Being one of the most recent releases in the Waterpik Complete Care lineup, we were hoping the electric toothbrush included with the 9.0 would have a lithium-ion battery, but that’s not the case. NiMH batteries are cheaper to produce but are more temperamental than lithium-ion batteries, especially for an electric toothbrush.
The problem arises with the habit of leaving the toothbrush on the charger when it’s not in use, which majority of people do. This is terrible for NiMH batteries and reduces their life. The opposite is true for lithium-ion batteries, as this actually helps them last longer by reducing the depth of the charge cycle.
This issue is why we’ve seen Philips Sonicare release only lithium-ion powered toothbrushes in their latest models. Even the budget models.
We just wanted to get this out of the way up front. If you are buying any electronics with a NiMH battery, then do not leave it sitting on the charger 24/7. You will be disappointed.
Now, we’re going to take a look at the features of the Complete Care 9.0, both the water flosser and electric toothbrush, and then show you an alternative that you might want to purchase separately if you don’t like the Complete Care system’s features. We’re going to recommend you check out the Waterpik WP-660 Aquarius and the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100. More details on the features and how they match up with the Complete Care 9.0 can be found below.
The entire point of the Complete Care concept is to give you a simple replacement for your dental care routine by bundling a water flosser and electric toothbrush in a single package. In general, they are cheaper than if you purchase a similar electric toothbrush and water flosser separately. However, there are some features, albeit nothing serious for most people, lacking on the Complete Care systems.
Difference Between the Complete Care 9.0 and 9.5
The only difference between these two models is the type of electric toothbrush that’s included. The Complete Care 9.0 has a “sonic” toothbrush whereas the 9.5 has a “rotary” toothbrush. Most of the Waterpik toothbrushes are sonic, but they started producing the rotary type as an option with the Complete Care 5.5.
Should you care about rotary vs. sonic?
The immediate difference you will notice is that they each feel different and require you to handle the brush differently. As you can see in the image above, the rotary brush head is circular and smaller than the sonic brush head, which looks like a typical manual toothbrush.
The sonic toothbrush will vibrate side-to-side, and when you hold it horizontally on your teeth, it will be brushing up and down, which differs from a manual toothbrush that you slide back and forth. The rotary brush does exactly what you might think: it rotates. The brush head covers roughly a single tooth at a time, so you brush each tooth individually. With the sonic brush head, it reaches a larger area at once.
This feels different and requires you to move the brush differently. The rotary brushes need you to be more careful about not missing spots.
As far as actual cleaning performance goes, there is some research that shows sonic toothbrushes are better at reducing gingival inflammation and rotary brushes are better at removing plaque.
However, rotary and sonic brushes perform both of these tasks better than a manual toothbrush.
If your interest in rotary brushes is piqued, then consider the Waterpik Complete Care 9.5.
Waterpik Complete Care 9.0 Features
- 22 fl. oz. (650 mL) Reservoir Capacity
- 10 Pressure Settings
- 5 Flosser Tips
- 13 fl. oz. per minute Flow Rate
- 10 to 100 PSI Pressure Range
- 360 Degree Rotating Tip
- Waterpik Triple Sonic Electric Toothbrush
- NiMH Battery
- 3 Brush Speeds
- Max Brush Speed: 31,000 Strokes per minute
- 2 Brush Heads Included
We mentioned above that the Complete Care 9.0 is one of the systems with a smaller footprint, which also means it has a slightly smaller water reservoir. This is the only noticeable difference between the 9.0 and most of the earlier models. The extra reservoir space isn’t necessary since the 9.0 can run for 90 seconds, and the recommended water flossing time is only one minute.
Aside from that, you get the same flow rate, pressure settings, and maximum pressure across all the different Complete Care water flosser models.
Now, as for the electric toothbrush, the Waterpik Triple Sonic brush is not sold separately. It is only bundled with the Complete Care systems. It is very similar to the Philips Sonicare Essence Plus and HealthyWhite Plus models.
The Sonicare Essence Plus is one of the only remaining models that still includes a NiMH battery, like the Waterpik Triple Sonic. However, it only has a single brush speed. That’s where the HealthyWhite Plus comes in with 2 brush modes and 3 brush speeds. It has a lithium-ion battery, which we prefer over the NiMH.
We like having multiple brush speeds, especially if you are new to electric toothbrushes. If you purchase an electric toothbrush with one speed, it will take about a week or two to adjust to the intensity. Speed settings are a nice convenience, but not a deal breaker, in our opinion. This is one of the great features of the Waterpik Triple Sonic, as the Sonicare models that have speed settings are generally more expensive.
The Waterpik Triple Sonic has the same maximum brush strokes per minute as the Philips Sonicare brushes, so performance is going to be similar.
Now we’re going to take a more in-depth look at the Waterpik Triple Sonic toothbrush and see how the Complete Care 9.0 system matches up with alternative water flossers and electric toothbrushes that you can purchase separately.
Mix & Match Alternatives to the Complete Care 9.0
The key takeaway from the section above should be that the Waterpik Triple Sonic has solid performance and can go toe-to-toe with the popular Philips Sonicare electric toothbrushes. However, there’s room for improvement if you’re willing to spend some extra cash and forgo the immediate savings of buying a Complete Care system.
We mentioned the Philips Sonicare Essence Plus being a possible alternative to the Waterpik Triple Sonic, and that’s true, but with the release of the more recent Sonicare ProtectiveClean models, we prefer to start with those. Mainly because they come with a lithium-ion battery instead of the NiMH.
What are the Complete Care systems lacking?
- Timer/Pacer Function on the Water Flosser
- Global Voltage Compatability; only works with 110V AC.
- 2-Year warranty instead of the 3-year warranty that’s common with standalone Waterpik water flossers.
The Timer and Pacer are convenient features that help you make sure to floss for the recommended 1 minute and signal you at the 30-second mark to switch from top to bottom (or vice versa). They’re helpful, but not a deal breaker. If you feel like you need to have these features, then you will want to consider a standalone water flosser, and then buy an electric toothbrush separately. More on that in the next section.
For customers in North America, the voltage compatibility isn’t an issue unless you frequently travel internationally. If you’re a customer in Europe, Asia, etc. then you will want to be sure you’re buying from your country’s store if you purchase from Amazon to be certain your are getting a product compatibile with your local voltage requirements.
Lastly, the warranty situation. Even the popular Philips Sonicare toothbrushes only come with a 2-year warranty. This seems to be common among electric toothbrushes. However, the standalone Waterpik water flossers, such as the WP-660 Aquarius, come with a 3-year warranty. So if you were to buy them separately, you could get an extra year of warranty coverage on the water flosser. You will, of course, pay more for it.
These are the 3 main reasons you might want not to purchase a Complete Care system, but for many people, these may not seem significant. Now, here’s a comparison table with some of the models that we’ve mentioned along with the Complete Care 9.0’s Triple Sonic toothbrush.
The Waterpik Triple Sonic isn’t sold separately from the Complete Care 9.0 system, so you’re seeing the price of the entire Complete Care 9.0 in the table above.
Now, what about the water flosser?
The Waterpik WP-660 Aquarius is the top-of-the-line standalone model that’s also very affordable. If you’re looking for something more travel-friendly, then consider the WF-04 Sidekick, but it’s more expensive and not as comparable to the Complete Care 7.0.
With the Aquarius you get back 2 features we mentioned above that the Complete Care systems lack, except the global voltage compatibility, but this is usually a more expensive route.
Here’s our recommended alternative:
Waterpik WP-660 Aquarius
Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100
If the Complete Care features don’t fit your needs, then consider the above combination. You get an improved battery with the ProtectiveClean and all the features of the Aquarius that the Complete Care systems lack. It’s up to you to decide if the price difference is worth it!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is the warranty still valid if I purchase through an online retailer, such as Amazon?
Q: Does a water flosser completely replace manual flossing?
A: Generally, no. Occasional manual flossing is still recommended, but water flossers take much of the work out of the flossing process. This can be especially beneficial for people with hand dexterity problems.
Q: Can mouthwash be used in the reservoir?
A: Yes, but don’t exceed a 1:1 ratio. Adding too much mouthwash can potentially damage the pump.
Q: Can a water flosser be used with braces?
A: It’s always a good idea to talk with your orthodontist first, but water flossers are a great convenience for people with braces. They’re much easier to use and navigate around the brackets and wires. Finding the motivation to floss manually is often difficult with braces. Water flossers help solve this problem.
Q: What’s the best way to keep a water flosser clean?
A: Distilled white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide diluted in water will keep mold growth away. Let the handle, tips, and reservoir soak for 15 to 30 minutes. You also will want to run the water and vinegar solution through the machine to clean inside. Doing this every month or so is a good practice.
Waterpik Water Flossing Replacement Tips
JT-100E Classic Jet Tip
General use tip. Cleans between teeth and below the gumline.
OD-100E Orthodontic Tip
Tapered brush to reach plaque around orthodontic brackets and wires. It’s significantly easier to clean around braces with these rather than string floss.
PS-100E Plaque Seeker Tip
For cleaning around implants, crowns, bridges, and other restorations. It has 3 thin tufts of bristles. These have not been shown to be signifcantly more effective than the Classic Jet Tip for plaque removal, but you may find the brush helpful.
PP-100E Pik Pocket Tip
Ideal for periodontal pockets and furcations. It has a soft rubber tip which produces gentle, low pressure.
TB-100E Toothbrush Tip
These toothbrush tips don’t spin or vibrate. They’re just stationary brushes to let you brush and floss at the same time.
TC-100E Tongue Cleaner Tip
The tongue scraper also sprays water as you scrape to help flush out bacteria and other compounds that live on the tongue.
Adding Solutions to the Reservoir
You can add mouthwash to your Waterpik with no issues. It is essential that you don’t exceed a 1:1 ratio of mouthwash to water no matter what type of mouthwash you use.
- Standard or Cosmetic Mouthwash
- Antiseptic Mouthwash (Listerine)
- Therapeutic Mouth Rinse (Usually prescribed by a dentist.)
- Bleach or Bleach Solution
- Essential Oils
- Salt, iodine, or baking soda
Adding anything other than the mouthwash types listed above can potentially damage your Waterpik either through corrosion or pump failure. Be sure not to add more than a 1:1 ratio of the recommended solutions, as it can damage your Waterpik’s pump. One potential reason for this is a change in viscosity can cause the pump to have to work hard, which over time will wear it out faster.
The compelling reasons for purchasing a Complete Care 9.0 are the cost savings of the bundled electric toothbrush and water flosser, but also the smaller footprint on your countertop.
However, if you’re looking for a travel-friendly water flosser, then the Complete Care systems may not be for you. Especially if you travel internationally.
With the information above you should be able to make the right decision for your needs. If you have any thoughts or concerns, please leave a comment below!
Check out our overview of the entire Waterpik product lineup. You can get a look at the big picture and decide on the right water flosser for you.
Waterpik Complete Care 9.0 Specifications
|Pressure Range||10 to 100 PSI (0.703 to 7.030 Kg/cm2)|
|Flow Rate per Minute:||13 Ounces (400 mL)|
|Pulses per Minute:||1400|
|Number of Pressure Settings:||10|
|Included Flosser Tips:||5|
|Water On/Off Switch on Handle:||On/Off Slider|
|Rotating Tip:||360 Degree|
|Capacity:||22 Ounces (650 mL)|
|Capacity in Seconds:||90|
|Height (with Tip/Brush):||10.25 Inches (26.04 cm)|
|Max Width (Base):||5.25 Inches (13.30 cm)|
|Max Depth (Base):||4.40 Inches (11.20 cm)|
|Voltage:||North America only; 120VAC/60Hz|
|Included Brush Heads:||2|
|Water Resistant Toothbrush:||Yes|
|Number of Speeds:||2|
|Strokes Per Minute:||31,000|