Comparison of two power interdental cleaning devices on plaque removal

J Clin Dent. 2012;23(1):17-21.


Objective: The objective of this randomized, single-use, single-blind, two-group, parallel clinical trial was to evaluate the supragingival plaque removal efficacy of two power interdental devices combined with a manual toothbrush.

Methods: Eighty-two (82) subjects completed the study. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of two groups: Waterpik Water Flosser (WF) plus manual tooth brushing or Sonicare Air Floss (AF) plus manual tooth brushing. Pre-brushing and interdental cleaning scores were obtained using the Rustogi Modified Navy Plaque Index (RMNPI). Subjects were instructed on the use of the manual toothbrush and assigned an interdental product. Post-brushing and interdental cleaning scores were obtained after a supervised two-minute brushing and use of the interdental device. Scores were recorded for whole mouth, marginal, approximal, facial, and lingual regions for each subject.

Results: There were no differences in the pre-cleaning plaque scores for whole mouth, marginal, approximal, facial, or lingual regions. Both groups showed significant reductions in plaque from baseline for all regions. The WF group demonstrated significantly higher reductions as measured by the RMNPI compared to the AF for whole mouth (74.9% vs. 57.5%), marginal (58.6% vs. 36.7%), approximal (92.1% vs. 77.4%), facial (83.6% vs. 69.1%), and lingual (65.7% vs. 45.4%).

Conclusion: The use of the Waterpik Water Flosser removes significantly more plaque from tooth surfaces (whole mouth, marginal, approximal, facial, and lingual) than the Sonicare Air Floss when used with a manual toothbrush.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Air
  • Dental Devices, Home Care*
  • Dental Plaque / pathology
  • Dental Plaque / therapy*
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pressure
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Tooth / pathology
  • Toothbrushing / instrumentation*
  • Toothpastes / therapeutic use
  • Water


  • Toothpastes
  • Water