Is water or air better for flossing?

The Waterpik Water Flosser (Water Pik) is more effective than the Sonicare AirFloss (Philips Electronics) at removing plaque and reducing gingivitis, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry (January 2012, Vol. 23, pp. 22-26).

During the four-week study, conducted by BioSci Research Canada, 82 subjects were given the Waterpik Water Flosser or Sonicare AirFloss, plus a manual toothbrush, to use as part of their daily oral care routine. Clinical results indicated that the Waterpik Water Flosser was 80% more effective than Sonicare AirFloss for overall gingivitis reduction and also 70% more effective for overall plaque removal, according to Water Pik.

"It's well known that toothbrushing needs to be accompanied by a form of flossing in order to clean interdentally and subgingivally, where plaque bacteria can quickly form, causing serious dental problems," said lead study researcher Naresh Sharma, BDS, DDS. "I found the results to be very useful due to the significant difference between the two groups."

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