior to toothbrushing:

  • Removing food and debris enhances the effectiveness of both toothbrushing and toothpaste
  • Instructing patients to use it first improves compliance
  • Seeing the food and debris that the Water Flosser removes can help motivate your patient to Water Floss daily

The Water Flosser has been clinically proven safe on all settings. New users should start at the lowest pressure setting, then gently increase the pressure to the highest setting that feels comfortable.

We recommend using warm water. Water alone is proven highly effective in numerous clinical studies. However, patients can use certain agents with the Water Flosser:

  • Mouthwash - A small amount of mouthwash can be added to the water for flavoring and/or to enhance compliance.
  • Chlorhexidine and Listerine - Have been clinically tested for use with the Water Flosser. CHX can be diluted in varying strengths.

Any time an agent other than water is used in the Water Flosser, flush the unit by running plain water through it afterwards.

We do not recommend pure essential oils such as tea tree oil; it destroys the product. (Formulated products that are commonly available, such as Listerine, contain essential oils in small amounts and won't harm the product).

  • Replace the Classic Jet Tip and Tongue Cleaner every 6 months. (Mineral deposits can collect and reduce performance over time.)
  • Replace the Plaque Seeker™ Tip, Orthodontic Tip, Pik Pocket™ Tip, and Toothbrush Tip very 3 months. (Bristles splay and lose efficacy over time, just like a toothbrush.)

To order replacement tips, you and your patients can use our Tips & Accessories selector:

Tips & Accessories Selector

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

  • The Water Flosser has been shown to reduce bacteria up to 6 mm; deeper than string floss.
  • The Pik Pocket™ Tip is very gentle, but it can reach even deeper for patients with deep periodontal pockets. (Use the Pik Pocket™ Tip only on the lowest pressure setting.)

The Waterpik® Water Flosser has been clinically proven to be safe for patients to use at all of the unit's pressure settings. No clinical evidence suggests that bacteria is driven into the pocket. In fact, the Water Flosser is highly effective at removing debris and bacteria from the pocket.

Yes, patients who used the Complete Care (combination of the Waterpik® Sensonic® Professional Plus Sonic Toothbrush and the Water Flosser), had a 70% better reduction in bleeding than those who used a Sonicare® Flexcare alone. Thus, adding a Water Flosser to a high-end power toothbrush will yield a significant improvement in oral health.

All Waterpik® models deliver the clinically proven benefits. However, our countertop models 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.

Clinical Research & Dental Issues

The Waterpik® Water Flosser has been compared to string floss in 5 different studies. The findings show that the Water Flosser is up to:

A study conducted at Tufts University showed that the Water Flosser with the Plaque Seeker™ Tip was 145% more effective than string floss for reducing bleeding around dental implants.

Yes, a study at USC found it removed up to 99.9% of plaque from treated areas with a 3-second application. And in a single-use plaque removal study, the Water Flosser group had up to 29% better plaque removal than the traditional brushing and flossing group.

Yes, patients with orthodontic appliances who used the Water Flosser with the Orthodontic Tip had up to 3x as much plaque removal as people who used floss with a floss threader and up to 5x as much as a manual toothbrush only. They also experienced up to a 26% better reduction in bleeding.

Yes. In a clinical study among patients with diabetes, the Water Flosser was shown to provide up to a 44% better reduction on bleeding and up to a 41% better reduction in gingivitis compared to routine oral hygiene.

All studies we cite are conducted by independent research organizations and universities. They are published in peer-reviewed journals.

Like most major oral care companies, Water Pik, Inc. does fund clinical research. When this is the case, it is indicated in the final published report.