Comparison of two power interdental cleaning devices on the reduction of gingivitis

J Clin Dent. 2012;23(1):22-6.


Objective: The objective of this study was to compare the reduction of gingivitis by two power interdental devices combined with a manual toothbrush.

Methods: Eighty-two subjects completed this randomized, four-week, single-blind, two-group parallel clinical 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. Subjects were provided written and verbal instructions for all products at the baseline visit and instructions were reviewed at the two-week (W2) visit. Data were evaluated for whole mouth, lingual, and facial areas for gingivitis and bleeding on probing. Plaque data were evaluated for whole mouth, lingual, facial, approximal, and marginal areas of the tooth. Gingivitis, bleeding on probing, and plaque were scored at baseline (BSL), two weeks, and four weeks (W4).

Results: Both groups showed significant reductions in gingivitis, bleeding on probing, and plaque from baseline for all regions and time points measured (p < 0.001). The WF group was significantly more effective than the AF group at reducing plaque and gingivitis at W2 and W4 for all areas measured (p <0.001). At W4, the WF group was 80% more effective than AF for whole mouth gingivitis reduction, and twice as effective for the lingual region. In terms of plaque removal at W4, the WF group was 70% more effective for whole mouth (50.9% vs. 30%), 60% for approximal area (76.7% vs. 48%), and 47% for facial (52.8% vs. 35.9%) surfaces. The WF was twice as effective for lingual areas and more than three times as effective for marginal areas vs. the AF group (p <0.001). Results for bleeding on probing showed the WF group was numerically better than the AF group for all areas and time points, with these improvements being statistically significance for whole mouth (p = 0.02) and facial area (p = 0.004) at W2, and for the facial area (p = 0.02) at W4.

Conclusion: The Waterpik Water Flosser is significantly more effective than Sonicare Air Floss for reducing gingivitis and plaque.

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 Index
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gingival Hemorrhage / pathology
  • Gingival Hemorrhage / prevention & control
  • Gingivitis / pathology
  • Gingivitis / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Periodontal Index
  • Pressure
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Tooth / pathology
  • Toothbrushing / instrumentation*
  • Water


  • Water