Oral irrigator

An oral irrigator (also called a dental water jet, water flosser or, by the brand name of the best-known such device, water pik) is a home dental care device which uses a stream of high-pressure pulsating water intended to remove plaque and food debris between teeth and below the gum line. Regular use of an oral irrigator is believed to improve gingival health. The devices may also provide easier cleaning for braces and dental implants.[1]

An oral irrigator


The first oral irrigator was developed in 1962 by dentist Gerald Moyer and engineer John Mattingly.[2]

Since then, oral irrigators have been evaluated in a number of scientific studies and have been tested for periodontal maintenance,[3] and those with gingivitis, diabetes, orthodontic appliances, and tooth replacements such as crowns, and implants.[4]

A 2008 meta-analysis of whether oral irrigation is beneficial as an adjunct to tooth brushing concluded that "the oral irrigator does not have a beneficial effect in reducing visible plaque", but suggests it may be beneficial to gingival health in addition to regular tooth brushing.[5][6] A study at the University of Southern California found that a 3-second treatment of pulsating water (1,200 pulses per minute) at medium pressure (70 psi) removed 99.9% of plaque biofilm from treated areas.[7][8]

Other usesEdit

Oral irrigators have also been used to remove tonsil stones ("tonsiloliths") in those subject to them.[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Ng, Ethan; Lim, Lum Peng (2019-06-01). "An Overview of Different Interdental Cleaning Aids and Their Effectiveness". Dentistry Journal. 7 (2): 6. Oral Irrigators. doi:10.3390/dj7020056. ISSN 2304-6767. PMC 6630384. PMID 31159354.
  2. ^ Dulken, Stephen van (2004). American Inventions: A History of Curious, Extraordinary, and Just Plain Useful Patents. NYU Press. pp. 98, 99. ISBN 978-0-8147-8813-4.
  3. ^ Sharma, N; Lyle, D; Qaqish, J; Galustians, J; Schuller, R (2008). "Effect of a dental water jet with orthodontic tip on plaque and bleeding in adolescent patients with fixed orthodontic appliances". American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. 133 (4): 565–71, quiz 628.e1–2. doi:10.1016/j.ajodo.2007.12.008. PMID 18405821.
  4. ^ Jahn, CA (2010). "The dental water jet: A historical review of the literature". Journal of Dental Hygiene. 84 (3): 114–20. PMID 20579423.
  5. ^ Jin, Lijian (2009). "Is oral irrigation beneficial to gingival health as an adjunct to toothbrushing?". Evidence-Based Dentistry. 10 (2): 40–41. doi:10.1038/sj.ebd.6400644. ISSN 1462-0049. PMID 19561573.
  6. ^ Husseini, A; Slot, DE; Van der Weijden, GA (2008). "The efficacy of oral irrigation in addition to a toothbrush on plaque and the clinical parameters of periodontal inflammation: a systematic review". Int J Dent Hyg. 6 (4): 304–14. doi:10.1111/j.1601-5037.2008.00343.x. PMID 19138181. 
  7. ^ Gorur, A; Lyle, DM; Schaudinn, C; Costerton, JW (2009). "Biofilm removal with a dental water jet". Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry. 30 Spec No 1: 1–6. PMID 19385349.
  8. ^ "Benefits of water flossing". Oralglow.com. Archived from the original on 2017-12-29. Retrieved 2017-08-04.
  9. ^ Svoboda, Elizabeth (August 31, 2009). "In Tonsils, a Problem the Size of a Pea". The New York Times. Retrieved January 8, 2011.