The Complete Care 5.0 is the upgrade to Waterpik’s WP-900 2-in-1 water flosser and electric toothbrush kit. Dentists recommend that you need to floss in addition to regular brushing, so how much better is it if you use a water flosser and an electric toothbrush? You will get the best cleaning your mouth can get at home.
Waterpik Complete Care 5.0 Models
There are two models available: the WP-861W which is a white model with a blue colored water tank, and the WP-862W which is a black model with a clear water tank. Other than these differences in appearance, all other features and accessories are the same.
Essentially, you are choosing between a white or black model, and we recommend the white model because it seems to be more resistant to fingerprints, water marks, dust, and toothpaste splashes. If you prefer the dark model, then be prepared to clean it more often so that it can look spotless.
What’s Included with the Waterpik Complete Care 5.0
The first thing you’ll notice when unboxing is how little effort Waterpik has put into making sure everything is packed neat, tidy, and secure. Instead, it looks more like everything was thrown in without any regard to efficient use of space or protection.
Once everything has been taken out of the box, here is what you should have:
- Waterpik Complete Care 5.0 unit
- Water Flosser Tips – 2 Classic Jet Tips, 1 Orthodontic Tip, 1 Pik Pocket Tip, 1 Plaque Seeker Tip
- Flosser Tip Travel Case
- Triple Sonic electric toothbrush
- Replacement Brush head
- Electric Toothbrush Travel Case
- Instruction Manual
Overview of the Waterpik Complete Care 5.0 Water Flosser
Countertop water flossers are meant to be displayed to everyone who uses the washroom, and thankfully Waterpik has further refined their design and ended up with a sleeker, more elegant product. If you own the WP-900, then you will be shocked to see just how much space the upgraded Complete Care 5.0 will save you.
If you put them side by side, you’ll see the Complete Care 5.0 takes up half the countertop real estate as its predecessor. This was done by relocating the controls to the side of the unit, and removing the flosser tip storage that the WP-900 has.
On the top is the water tank, sans flosser tip storage. On both the long ends of the lid cover are a series of holes. These holes allow air to flow in and dry the reservoir underneath, even if the cover is on. The lid is hinged and lifting it up provides access to the tank below.
The water reservoir can hold up to 22oz of water, exactly 1oz less than its predecessor. It seems that Waterpik took a form over function approach with the design of the water tank. On initial viewing, it would seem that there are no measurement lines found anywhere.
You will have to remove the water tank to discover that the lines are there, hidden behind a white plastic section when docked into the base station. There are measurements for both metric and imperial.
Detaching the tank is not much of an issue, since you are most likely removing it to fill it with water anyways. If you prefer to use a pitcher to fill the reservoir with water, then you should use a pitcher with measurements on it or else you will have to remove the water tank.
If you look beneath the water tank, there is a valve. The valve is held tight by a spring, and this prevents water from leaking as you are filling it up and bringing it back to the main unit. Once placed back into the unit, the spring is pushed up, opening the valve and allowing water to flow into the pump
On the side of the Complete Care 5.0 are two dials which are the unit’s main controls. The top dial is the power dial, and the bottom one is the pressure dial.
Like all countertop flossers, you have much more control over the pressure settings than portable flossers. At the lowest setting the pressure is a relaxing 10 PSI. At its highest, the pressure is a thundering 100 PSI.
As with most of the Waterpik models we have tested, we are beginning to see a trend. Buttons, switches, or dials that only have two settings are often clunky or unresponsive. This applies to the Complete Care 5.0 as well. It just doesn’t feel that great to use. What’s more, Waterpik have already done a great job with their power switch on the Aquarius Professional, so why they reverted to their old ways is a mystery.
Fortunately, they did not make this mistake with the pressure dial. It is responsive and you can select from 10 different pressure settings with ease.
Looking at the rear, the only thing of note is the power cord and plug. It’s four feet in length which should be adequate to reach the electrical outlet in most bathrooms.
Below the Complete Care 5.0, you can see four small rubber feet. These create friction against your counter, which keeps it from sliding during normal use. If you pull hard enough, it will still drag. Unlike other Waterpik models, the Complete Care 5.0 doesn’t leave any dark skid marks which is a nice improvement to see.
You might have seen the shiny chrome trim that wraps around the outside of the Complete Care 5.0. Though it looks fantastic when brand new, it won’t stay this pretty for long. The reason is that just about anything will blemish it almost immediately. Finger prints, water marks, grime or smudges of any sort will stick out like a sore thumb.
Unless you clean this area daily, it will get dirty in no time. This is an example of Waterpik favoring aesthetics over functionality, and including this beautiful but impractical chrome strip just means more cleaning obligations from the owner.
At the front is the Waterpik handle, which sits loosely in its holster. This is what you will be using to clean your teeth. The water is pumped from the reservoir, into the handle and out through the flosser tip.
On the handle is an on/off switch, which lets the water flow out or cuts it off. This is an upgrade to previous models, which required you to constantly hold down a button to stop the water flow. Do not get this confused with turning off the unit. You will still have to do that using the power dial on the base of the Complete Care 5.0, above the pressure dial.
The button on the handle does not slide up or down easily, making it uncomfortable to use. This is quite mind-boggling since Waterpik’s Aquarius model already has ergonomic and responsive buttons, so how did they mess this one up?
Moving on, the handle is connected to the base of the Complete Care 5.0 via a coiled water hose. It has a maximum stretch length of two feet, so you will most likely be operating it within the 1-2 feet range. The pipe will curl itself back into its original loop when you put the handle back in the holder.
Waterpik Complete Care 5.0 Triple Sonic Toothbrush
The inclusion of the Triple Sonic electric toothbrush is why this product is called the complete care. You get a flossing unit and a toothbrush to handle all of your oral care needs.
If you’ve read our review of Waterpik’s older complete care model, then you probably know that we loved the toothbrush that came with it, the Sensonic Professional Plus.
So imagine our surprise when we tested the Triple Sonic electric toothbrush and realized that it was worse than its predecessor. It clearly shows that Waterpik is putting consumers second by packaging an inferior product with a water flosser, calling it the “complete” care and charging a premium.
The Sensonic Professional Plus makes the Triple Sonic feel like a cheap child’s toy. You will not find the rubber grip and ergonomic shape that made the previous model such a joy to use.
If you were to remove the brush head, you’ll discover yet another shortcoming. The shaft that attaches the brush head to the body is made from plastic. In our experience, all models we’ve reviewed that had shoddy reliability also had plastic shafts. If you look to the leaders of the electric toothbrush market, you’ll notice that Phillips Sonicare and Oral-B products all use metal shafts.
Even the selection of brush heads is lackluster, or rather non-existent in this case. The Sensonic Professional Plus has three: a regular one, a smaller one, and an orthodontic brush head. The Triple Sonic only has one brush head, and it feels cheap and flimsy.
At this point, we were not even surprised when we discovered that the brush heads are interchangeable with generic, cheap Chinese toothbrushes. It seems like they just took a shortcut and incorporated an already available design into their product.
The back of the brush head has a tongue cleaner, however it was not effective. If you want a tongue cleaner with this product, you would be better off buying a tongue cleaner tip for the water flosser.
The only area we saw some attempt at improvement in the Triple Sonic over its predecessor is found at the front of the unit. There is a second button below the power button and it lets you cycle through three brushing modes. They are 1) Clean, 2) Whiten, and 3) Massage.
Clean mode is the default mode. Whiten is supposed to whiten and polish your teeth, but we felt it was ineffective. The massage mode pulsates the head which changes the sensation you feel on your gums, but in terms of cleaning ability is also quite useless.
Since there is no option for people with sensitive gums, you can try using the “whiten” mode if you find the default mode too rough. The Triple Sonic will remember your last setting even after you turn it off, which is convenient since you don’t have to cycle through the modes after each use.
If you want to bring the Triple Sonic with you when you are travelling, the included travel case has also taken a hit in quality. The case is more like a tube with a cap. We found it unusually difficult to remove the cap, and if you are not careful you may send the toothbrush flinging across the room once you manage to yank it off. There is also no room to put any spare brush heads, so people who share this toothbrush will have to find another container to store additional brush heads.
Despite all of the negative points, this product is capable of removing plaque from your teeth with proper technique. However, it is still worse in nearly every regard compared to its predecessor.
Using the Waterpik Complete Care 5.0
Now that we’ve given it a brief overview, let’s actually put it to the test in normal, everyday use and see how it holds up.
Filling up the reservoir was straightforward; the valve mechanism kept the water from leaking out until the container was put securely back onto the main unit.
We made sure that water was flowing through the handle, selected the lowest pressure setting to start with, and turned the power dial. As soon as we did, the pump motor roared to life, and even at the lowest setting, it was quite a roar.
Most water flossers, especially countertop ones with powerful pump motors, are extremely loud. Thus, it is not recommended for use if there are people sleeping nearby.
Over time, we tried flossing at higher and higher pressure settings. There is a huge difference between the highest and lowest settings, which is why we always recommend using the lowest pressure setting to start and increasing it as you feel comfortable. The “ideal” setting varies from person to person, so some testing is required.
Like the Waterpik Aquarius and Waterpik Ultra, the Complete Care 5.0 is also capable of sending out water at a pressure of 100 PSI. If you are looking for other powerful water flossers, you can read our reviews of the Waterpik Aquarius and Waterpik Ultra.
On the highest pressure setting we emptied the reservoir in around 90 seconds. This may seem like too little time at first, but as your technique improves you will find it manageable. Using a lower pressure setting will also increase the amount of time you can floss before the water runs out.
Next, let’s talk about the Triple Sonic electric toothbrush. As you might have guessed, we didn’t like it. From our testing, we managed to use it eight times (two minutes each session, twice daily) before the battery completely died.
The Triple Sonic has a feature, the “Quad Timer”, which briefly stops the toothbrush after 30 seconds to remind you to clean another quadrant of your mouth. Once this happens four times (two minutes of brushing have elapsed), the toothbrush will shut itself off. This can be frustrating if you want to brush longer than two minutes, and also if you don’t want to be reminded every 30 seconds to clean another area of your mouth.
Holding the Triple Sonic also didn’t feel very nice. It does not have an ergonomic shape nor does it have rubber grips. These would have made it feel natural as well as secure in your hand. Instead, it feels cheap and if you get some toothpaste foam on it, it can feel slippery.
With that said, the Triple Sonic can still remove plaque from your teeth, and using it in combination with the water flosser does technically provide you with the “complete care” that the product advertises. However, it feels like Waterpik took a few steps backwards since their other 2-in-1 product was so good for its time, and people were looking for an upgrade.
Unfortunately, this is not a good product from Waterpik. This is made worse by the fact that their previous showing, the Complete Care WP-900, provided so much value for the money. The Complete Care 5.0, on other hand, feels like it cut corners wherever it could to save on manufacturing costs. In turn, the customer gets less, and the product feels cheaper.
Compared to the WP-900, Waterpik has since removed: a flosser tip holder, additional flosser tips, a great toothbrush, and a superior toothbrush case. The only real improvements to note is that the Complete Care 5.0 is slimmer, and thus takes up less countertop real estate. Is this enough to justify a purchase? Probably not at the price they are charging.
If only the Complete Care 5.0 was sold as a budget water flosser and toothbrush combo, and leave the WP-900 as their high end package, then perhaps we wouldn’t have been as critical of the quality of this package. Instead, what seems to have happened is that this was released as a cash grab, and so that they can sell their new WP-950 model for an additional $20.
For an inferior product at the $99 price point, we simply cannot recommend this product to anyone. However, if you can manage to buy it on sale, then perhaps it would be worth it then.