Water Flosser Review #7: The Original Waterpik

The Waterpik water flosser is probably the original waterjet device which came out many years ago in order to remove plaque and debris in between teeth and under the gum line. 

Back then they had no competition however now there are many dozens of water flossers to complete against it. So let’s have a look to tell to see how the original water flosser performs. Firstly let’s look at the price. 

The cost of this unit is £60 which is far less than what I was expecting because the original devices were very expensive and today’s prices would be around the £200 mark. 

It is the corded version that we tested here and uses mains electricity using a 2-pin plug. The unit then sits on your sink top while you use it in front of your bathroom mirror. The one good thing I like about the Waterpik is that it does not make lots and lots of fancy claims and avoids using fancy jargon. 

It uses a combination of water pressure and pulsations in order to loosen plaque and bacterial debris from your teeth and under the gum line. Waterpik says that it cleans below the gum line where regular flossing cannot reach however I do not feel this claim can be substantiated. 

In any case, even if it does clean substantially below the gum line, it certainly cannot remove substantial amounts of plaque or tartar on the surfaces of roots below the gum line. The only possible way to do this is to visit your dentist who can carry out a procedure called root surface debridement.

Even when the professional dentist carries out root surface debridement, it is a well-known fact that this procedure is not 100% guaranteed to remove all traces of plaque or tartar from roots of teeth let alone a handheld device for home use.

It comes with 7 tips and these are well designed especially for posterior teeth. There are 10 settings altogether in which to alter the water pressure and I would only recommend using the highest setting for any effectiveness. 

As mentioned before, water flossers do not have a substantial amount of good independent clinical research to show their effectiveness. I still maintain that the only proper way to remove plaque and food debris is by regular manual brushing and using floss or interdental brushes. This is because a plaque is a sticky film that forms on surfaces of teeth and must be physically removed.

This Waterpik has a high reservoir volume at 650ml which is larger than all of the ones reviewed.

It does come with a 2-year warranty and this is extremely important because in general, water flossing units do have a high breakdown rate simply because of the nature of the product. I contacted the Waterpik company several times and was able to get an appropriate and helpful response within a short amount of time.

If we take out the breakdowns, the Waterpik does have a high satisfaction rating amongst its users which is encouraging. 

In addition, it does take time to practice using it in front of the mirror and it is best used for isolated areas of the mouth rather than full mouth cleaning. These isolated areas could be a particular site where your dentist has told you to concentrate on or around a particular crown, bridge or implant. 

Even so, one should still try to use manual brushing and interdental cleaning using conventional means before going out to purchase a water flosser.

In terms of the overall rating compared to the other water flossers which we reviewed here, I would give this 8 out of 10.

8 star rating