The first oral irrigator was developed in the 1950s by Dr. C.D. Matteson, who patented the invention in 1955. Dr. Matteson's invention was designed to cleanse the teeth and gums after meals as an alternative to using hand syringes. It attached directly to a sink's faucet and featured a mechanical valve to control water pressure.
Later, in 1962, dentist Gerald Moyer and engineer John Mattingly invented Waterpik. The Waterpik featured a built in reservoir and motor to pump water out of a tip at rhythmic pulses. The Waterpik is now sold by Water Pik, Inc.
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