Waterpik®, Ft Collins, Colo, has released a statement in response to an Associated Press report that there is very little scientific evidence that daily flossing prevents periodontal disease and interproximal caries. The company’s statement points out that the report only applies to string flossing, not water flossing.
“The Associated Press report that flossing is not scientifically proven to be effective has created discomfort and distress in the dental community. As a dental hygienist, I understand this sentiment. Flossing is important. What has to be considered is whether string floss is the best way to clean interdentally and subgingivally,” said Deborah M. Lyle, RDH, BS, MS, director of professional and clinical affairs at Waterpik.
Carol A. Jahn, RDH, MS, director of professional relations and education at Waterpik, added, “What’s really important is that we, as dental professionals, no longer need to feel guilty when we don’t recommend string floss. As a dental hygienist, I have seen that string floss works; but not as often as I would like. More often, people struggle to use string floss correctly, and their oral health doesn’t improve leaving everyone frustrated. The message that we want to make sure gets delivered is not that you don’t have to floss but that everyone needs to clean between their teeth and below the gumline, and there is a 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.”
According to the company, results from published clinical trials show the Waterpik® Water Flosser was up to 50% more effective for reducing gingival inflammation, up to two times as effective for reducing bleeding around implants, and up to three times as effective for reducing plaque around fixed orthodontic appliances versus string floss.