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Hands-on Gear Review

Waterpik Complete Care 5.0 Review

Waterpik Complete Care 5.0
Price:   $100 List | $78.23 at Amazon
Pros:  Comfortable, built-in water flosser
Cons:  Base is large, hard to clean the toothbrush handle
Bottom line:  The best for those that want the complete dental hygiene package
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Waterpik

Our Verdict

The Waterpik Complete Care 5.0 performed well throughout our testing, scoring above average in every rating metric. While not our top scoring model, this product was right in the middle of the pack with a score of 63 out of 100. The main factor that separates this product from the others is the integrated water flosser in the charging base, making this a product to consider if you are looking at purchasing one of those as well. This brush is exceptionally comfortable, and the integrated flosser is a fantastic way of reducing clutter.


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Score Product Price Our Take
68
$200
Editors' Choice Award
The best of the best for cleaning performance, if you don't mind the discomfort.
67
$68
Editors' Choice Award
The best brush for most people with a great battery life and all the features you need without any fluff
66
$120
Comfortable, Cleaned the best out of the side to side brushes, and offers plenty of adjustability
65
$130
Top Pick Award
Performed the best in our cleaning test and the app is great at creating habits, but can be a bit rough for those with sensitive gums or small mouths
63
$100
The best for those that want the complete dental hygiene package
63
$220
The flashiest model, but is substantially more expensive than the competition
61
$50
Best Buy Award
Second best cleaning performance, but can be uncomfortable for sensitive gums or smaller mouths
54
$40
Though the design seems a little antiquated, this brush is the least expensive of the bunch

Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
David Wise


Last Updated:
Tuesday
October 25, 2016

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Performance Comparison


The Waterpik brushes snap into place  and are very comfortable when brushing.
The Waterpik brushes snap into place, and are very comfortable when brushing.

Cleaning


This models hung out towards the lower end of the pack when it came to cleaning performance, but still delivered what we would consider an above a slightly above average performance with a score of 6 out of 10. We set up 2 separate tests to analyze the performance of each brush in plaque removal, as well as in stain removal. For stain removal, our "teeth" were eggshells that had been soaking in strong, black coffee for a period of around 4 days. We then ran the Waterpik brush over a tooth sized patch for a full cleaning cycle, and compared the results with before and after photos.

Before testing the stain removal abilities of the Waterpik.
The results of the Waterpik stain removal test.
 

To compare performance at plaque removal, we had each tester skip brushing their teeth on the morning of testing days, and consume as much sugary food as possible throughout that time frame. This would lead to a substantial buildup of plaque over that time period, about 16 hours. Testers would then use a plaque disclosing tablet to reveal the buildups, brush and results were compared once again with before and after photos. This brush missed a few spots, but definitely would work to keep your teeth clean.

Comfort


This electric toothbrush was very well received when it came to comfort, earning a good score of 7 out of 10, actually tying for the top score with our Editor's Choice award winner. The handle of this model is predominantly matte, with a glossy front. The brush felt good to hold in the hand, a nice comfortable, balanced toothbrush.

The Waterpik was also a favorite when it came to the feel of the brush when in use, once again tying for the top score. The brush head comes standard with extra soft bristles, oscillating at 31,000 movements per minute. This model does NOT have a soft or gentle mode for those with sensitive gums, but it does have a massage mode that seems to be less aggressive than standard cleaning.

For noise, this brush proved a bit of a conundrum. It measured in at one of the loudest when it came to the sound meter, at 71 dBa. This measurement was taken about 2" away from the mouth. However, this was ranked as one of the quietest by our testers when actually in use. This means that it may bother the people you cohabitate with, but not you at all. This could be due to the actual frequency and tone of the sound not being very intrusive to the human ear, or some different phenomena occurring due to bone conduction through the back teeth of the person using the toothbrush.

Ease of Use


Continuing the trend, this product once again stayed in the middle of the pack during the evaluation of its ease of use, deserving a slightly above average score of 6 out of 10. This brush doesn't quite fall under the minimalistic design as the other toothbrushes, due to the integrated water flosser on the charging base. This obviously makes the base incredibly stable, as it is so large compared to other models.

The main base of the Waterpik  with integrated water flosser.
The main base of the Waterpik, with integrated water flosser.

The brush head on this model snap on and off quickly, with this model offering 3 different modes to choose from: clean, whiten and massage. The Waterpik also features the 2 minute timer with quad pacing to help with even brushing for the dentist recommended amount. One aspect of this brush that we were not the biggest fan of was the difficulty in cleaning it. We sprayed each toothbrush with a solution of toothpaste dissolved in water — endearingly dubbed "toothpaste gruel" by us — and then attempted to clean it off. We found that this model of brush had lots of gaps and crevices that proved difficult to clean. It was also substantially difficult to clean around the power button.

The Waterpik uses a 2-button interface to control the brush.
The Waterpik uses a 2-button interface to control the brush.

Battery Life


To round its middle of the road performance, the waterpik scored a 6 out of 10 on our battery life rating metric. The toothbrush lasted for 100 minutes of continuous use before completely depleting the battery. It also has a low battery indicator to let you know when it is time to charge.

Value


The Waterpik Complete Care 5.0 has an MSRP of $100, which is on the higher side of toothbrushes that we reviewed. Nevertheless, this model can be a great value due to the integrated water flosser, if you are a person that regularly uses, or is looking to start using one of these devices.

Conclusion


The main reason to purchase this brush is its standout feature: an integrated water flosser. Period. This brush scored essentially in the middle of the pack on all our metrics, and there were better performing toothbrushes in every rating metric, especially when considering the price. However, none of the other models offer such a compact, integrated system with the flosser included, singling this one out, and providing solid motivation to purchase it to the group of consumers that place a high value on water flossing.
David Wise and Austin Palmer

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