There are specific problems or downsides of all water flossers, and then there are some particular problems with each type of water flosser. So first, I will go over the issues with all water flossers and then specifically Waterpik. General problems with water flossers are that they don’t remove as much plaque as regular dental floss, they are messy, usually have basins too small, and cause water pooling. This Waterpik review will cover these downsides.
In my demonstration of Waterpik's efficacy, you can see that they are not better than floss. In fact, from my demonstrations, you can see all water flossers are consistently and substantially worse than dental floss for plaque removal. Pictures in this section show that pink-stained plaque is left behind after using the Waterpik water flosser. For example, I focused the Waterpik water flosser on one spot left behind for an additional 10 to 15 seconds. As you can see in the images here, there was still a substantial amount of plaque left behind. Now, that was just the plaque that you can see. Farther between the teeth, there is likely more plaque left behind.
Another day I used a higher-powered water flosser
and did the same experiment. Unfortunately, the new water flosser left a pink stained plaque on the tooth as well. Then I focused on the plaque spot again for a few seconds, and it still left plaque behind, just like the Waterpik. Lastly, I took my favorite floss to the plaque spot, and the dental floss quickly removed the plaque. Thus the Waterpik is not as effective as dental floss.
My demonstrations show that Water picks are not better than floss. However, there are two official studies on the subject. The first shows that floss is slightly better
than water flossers when removing plaque. The other shows that Waterpiks are better than floss
at removing plaque. However, in my opinion, both are irrelevant due to the terrible manner in which they measure the data. Both studies were visual inspections of how much plaque is left behind. In both studies, they did not stain the plaque at all. Plaque is tough to see when it isn’t stained, and therefore the studies are likely inaccurate.
When I floss with the Waterpik, there's still pink plaque I pull out. You can compare the results with all my images in this section. Dental floss is more effective than using a water flosser. Waterpik water flossers only remove loose plaque but are ineffective at removing tightly bound plaque.