The Truth About Water Flossers and Biofilm

One of the biggest questions about water flossers is “Do they really work?” Can oral irrigation reduce biofilm? How could you tell if it was really doing the job? If you’ve been around this topic for long, you know that the biggest enemy to dental health is biofilm. It fills our saliva, coats our teeth, and inhabits the spaces between our teeth. All the while, the bacteria in the biofilm constantly wear away at tooth enamel and damage gum tissues. Reducing biofilm is a constant battle, not just after sugary snack.

A group of researchers decided to find out how well a water flossers could reduce biofilm by studying how it would do on real teeth. Researchers obtained eight extracted teeth from a patient who had dental problems so advanced that several teeth had to be removed. They also made a culture of biofilm from saliva. They divided the teeth into thin slices so that they could study the results under an electron microscope and dipped them for four days in the biofilm from the saliva. For the test, they used a WaterPik water flosser and tried to of the tips – the classic tip and the orthodontic tip.

The starting picture under the electron microscope shows that the biofilm completely coated the teeth. You couldn’t even see any of the tooth surface below the biofilm in the before picture – that’s how extensive it was. Just looking at the before picture made me want to brush my teeth! It looked more like a carpet than anything I would want in my mouth.


Tooth Covered with Biofilm

The before picture of the tooth slice covered with biofilm is shocking and disgusting!

Then, they blasted the teeth using the WaterPik for just three seconds, which seems like a short amount of time. What they found was absolutely amazing and should be no surprise to fans of water flossers out there. The WaterPik got rid of over 99% of the biofilm so that you couldn’t even see that it had been there! The type of tip used didn’t matter much, it seemed like the pulsing action of the water was what did the trick.  Even more interesting, was when you could see that on some of the tooth slices, it looks like the researchers missed a few spots.  You could see a stark difference between the treated areas that had no visible biofilm and a few spots of the grossest looking junk still stuck to the tooth.


Biofilm reduced by 99.99% using a water flosser

Biofilm removed from a tooth using a Waterpik classic tip for 3 seconds.

Finding this research made me absolutely convinced that I’m on the right track by incorporating oral irrigation into my dental health routine – and motivated me to continue. Even before reading the research, I already felt a cleaner feeling in my mouth that made it all worth it. Seeing the stunning before and after pictures in this study showing how much biofilm was removed from the teeth convinces me that water flossing is definitely worth the extra few minutes of my time!

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JetPik Power Floss System JP200 Elite

A routine of water flossing followed by string floss can be time consuming.  Why not do both at once?  JetPik’s newest answer to this dilemma is the Triple-Action Jetpik Power Floss System JP200 Elite.  According to the makers of Jetpik, their system may be twice as effective as water flossing alone!

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For this Jetpik review, we will examine several items: features and specs, intended users, health benefits, standout qualities, and customer feedback.


What are the Jetpik Power Floss System Specifications and Features?

Twice as effective than a regular oral irrigator. The Jetpik System is the easy, more effective and time saving way to floss and brush teeth.
Enjoy healthier gums and cleaner teeth in 7 days or receive a full refund.
Clinically proven to remove up to 99% of plaque from treated areas 240% more effectively.  The “Go With Water” design for flossing makes the dental floss travel through or around any dental work.
An innovative combination of pressured pulsating water with pulsating dental floss and a Sonic toothbrush cleans deeper and faster between teeth, below the gum line and on all surfaces of teeth.
Using USB inducting charger, this unit can work all around the world from 100 to 240 V AC

AC Adapter range: 100 to 240V AC (Worldwide)
AC Adapter output: 5V, 1000mA minimum USB connector
Charging Technology: Induction
Irrigator pressure range: 30 to 70 PSI adjustable
Irrigator jet frequency: 20 to 25 pulse per second
Waterproof rating: IPX7

1 Combination Electric Toothbrush / Power Flosser
1 Charging Base with AC Adapter
2 Brush Heads (color coded)
3 Nozzles (color coded)
1 Package of Floss Capsules (10)
1 Water Supply Tube
1 Tongue Cleaner
1 Jetpik Cup
1 Travel Case
1 Quick Start Guide (176mm x 105mm x 46mm or 6.93″ x 4.13″ x 1.81″)

The main benefits are the all-in-one approach of this water flosser.  The thing that sets the Jetpik Power Floss system unique is its combination of so many features in such a compact, travel-ready package.

Who is the Jetpik Power Floss Water Flosser System intended for?

The Jetpik is for everyone.  It is especially designed for those who want a compact all-in-one travel-friendly water flossing system.  The other big feature is the fact that it goes beyond normal water flossers by including a power dental flosser within the stream of the water flosser.  The dental floss cycles in and out of the water flosser tip within the water stream to get in between teeth and behind dental appliances.  The Jetpik JP200 Elite becomes a complete dental care system with the addition of a sonic toothbrush and tongue scraper.

What are the health benefits of the Jetpik Elite Power Floss System?

Most oral irrigators don’t include this feature, but the Jetpik adds dental floss to the water flosser stream.  The Jetpik accomplishes this by inserting a floss cartridge into the bottom of the water flosser tip.  When you’re using the water flosser, the dental floss cartridge releases the floss (which seems to be similar to Glide-type floss).  If you look closely, you can see floss quickly pulsing out and back into the tip.  The intent of this flossing action is to directly, but gently, use friction to dislodge foreign material, remove biofilm, and flush away bacteria.  This includes cleaning below the gumline as well as between teeth.  According to manufacturer studies, the Jetpik is twice as effective as water flossing alone.  Jetpik also offers a guarantee: experience cleaner teeth in seven days or receive a full refund of the purchase price.

 What sets the Jetpik Elite Power Water Flosser Apart?

The Jetpik design is made for versatility and portability.  People who would be most likely to purchase the Jetpik will be those who want it all — an oral irrigator, a power flosser, a sonic toothbrush, and a tongue scraper, all in an innovative, travel-friendly package.   There aren’t many water flossers which can include so many features in a design that can fit in a handy travel case measuring less than 7 inches long.  Also, the engineers found an innovative solution to the small reservoir problem that plagues many portable water flossers.  They designed it with a tube that can attach to any glass you may encounter.  It’s entirely possible for you to put the glass under the faucet, turn the tap on to a slow trickle, and enjoy a completely uninterrupted water flossing experience!  The water reservoir included with the Jetpik reduces clutter by coiling the water tube in its base.

Along with everything else, you will receive three color coded flosser tips, ten flosser cartridges, and two toothbrush heads. Jetpik recommends that floss cartridges be replaced every other week.  To make this more convenient, they made available a one year supply of floss cartridges and toothbrush heads.

Another great option is the UV sanitizer.  Although it’s a small additional investment, it’s great knowing that your dental tools will be bacteria-free after 10 minutes of UV light.  At the time of the review, it is not available separately.  You can get it by purchasing the Jetpik Ultra Power Floss System.

How User-Friendly is the Jetpik Water Flosser?

The Jetpik is very easy to use.  Simply plug it in, fill the reservoir, and go.   When you’re ready to use the sonic toothbrush, simply press the release button at the top of the handle, pop out the water flosser tip, and insert the toothbrush head.  For the water flosser, there’s an pressure slider on the back of the handle which will adjust the water stream from 30-70 PSI.

According to the directions, the Jetpik JP200 Elite power toothbrush should have three settings which are selectable by pressing the power button to cycle through high, low, and high-low pulse modes.  However, we were only able to get the highest power setting to work.  Pressing the power button again simply turned the unit off.  We researched it and the manufacturer states that the instructions are in error, so it looks like there will only be one power mode going forward.  This feature would’ve been nice to have, especially for people new to power brushing who are not prepared for full strength vibrations to their teeth.

The newer version released in September 2015 includes: a 2 minutes timer function (the brush tip will generate a special 3 short pauses of the brush vibration to let the user know that 2 minutes brushing have elapsed) and the reservoir cup will include a lid so that all accessories can be secured inside.  We feel that a timer is essential, so this is a welcome addition to the system.

How do customers feel about the Jetpik Elite Power Floss System?

Most people simply rave about their Jetpik.  Although it’s new to the market, Amazon users rate it at above 4 stars out of 5.  There are a few complaints, but there doesn’t seem to be a clear pattern that indicates a problem.  Overall, most people give it a 5 out of 5.  As for this review, we would rate it as a 4 out of 5 stars.

The water flossing experience was satisfactory and quite vigorous compared to other water flossers we’ve reviewed.  The pressure settings did not seem to affect this feeling appreciably, so it could be the addition of the dental floss that we’re feeling.   The sonic toothbrush performed well for a combo unit.  For Sonicare Healthywhite veterans, the toothbrush felt like it was at a lower amplitude (the brushstrokes didn’t travel as far side to side).  However, you could definitely feel the vibrations working to clean your teeth.  Multiple sonic toothbrush settings were missed opportunities.  A timer was added in September 2015.

All-in-one, travel-ready designPulsating dental floss adds another layer of cleaning
Innovative reservoir design and accessories management
USB power cord and induction base provide versatility
Shared handle for power toothbrush, water flosser, and power flosser

No timer (updated to include timer in Sept 2015)
Only one power setting in sonic toothbrush mode
Consumable items may be a barrier for some customers

Overall, we consider the Jetpik system to be a worthwhile investment in your dental health, whether you go with the JP50 Elite without a sonic toothbrush, JP50 Ultra (with the UV sanitizer), JP200 Elite, or the JP200 Ultra (with the UV sanitizer).

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What is a water flosser?

Alright, so we have given you a number of in depth reviews and our picks for the best water flossers out there, but if you’re just starting out and have never heard of water flossers or oral irrigators before, here’s where we get a bit historical and scholarly on you!

An oral irrigator, commonly referred to as a water flosser, dental water jet or water pick, is a device that removes bacteria causing plaque, plaque film and food residue from below the gum line and between the teeth, using a stream of water under pressure, usually pulsating. A typical water flosser consists of a handle with interchangeable tips from which the water comes out and it is attached to the main unit by a hose. The basic components of the main unit are the water reservoir and the motor pump that drives the water from the reservoir to the tip through the hose.

what is a water flosser

Water flossers are a great way to keep your mouth and teeth healthy, clean, and fresh!

The first oral irrigator devised as a home care water flossing product, was introduced in 1962, by two Fort Collins CO employees, an engineer and a dentist. The first Waterpik was then released in the market. Besides some adjustments made to reduce the noise of the motor pump, not many changes have been done to the original design. Early studies on the efficacy of oral irrigation at home yielded rather confusing results. Although gingivitis reduction by this new flossing method was indisputable, Waterpik showed little efficiency in removing plaque. As a consequence, the device did not gain the expected recognition and it was simply reserved for patients wearing braces or having other tooth positioning issues.

In the past few years however, there has been an increasing interest in daily oral irrigation at home. This led to the conduction of more than 50 scientific studies evaluating the effectiveness of current irrigation devices.

In accordance with original studies, evidence showed that daily use of water flossers is extremely helpful, much more than dental floss, in diminishing gingivitis and bleeding (particularly the top ranked model, the Waterpik Aquarius). At the same time, it was shown that irrigation is as effective in reducing plaque as dental floss after all. Test subjects included regular users, as well as orthodontic patients, patients with gingivitis, implants, crowns, etc.

A huge concern was the possibility of the pulsating water pushing the bacteria into the blood stream (bacteremia). This can be potentially dangerous, as it can cause an infection to major organs. Research showed no correlation between oral irrigation and bacteremia, at least no greater than flossing or toothbrushing. On the contrary, as home oral irrigation devices improve the health of the gums, the gums become tougher and are less prone to bleeding. As a result, it is more difficult for bacteria to be inserted into the blood stream. Furthermore, the use of antimicrobial agents diluted in the water of the reservoir has been found to enhance the outcome of the entire process.

In summation, a literature review on domestic oral irrigation products reveals a whole new way of flossing. Contemporary home units offer plaque and debris removal to the same degree, if not more, as traditional interdental cleaning practices like regular flossing, without the risk of damaging one’s gums. Quite the opposite, research suggests. A water flosser will gently clean under the gum line without scarring the tissue, without bleeding, while at the same time prevents gingivitis.

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Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser Review

The Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser is our former top pick for the #1 best water flosser. It really is hard to go wrong with this unit. (The only reason we’ve changed our minds it because Waterpik has UPDATED it and made it into the amazingly high quality, #1 best selling Aquariussee our review here!)

We were shocked to see the nearly 5,000 reviews on Amazon from users of the Waterpik, and even more surprised to see that even with all of those people, it still has a very high 4.4 out of 5 star rating. We have found that Amazon ratings are a very good way to measure the quality of a product, and over 3,000 perfect ratings simply can’t be wrong!

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So, other than being one of the top, best selling flosser you can buy, it is the only one that can legitimately claim to be 50% more effective at improving gum health than plain old dental floss. They have commissioned studies to be able to make that claim, and you can tell after using the unit just how good it is, because you’ll come away with a totally refreshed feeling in your mouth that brushing, flossing, and even mouthwash can’t deliver.

We liked that this comes with 6 different tips, which are all able to store easily on top of the water reservoir in a small lid compartment. They’re kept out of the way, but easy to access for whatever you need.

The tips included in this package are:

  • Classic Jet Tip (x2) – Great for general use, will work for most people’s needs
  • Toothbrush Tip – General use, convenient for brushing and flossing simultaneously
  • Plaque Seeker Tip – For harder to reach places, great for implants, bridges, and crowns
  • Orthodontic Tip – Good for general use, but specializes in getting rid of plaque around braces
  • Pik Pocket Tip – Specialized for periodontal pockets and furcations, gets deep below gum line

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For maximum versatility, not only do you get a wide array of different tips, but the Waterpik Ultra also has 10 pressure settings, so no matter who you are or what your needs are, you should be able to find a set up that works for you. This is one of the best units there is when it comes to versatility and we are big fans of products that allow for quality use by the most amount of people. There’s more of a chance this will work for you, plus it’s great for households that have multiple people using the unit, all who have differing needs.

We really liked the fact that it has an easy to use pause button that allows you to stop the flow of water when you press it. This is good for not making a mess if you need to remove it from your mouth, or if you are changing from top teeth to bottom teeth. Solves that problem of extra water getting everywhere.

Another great feature is the nozzle swivel. Unlike other units where you have to move your hand and arm around to get in all the different places, with this Waterpik, you simply turn the nozzle head with your fingers on an easily-maneuverable swivel. It’s much easier to use than some models and it’s just nice to have something that should be a common sense addition to any unit.

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The Ultra wins on all levels and as a water flosser in general, it really was the best until it was improved upon even more! We, along with most of its users, highly recommend it as your choice for oral irrigator. Top level, you simply will not find many better units than this to meet your needs and the needs of your family. The three year warranty should help, too.

The Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser is one of our top choices, and we hope you check it out for yourself.